Thursday, July 29, 2010


Passi City is located along the Iloilo- Capiz National Highway. It is 45- minute ride from Iloilo City and an hour from Roxas City and can be reached via the IBRD Expressway. It lies in the central park of Panay Island, and a mere 4- hour ride going to the famed Boracay Island. One can reached Passi City through a variety conveyance ranging from buses, vans or private vehicles.
The physical resources of Passi consists of relatively good soil types along rolling hills and narrow valley plains with substantial surface and ground water, with no distinct dry and wet season which is suitable for a wide range of agricultural products like rice, sugarcane, and pineapple. When the sugar industry experience a slump due to falling sugar prices and quotas in the world market, farmers diversified into other agricultural products like corn, pineapple, mongo, root crops, and other farm- based products. The City has investment potentials for Agri- Industrial developments.
Passi is a 3rd class component city with this year’s annual income of P300, 860,719-General Income, P26,732,922-Special Educational Fund, P37,287,853-Trust Fund, with a total current operating income of P364,881,424 . It is composed of 51 barangays. With 13 urban barangays and 38 rural barangays. It has a total land area of 25,139.13 hectares with a total population of 82,869 residents. Total labor force is 54,380 or 63% of the total population.
Road systems is classified into national, provincial, functionally arterial and City and barangay roads. Most city roads are concreted while national road concreting is 99.8% complete. Inter- city travel is serviced by tricycle and passenger jeepneys. Public utility buses, which include air- conditioned utility vans, are available every 15 minutes for conveyance to and from the City of Passi.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The name Passi was evolved from the word “Pasi” which means unhusked rice. Differences in languages were allegedly the reason how places got their names. How Passi got its name was told by tradition during the arrival of Spanish conquistadores.
One day, a bunch of these Spanish explorers aboard a flatboat “Sciata” (yacht) came downstream and anchored at Sitio Ansig. They stumbled on a small hut by the river bank where an old woman was found winnowing pounded palay. One of them asked her,” Como se llama este lugar?” not knowing the native language, of course.
The old woman thought that they were eager to know what was in her basket and what she was doing so without much ado, she replied with excitement “Pasi” because she could not understand their language.
Passi is considered as one of the oldest towns in the Province of Iloilo. From 1766 to the present, 132 mayors had served Passi. Each one of them had his own strategy in making Passi more progressive. The rapid pace of development had made it the primer town.
On January 30, 1998, Passi became the only component City in the Island of Panay by virtue of the Republic Act 8469 under the administration of the former City Mayor Jesry T. Palmares.
The present administration under the leadership of City Mayor Elyzer C. Chavez is continuing the development of Passi City and implementing the different programs of the government, one of which is the Clean and Green Program.


The history of this town dates back as early as 1766 when the first settlement was founded by three Malayan brothers named Dig-on, Tokiab, and Umawang. Their first formal community was located on the site presently occupied by the Roman Catholic Church.
Passi was just a settlement founded by the three brothers at the beginning of her history. This settlement (purok) was well protected from possible attacks from adjacent purok due to the gold treasures owned by them and buried underground and was supposed to be a mining region of gold from which these riches came.
The founding of the present poblacion of Passi was attributed to Don Martin Saligumba. His notable title"Don" indicated his leadership and power over the group. In 1766 when the Spanish administration recognized the exixtence of Passi as “Pueblo” he became first Capitan Basal actual of this place.Under his regime, Passi started its way towards progressive reforms.
The first Catholic Church was built during this time as an “ermita” later, an Agustinian friar began the construction of a formal church on an old site. When reverend father Apolinar Villanueva came into this parish he started the construction of the present church and was finally completed by one Padre Pedro. Then a succession of the first Passinhon priest in the person of reverend father Doc. Amado Panes Perfecto,D.C.I.
Passi is always proud of her geographical attraction and beautiful scenery for it is located at the central part of Panay. She is proud of the richness and abundance of her cultural heritage, her early and glorious history and versatility of her people’s love for beauty and art; the people’s financial capabilities which are expressed in their excessive merriment and exuberance in the celebration of festivals; she can be found in the mid – point of the railway line between Iloilo and Capiz and is the Central terminal of the Philippine Railway Company;
Passi was the pre – war capital of Iloilo Province in January 1942 to April 16, 1942 until the landing of the Japanese occupation force;
She was made the Quartermaster Depot of the USAFE for the food of the Army that resisted in Bataan through Capiz;
All her buildings in the Central School became the seat of the provincial government offices including the Agricultural and Industrial Bank and the Philippine National Bank before the Japanese landing in Panay;
Passi has the first warehouse of the Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas in Central Panay which lately became the Catholic Church and also bodega of the USAFE for foodstuff for Corrigidor and Bataan;
The old Roman Catholic Church was made the Japanese garrison for occupying the house of Mayor Palmares before 1945 which edifice was also the office of the Civil Resistance Government of Passi when the Japanese token force evacuated, retaken by the Japanese and made their occupation rampant until they finally evacuated when the Americans landed in Leyte;
Barrio Jaguimitan was made the seat of the Municipal Resistance Government under Mayor Filoteo Palmares and Municipal Treasurer Pedro Oro during the war years;
Ibajay cave and mountain northeast of the poblacion was made the seat of the I.C.S. of the guerilla army under Mayor Santiago Imperial and Captain Patricio Miguel and was also interment camp for civilian prisoners, fifth columnist or pro Japanese Filipino who were caught by the army and imprisoned;
Barrio Camiri San Enrique, Passi became the cradle of the first guerilla organization of Panay and Romblon under Colonel Macario Peralta and Major Abelardo Muyco, etc.
The first strike sounded by the guerilla force and ambush led by the late Lieutenant Alberto Perlas, a daring young officer, was made at the railroad station of Bita-ogan by holding up the train manned by Japanese, killing them all and some Filipinos in protest of the Japanese occupation of Passi and Iloilo in August 1942.
Passi Central Elementary School had the first clean and beautiful ground in the province before the war;
One of the first regional high schools established in Iloilo was in Passi soon after liberation and one of the first to have acquired the widest site for high schools of 12 hectares; its athletic field cut from a hill and bulldozed by Mayor Palmares, improved, leveled, and beautiful in time for the most lavished Unit Athletic Meet ever held in the interior in 1949-1959;
The record of Passi in holding the First Provincial Athletic Meet in the interior before the war and in sustaining all the athletic delegates from different towns in Iloilo most abundantly and freely of which some meat uneaten were only given to them gratis et amore and some heads of cattle (surplus) sold for athletic fund-still unbroken up to this day – a feat that has never been or will ever be equaled in the history of athletic meets in Iloilo;
In matters of bestowing the old Filipino traditional customs of being hospitable to individual visitor, visiting teams and districts, Passi’s record is yet unsurpassed because sumptuous foods and drinks offered by the truckloads and caritos flow like water without reservation of any kind.
Passi has the biggest cattle ranch in Panay before the war because of her wide grazing land;
Her market is the one of the biggest in the interior and can be proud of big market collection every Monday and Friday, her market days;
Passi therefore was the biggest supplier of meat for the army during the war and also the biggest supplier of rice and corn for sustenance of the guerilla forces and the provincial guards of the Civil Resistance Movement of Free Panay and Romblon Gov. Tomas Confessor;
She also suffered the greatest number of deaths (both soldiers and civilians) as a result of several Japanese penetration and airplane bombings of military target and trouble on account of her size;
Passi, through her community school program, community education and improvement is beginning to regain her lost prestige and reputation as the cleanest and the most beautiful town in the interior of Iloilo or elsewhere;
She has established its First City College in October 2005 under Mayor Elyzer C. Chavez and
became progressive and experienced tremendous development over the period. Because of its strategic location, Passi became the center for trade and commerce bringing more investment opportunities. With high income, population growth and land area, Passi became the first component city of Iloilo in 1998.


The Pintados de Pasi Festival is one of the most awaited celebration both local and foreign visitors wanted to experienced. This weeklong fun-filled different activities is the Official Festival of the city is held every 14th of March. It commemorates the ratification and conversion of the Municipality of Passi into a city through a plebiscite held in 1998


Panay Island has a very rich cultural heritage. Dubbed as the cradle of civilization, its glorious past is diverse. Its fertile folklore has become the envy of other cultures that many have wanted to disprove them but to no avail.
The Island pride itself of the epic of Hinilawod and the story of ten Bornean datus. Its imposing landscape is a good mind of narratives that were passed on from generation to generation and have been preserved in the hearts of its people.
The first inhabitants of the Island called it Aninipay, after the name of the plant that was then abundant in the area. When the Malayans came, they named it Madia-as, which was the name of the highest peak in the Island.
The name Panay was given only after the Spaniards came to the Island. When Miguel Lopez de Legaspi settled in Cebu, he was faced with a problem of food storage. Hidden sent his men to scour the surrounding Island for food and one of the boats reached Madia-as. Having found plenty of food in the place, the crew returned to Cebu and reported the news to Legaspi who exclaimed in thanksgiving “Pan hay in este isla “food there is on the island!)”. The first two words eventually identified the island.
But unknown to many, the first batch of Spaniards that reached the island gave a different name to it. They called it “Isla de Pintados” after seeing tattooed men whom they called pintados or “painted people.”
The art tattooing was practiced all throughout the island. The chronicler Miguel de Loarca, in his account in Historia Pre-Hispanica de Filipinas Sobre la Isla de Panay, described the pintado practice, thus:
“The mean tattoo intire bodies with beautiful figures using small pieces of iron dipped in ink. This ink incorporate itself into the blood and the marks are indelible.”
Culturally, the inhabitants of Panay used tattoos to exhibit their record in battle. The more tattoo marks a man had on his body, the higher his status as a warrior. The elegance of the pintado practice has raised tattooing into the level of art. They do then with such order, symmetry, and coordination that they elicit admiration from those who see them.
While the men put tattoo all over their body, it was a rule in the old Panay society that women only wear tattoos on one side of their arms.
According to one account, while a group of Spaniards who had settled in Calinog went downstream of the Jalaur River and anchored in a place called Ansig, they saw a tattooed woman who Was winnowing pounded palay. One of them asked her what the name of the place is. The woman, who did not understand Spanish, thought that the man was asking what she was doing and replied “naga-pangpasi” which means peaking out unhusked rice from pounded palay. From then on, the Spaniards called the place “Pasi” which later involved into “Passi”.
As the Spaniards begun to Christianize the inhabitants of Panay, the friars believed the tattooing was a pagan practice and forced the natives to abandon the art, thus resulting to the disappearance of the pintado culture.
However, the practice did not escape the eyes of historians who recorded it with respect and veneration that this form of art deserve. For many, it was a practice that ought not only to be preserved but also to be revived in some other ways to highlight the fact that during the pre-Spanish era, an advanced civilization of artistic people had already flourished in this part of the archipelago.
It is in this context that Passi City, one of the earliest Malayan settlement in the island, embarks on this project to showcase and revive one of Panay’s rich cultural legacies from its ancestors.