Guimaras

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Guimaras Province
Lalawigan sg Guimaras
Lalawigan ng Guimaras
Province
Province of Guimaras
Official seal of Guimaras Province
Seal
Map of the Philippines with Guimaras highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Guimaras highlighted
Coordinates: 10°34′N 122°35′E / 10.567°N 122.583°E / 10.567; 122.583Coordinates: 10°34′N 122°35′E / 10.567°N 122.583°E / 10.567; 122.583
Country Philippines
Region Western Visayas (Region VI)
Founded May 22, 1992
Capital Jordan
Government
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Congressman JC Rahman A. Nava (Liberal Party)
 • Governor Samuel T. Gumarin (Liberal Party)
 • Vice Governor Vicente B. De Asis (Liberal Party)
Area[1]
 • Total 604.57 km2 (233.43 sq mi)
Area rank 76th out of 81
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 162,943
 • Rank 73rd out of 81
 • Density 270/km2 (700/sq mi)
 • Density rank 28th out of 81
Divisions
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 5
 • Barangays 98
 • Districts Lone district of Guimaras
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 5044 to 5048
Dialing code 33
ISO 3166 code PH-GUI
Spoken languages Hiligaynon, Tagalog, English
Website www.guimaras.gov.ph

Guimaras [ɡimaˈɾas] is a fourth class island province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Among the smallest provinces, its capital is Jordan. The island is located in the Panay Gulf, between the islands of Panay and Negros. To the northwest is the province of Iloilo and to the southeast is Negros Occidental.

The province consists primarily of Guimaras Island, and also includes Inampulugan, Guiwanon (or Guiuanon), Panobolon, Natunga, Nadulao, and many minor surrounding islands.[3] Geologists[who?] have concluded that the island once formed one landmass with Panay.

Guimaras, formerly known as Himal-us, was a sub-province of Iloilo until it was made an independent province on May 22, 1992.

History[edit]

About 1581, Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa, Spanish governor and captain-general of the Philippine Islands, established a settlement in Guimaras for the purpose of the Christianization of the natives of the island. He and his subordinates organized the pueblicitos or villages of Nayup, with San Pedro Apostol as the patron saint, and Igang, with Sta. Ana as the patroness.

Evangelization of Guimaras occurred around the same time the friars were making inroads in Panay. The Augustinians established the visitas of Nayup and Igang dependent on Oton, Iloilo. Gov. Gen. Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas 20 June 1591 report to the king noted that the friars of Oton made regular visits to the island.

In 1742, the island came under the jurisdiction of Dumangas – now known as Iloilo, until 1751 when the Augustinian Order was replaced by the Jesuits, after which the Dominican order took over Guimaras. The Jesuits, who had established a school in Iloilo and had missions in Molo and Arevalo, charge of the island. By 1755, it was organized into a regular parish. When the population increased considerably, the island was given its municipal status with a seat of government at Tilad (now known as Buenavista). In 1908, during the American period, the Guimarasnons were given the opportunity to elect their municipal president.[4]

Douglas MacArthur, a fresh graduate from West Point as a Second Lieutenant at the age of 23, came to Iloilo as the head of the company of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They constructed roads and the Sto. Rosario Wharf, presently named MacArthur's Wharf, which are still in use today. In November 1903, while working on Guimaras, he was ambushed by a pair of Filipino brigands or guerrillas; he shot and killed both with his pistol.[5]

In 1942, Japanese Imperial forces landed on Guimaras Island.

In 1945, the combined United States & Philippine Commonwealth forces landed on Guimaras Island, attacked the Japanese Imperial forces, defeating them in the Battle of Guimaras, which led to the liberation of the island.[6]

Guimaras first gained its status as a sub-province of Iloilo by virtue of R.A. 4667,[7] which was enacted by Congress on 18 June 1966. It was proclaimed as a regular and full-fledged province on 22 May 1992 after a plebiscite was conducted to ratify the approval of its conversion pursuant to Section 462 of R.A. 7160.[8]

Shortly after Guimaras acquired its provincial status, President Fidel V. Ramos appointed Emily Relucio-Lopez as its first Governor.

The province of Guimaras was originally composed up of 3 municipalities: Buenavista, Jordan, and Nueva Valencia. In 1995, by virtue of Republic Act No. 7896 and Republic Act No. 7897,[9] the municipalities of Sibunag and San Lorenzo were created in the province of Guimaras. The two new municipalities officially acquired their municipal status after the May 8, 1995 plebiscite held simultaneously with the local election.

Mayor Ernesto L. Gedalanga was the first appointed mayor of Sibunag and Mayor Arsenio Zambarrano was also appointed mayor of San Lorenzo. The temporary seat of government of the Municipality of Sibunag is at Brgy. Maabay while the temporary seat of Government of the Municipality of San Lorenzo is at Brgy. Cabano.

The island province suffered an ecological disaster in Aug. 2006, after 998 ton gross weight M/T Solar 1, chartered by Petron, the Philippines’ largest oil refiner, carrying 2.4 million litres of oil sank 17 kilometrres off the coast, contaminating 24 km2.[10] Cleanup was estimated to take at least two years. The Philippine Coast Guard called this the worst oil spill in the country’s history. According to officials, 1,000 hectares of mangrove forests were affected, including parts of the Taclong Island Sanctuary, a feeding and breeding ground for fish and other species.

Demographics[edit]

Population census of Guimaras
Year Pop.   ±% p.a.  
1990 117,990 —    
1995 126,470 +1.40%
2000 141,450 +2.26%
2007 151,238 +0.96%
2010 162,943 +2.52%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

The people of Guimaras are considered as Guimarasnon and their languages are Hiligaynon and Kinaray-a as it was once a sub-province of Iloilo. Hiligaynon is the major language spoken, although the people can understand and speak Tagalog and English.[citation needed]

Economy[edit]

Mangoes galore in the Guimaras Manggahan Festival.

The province is basically agricultural with palay, coconut, mango, vegetables, livestock, poultry and fishing as major products. Its major industries are tourism, fruit processing, coconut processing, fish farming, handicrafts making, mining, quarrying and lime production.

Guimaras is well known for its agricultural crops, particularly mangoes, where some 50,000 of these trees are planted. The Guimaras Island is famous for producing some of the sweetest mangoes in the world. Guimaras mangoes are reportedly served at the White House and Buckingham Palace.[11][12][13] Guimaras' largest event of the year is The Manggahan Festival (the Mango Festival).[14] The variety of mangoes produced are also best for making dried mangoes, jam and other delicacies.

Transportation[edit]

From Guimaras, a view of Iloilo City across the Iloilo Strait.

Located southwest of Panay, Guimaras is separated from Iloilo by the Iloilo Strait, a narrow channel which takes about fifteen minutes to cross by pump boat from the Ortiz landing in Iloilo to Jordan, Guimaras. Other ferries leave from the Parola wharf in Iloilo to the municipality of Buenavista, Guimaras. The Parola wharf is used exclusively whenever the water is rough. There also is a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ferry that travels around five times a day.

Government[edit]

House of Representatives: Joaquin Carlos Rahman A. Nava (Liberal Party)

Governor: Samuel T. Gumarin (Liberal Party)

Vice Governor: Vicente B. De Asis (Liberal Party)

Political divisions[edit]

Political map of Guimaras

Guimaras is subdivided into 5 municipalities:

Municipality Population
(2010)[15]
Area (km²)[16] No. of
Barangays
Buenavista 46,703 128.26 36
Jordan (capital) 34,791 126.11 14
Nueva Valencia 37,852 137.12 22
San Lorenzo 24,032 93.04 12
Sibunag 19,565 120.04 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities". 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Official map of province. Province of Guimaras
  4. ^ "Guimaras History". Islands Philippines. 
  5. ^ Clayton, James, D. (1970). "Volume 1, 1880–1941", The Years of MacArthur. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 87–89. ISBN 0-395-10948-5. 
  6. ^ "US Army in WW II". Robert Ross Smith. 
  7. ^ "AN ACT CREATING THE SUBPROVINCE OF GUIMARAS IN THE PROVINCE OF ILOILO". laws.chanrobles.com. 
  8. ^ "AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991". The LawPhil Project. 
  9. ^ "AN ACT CREATING THE MUNICIPALITY OF SAN LORENZO IN THE PROVINCE OF GUIMARAS". laws.chanrobles.com. 
  10. ^ "Guimaras Oil Spill". bulatlat.com. 
  11. ^ Alexander R. Bautista. "The hidden jewel that is Guimaras". Manila Standard Today. 
  12. ^ Stefanie. "Journey of a lifetime". blogspot. 
  13. ^ "Philippine Mangoes Naihain na sa White House at Buckingham Palace". GMA News. 
  14. ^ "Manggahan Festival". guimaras.gov. 
  15. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Province: Guimaras". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 

External links[edit]