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Municipality of Miagao
Banwa kang Miagao (Kinaray-a)
Banwa sang Miagao (Hiligaynon)
Bayan ng Miagao (Tagalog)
Miagao Church.jpg
Map of Iloilo with Miag-ao highlighted
Map of Iloilo with Miag-ao highlighted
Miagao is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°39′N 122°14′E / 10.650°N 122.233°E / 10.650; 122.233Coordinates: 10°39′N 122°14′E / 10.650°N 122.233°E / 10.650; 122.233
Country Philippines
Region Western Visayas (Region VI)
Province Iloilo
Legislative district 1st district of Iloilo
Barangays 119
 • Mayor Dr. Macario N. Napulan (Liberal)
 • Vice Mayor Leonardo Naldoza (Liberal)
 • Total 156.80 km2 (60.54 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 64,545
 • Density 410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 5023
Dialing code 33
Website www.miagao.gov.ph

Miagao (also written Miag-ao) is a first class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 64,545 people.[3][4] Miagao is considered as the "Onion Capital of the Visayas". It is located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwest of Iloilo City.[5] The town center of the municipality lies on the western bank of the Tumagbok River, the largest river in the municipality.[6] The poblacion is made up of eight barangays.[7]

The town holds their patronal fiesta in honor of St. Thomas of Villanova (more commonly known as Sto. Tomas de Villanueva) every September 22 that lasts several days. The town is also the location of one of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines, the Miag-ao Church, which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is also one of the only two members of the UNESCO World Heritage Cities located in the Philippines, the other being the Historic City of Vigan.


The name of Miagao has many disputed etymologies. One of the most popular, and probably the most widely accepted version is that the name of the town was derived from a plant named Miagos. Miagos or Osmoxylon lineare is a flowering plant from the family Araliaceae that used to grow abundantly in the area when the Spaniards came. Because of its abundance in the area, the Spaniards named the place Miagos which later became Miagao. Another version, according to Rev. Fr. Lorenzo Torres of Igbaras, is that a native named Miyagaw was asked by the Spaniards for the name of the place but gave his name instead.[8]

A picture of miagos plant at the front of Miagao Municipal Hall. Miagao derived its name from this plant.

Miagao gained its independence as a municipality in 1716. Prior to that, it used to be a part of an arrabal of four different towns in southern Iloilo. Until 1580, Miagao was an arrabal of Oton. From 1580 until 1652, it was an arrabal of Tigbauan. It was an arrabal of Suaraga (now San Joaquin) from 1652 to 1703 and before becoming independent, it became an arrabal of Guimbal from 1703 to 1716. In 1731, Miagao had its first capitan and teniente mayor (now equivalent to mayor and vice mayor) after an election was held in Guimbal under the supervision of Victorino C. Ma., an authorized representative of the governor.[8]

The town center of Miagao is located on top of a hill overlooking Panay Gulf. This remote location of Miagao helped the town defend itself from the frequent raids by Moro pirates in the 16th to 19th century that plagued many neighboring towns and caused whole town-centers to relocate towards Iloilo City. Thus, Miagao and its surrounding area grew without hindrance and with little outside influence.



Miagao is a coastal town with a hilly to mountainous terrain. Most of the flat areas in the municipality are found either in coasts or along the town's major rivers which include the Naulid, Tumagbok, Oyaoy, Bacauan, Tabunacan, Oyungan, Lanutan, and San Rafael rivers. A mountain range forms a natural boundary between Miagao and the province of Antique to the north.[9]

Map of the Municipality of Miagao showing barangay names and boundaries and roads.


The municipality has a type I climate based on PAGASA's climate classification chart. The climate of Miagao is greatly affected by northeast and southwest monsoons. The town experiences a pronounced wet season from May to October and a dry season from November to April. The coolest months are the months of December to February while the hottest months are the months of April and May.[9]


Local Government (2013-2016)[edit]

As with other municipal/city level political administration in the country, Miagao is governed by popularly elected Mayor, Vice Mayor, and eight Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Members. The current government officials of the municipality are listed below.[10]

  • Mayor: Hon. Macario Napulan, M.D.
  • Vice Mayor: Hon. Leonardo Naldoza
  • SB Members:
    • Hon. Robert Galvez
    • Hon. Ma. Teresa Jambre
    • Hon. Rodolfo Legaspi II
    • Hon. Angelo Molejona
    • Hon. Luningning Tuparan
    • Hon. Jessica Torrecampo
    • Hon. Carmelo Nochete
    • Hon. Patricio Fio
  • Ex-Officio Member
    • Hon. Myrna Funclara (LNB President)

Political Subdivisions[edit]

Miagao is politically subdivided into 119 barangays.[2] It has more barangays than any other municipality in the Philippines.[11] The municipality has 22 coastal barangays and 97 landlocked barangays.

  • Agdum
  • Aguiauan
  • Alimodias
  • Awang
  • Bacauan
  • Bacolod
  • Bagumbayan
  • Banbanan
  • Banga
  • Bangladan
  • Banuyao
  • Baraclayan
  • Bariri
  • Baybay Norte (Poblacion)
  • Baybay Sur (Poblacion)
  • Belen
  • Bolho (Poblacion)
  • Bolocaue
  • Buenavista Norte
  • Buenavista Sur
  • Bugtong Lumangan
  • Bugtong Naulid
  • Cabalaunan
  • Cabangcalan
  • Cabunotan
  • Cadoldolan
  • Cagbang
  • Caitib
  • Calagtangan
  • Calampitao
  • Cavite
  • Cawayanan
  • Cubay
  • Cubay Ubos
  • Dalije
  • Damilisan
  • Dawog
  • Diday
  • Dingle
  • Durog
  • Frantilla
  • Fundacion
  • Gines
  • Guibongan
  • Igbita
  • Igbugo
  • Igcabidio
  • Igcabito-on
  • Igcatambor
  • Igdalaquit
  • Igdulaca
  • Igpajo
  • Igpandan
  • Igpuro
  • Igpuro-Bariri
  • Igsoligue
  • Igtuba
  • Ilog-ilog
  • Indag-an
  • Kirayan Norte
  • Kirayan Sur
  • Kirayan Tacas
  • La Consolacion
  • Lacadon
  • Lanutan
  • Lumangan
  • Mabayan
  • Maduyo
  • Malagyan
  • Mambatad
  • Maninila
  • Maricolcol
  • Maringyan
  • Mat-y (Poblacion)
  • Matalngon
  • Naclub
  • Nam-o Sur
  • Nam-o Norte
  • Narat-an
  • Narorogan
  • Naulid
  • Olango
  • Ongyod
  • Onop
  • Oya-oy
  • Oyungan
  • Palaca
  • Paro-on
  • Potrido
  • Pudpud
  • Pungtod Monteclaro
  • Pungtod Naulid
  • Sag-on
  • San Fernando
  • San Jose
  • San Rafael
  • Sapa (Poblacion)
  • Saring
  • Sibucao
  • Taal
  • Tabunacan
  • Tacas (Poblacion)
  • Tambong
  • Tan-agan
  • Tatoy
  • Ticdalan
  • Tig-amaga
  • Tig-Apog-Apog
  • Tigbagacay
  • Tiglawa
  • Tigmalapad
  • Tigmarabo
  • To-og
  • Tugura-ao
  • Tumagboc
  • Ubos Ilawod (Poblacion)
  • Ubos Ilaya (Poblacion)
  • Valencia
  • Wayang


Population census of Miagao
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 51,738 —    
1995 52,276 +0.19%
2000 57,092 +1.91%
2007 60,498 +0.80%
2010 64,545 +2.38%
Source: National Statistics Office[12][13]

As of the 2010 census, the ten most populous barangays of Miagao are shown in the table below:[2]

Barangay Population
Baybay Norte 2786
Mat-y 1893
Palaca 1879
Dalije 1663
Kirayan Norte 1455
Oyungan 1367
San Rafael 1297
Kirayan Tacas 1257
Damilisan 1193
Baybay Sur 1183

Almost all people in Miagao speak Kinaray-a as it is the primary language of the municipality. Hiligaynon is spoken as a second language by many and is especially useful when going to Iloilo City where Hiligaynon is the dominant language.[14]



A road sign seen upon entering the first barangay (Barangay Calampitao) of the Municipality of Miagao from Iloilo City.

The municipality of Miagao is a largely agricultural town. Around 52% of the municipal land area is classified as agricultural and around 40% of the total land area is planted.[9] Rice is the primary crop of the town while corn is considered as a secondary crop. Miagao is hailed as the "Onion Capital of the Visayas" because it is the largest producer of bulb onion not only in Western Visayas but in the whole Visayas and is actually the largest producer of bulb onions in the central and southern Philippines.[15][16][17] Other crops produced by the municipality include eggplants, peanuts, monggo, tomatoes, root crops, and bamboo.[18][19]


Public Transport[edit]

Miagao is strategically located along the Iloilo-Antique road.[6] Because of this, transportation is not a big problem in the municipality. The town proper is located about 40 kilometers from Iloilo City and 57 kilometers from San Jose de Buenavista, Antique.[20]


Several bus companies operate in Miagao. Buses that ply the Iloilo-Antique, Iloilo-Caticlan via San Jose, and Iloilo-Manila routes pass by the municipality every day. Ceres Liner by Vallacar Transit passes by Miagao almost every 30 minutes on its way to Iloilo from Antique and vice versa.

Manila bound buses also pass by Miagao. Dimple Star Transport, Gasat/Valisno Transport, and Ceres Liner pass by Miagao every morning on their way to Manila. In addition, RM Liner also heads to Manila everyday but passes by Miagao early in the evening.


Jeepneys serve the Miagao-Iloilo City route more frequently than buses. The typical jeepeney can contain around 22 to as many as 34 or more passengers. The town is mainly served by Miagao-Iloilo City bound jeepneys but San Joaquin-Iloilo City bound jeepneys also serve the area. These jeepneys generally pass by every 10–20 minutes so catching a jeepney bound for Iloilo City is not a problem. Several mountain barangays of Miagao are also served by jeepneys because smaller modes of transportation aren't usually strong enough to climb steep and unpaved roads. In that case, habal-habal or plain motocycles can also be used.


Tricycles are the most common form transportation in the municipality. These are the Philippine's version of tuk-tuk in other Asian countries. Tricycles are often limited to operate within the municipality but special and private trips to other places are allowed. Miagao has established several tricycle routes in the municipality. Tricycles are color-coded to indicate the route assigned to them. Yellow ones are northbound while blue ones are southbound. Green tricycles are bound to the mountain barangays of the town passing through barangay Mat-y. Tricycles assigned to operate within the town proper are colored red. The following table shows the routes of all tricylcles-for-hire within the municipality of Miagao.

From To From To From To From To
Miagao Ubos Area Miagao Damilisan Miagao Banbanan Miagao Calampitao
Miagao Baybay Area Miagao Narat-an Miagao Igbita Miagao Durog/Kirayan Tacas
Miagao Sapa and UPV Area Miagao Calagtangan Tan-agan Miagao Valencia/Naulid
Miagao Malagyan Miagao Tugura-ao/Gines Palaca Miagao Caitib
Miagao Bagumbayan Miagao Igbugo/Cawayanan Miagao Igpuro
Miagao Ilog-ilog
Miagao Igdulaca


Miagao is a financial center in southern Iloilo. The town has a total of five banks, two of which are branches of two of the country's largest banks. The banks in Miagao are as follows.

  • Philippine National Bank (in front of Miagao Church)
  • Rural Bank of Miagao (in front of Miagao Church)
  • Land Bank of the Philippines (in UPV Miagao Campus)
  • Card Bank Inc. (behind Miagao Church)
  • OK Bank (along Quezon Street)

Withdrawing money from cards is also not a problem as all the banks listed above, except OK Bank, have functional Automated Teller Machines.

Health Services[edit]

Miagao is served by several public and private health providers. The following are the major health institutions of the municipality.

  • Miagao Emergency Clinic

Miagao emergency clinic is the main health provider of the municipality. It is supported and operated by the municipal government and serves emergency cases, childbirth, consultations, dental services, minor injuries, and other non-critical cases. It is located beside the municipal hall.[21]

  • Miagao Health Cooperative Drug Screening Laboratory

It is one of the main laboratory tests provider of the municipality.[22]

  • UPV Infirmary

This is the main healthcare provider of the University of the Philippines Visayas in Miagao. It also caters non-UPV patients. This is also an emergency and non-critical healthcare provider.

  • Napulan Diagnostic Center

Healthcare center for some emergency cases and minor operations and also provides consultations. This is a private healthcare provider.[23]

  • Angelo Adeno Pharmacy and Laboratory

Aside from being a pharmacy, it also provides laboratory tests for customers.[24]

  • Ronaliza Children and Women's Clinic

Provides medical consultations to most customers but is specialized in women's and children's health.[25]

  • Fantillo Medical Clinic

Provides general medical consultations but may also carry out minor operations like circumcisions.[26]

Numerous pharmacies also dot the municipal town proper (Poblacion). Several barangay health stations are also being maintained by the local government.


The Miagao Church
Closeup view of the whole facade of Miagao Church showing its intricate baroque design with a touch of the native culture.

Miag-ao Church[edit]

Main article: Miagao Church

The Miagao Church, or the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva, was built in 1786 by Spanish Augustinian missionaries and was declared as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Baroque Churches of the Philippines" in 1993. On the front facade, which is flanked by two watchtower belfries, one can see the unique blending of Spanish and native influences.

The central feature of the bas-relief facade is a large coconut tree which reaches almost to the apex. While an integral part of the Philippine landscape, the coconut tree is also the subject of lore. According to an old Philippine legend, the coconut tree was the only bequest from a loving mother to her two children, a tree which sustained them for life. On the church's facade the coconut tree appears as the "tree of life" to which St. Christopher carrying the Child Jesus on his shoulder is clinging to. The lesser facades feature the daily life of Miagaowanons during the time. Also depicted are other native flora and fauna, as well as native dress.

The church and its watchtowers were also built to defend the town and its people against raids by the Moros. It therefore has thick walls and, reportedly, secret passages. Indeed, stretching along the Iloilo coast are defensive towers, but none that equal the size of the Miagao. It is because of this defensive purpose that it is sometimes referred to as the Miag-ao Fortress Church.


Primary and Secondary Education[edit]

The primary and secondary education in the municipality of Miagao is under the jurisdiction of the Division of Iloilo under the Department of Education, Region 6.[27] Miagao is subdivided into two school districts namely, Miagao East and Miagao West. The schools under each district as well as private, secondary, and tertiary schools in the municipality are listed below.[28]

Miagao East[edit]

Primary Schools

  • Aguiauan ES
  • Bacauan-Mambatad ES
  • Guibongan-Igtuba ES
  • Indag-an-Tanagan ES
  • Kirayan ES
  • La Consolacion ES
  • Malagyan ES
  • Miagao (East) Central ES
  • Miranda ES
  • Monteclaro ES
  • Pungtod-Caitib ES
  • San Jose ES
  • Ticdalan ES
  • Tigmarabo ES
  • Valencia ES

Miagao West[edit]

Primary Schools

  • Alimodias ES
  • Bacolod ES
  • Cadoldolan ES
  • Dalije ES
  • Diday ES
  • Igbita-Tigmalapad ES
  • Igdulaca ES
  • Igpajo ES
  • Ilog-ilog ES
  • Jesus Nievales Memorial ES
  • Miagao West Central ES
  • Naclub ES
  • Olango ES
  • Oyungan ES
  • San Fernando ES
  • San Rafael ES

Private Primary Schools[edit]

  • Kaunlaran Learning Center (KLC)[29]

Secondary Schools[edit]

  • Alejandro Firmeza Memorial NHS
  • Bacolod NHS
  • Baraclayan NHS
  • Kirayan NHS
  • Miagao NHS
  • Palaca-Damilisan NHS
  • San Jose NHS
  • San Rafael NHS
  • Supt. Arsenio Napud Memorial NHS

Private Secondary Schools[edit]

  • Kaunlaran Learning Center HS
  • St. Louise de Marillac School of Miagao[30]

Colleges and Universities[edit]

University of the Philippines Visayas[edit]

The Miagao campus of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) spreads out over 12 km² on the outskirts of the town proper. This is the main campus of UPV which is composed of the UPV Tacloban College (UPVTC) in Tacloban City, UPV College of Management (CM) in Iloilo City, UPV High School in Iloilo (UPVHSI), UPV College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), UPV School of Technology (SoTech), and the flagship college of this campus, the UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS) which focuses on marine science, aquaculture, fish processing, natural products development, and post-harvest/food science. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Thailand and Cambodia sent exchange students to the school to study fish and rice production, and after graduating returned home where they began out-producing and out-exporting the Philippines in these commodities.

WVCST/ISATU Southern Iloilo Polytechnic College[edit]

The Southern Iloilo Polytechnic College (SIPC) is one of the two tertiary institutions present in the municipality of Miagao. This school started as Miagao Regional High School in 1945 and became the Miagao Vocational School in 1958. In 1984, Miagao Vocational School was converted to Southern Iloilo Polytechnic College to meet the demands of the changing times and for expansion purposes. SIPC was then integrated with the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (now Iloilo Science and Technology University) on November 24, 2000 by virtue of the Republic Act(RA) No. 7722, otherwise known as the “Higher Education Act of 1994 and RA No. 8292". Currently, the school offers courses in the fields of electronics and technology, hospitality, and primary and secondary education.[31]


  • DYUP-FM 102.7
  • DYUP-AM 873
  • Hot-FM Miag-ao
  • Falconite – FM/AM Miagao

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Province: Iloilo". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "LGPMS LGU Profile 2010 - Miagao". 2010 - Local Governance Performance Management System. Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 8 August 2014.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Local_Governance_Performance_Management_System" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index
  5. ^ Province of Iloilo Homepage
  6. ^ a b Miagao Satellite Map
  7. ^ Miagao Barangays
  8. ^ a b Miagao History
  9. ^ a b c [1]
  10. ^ Miagao Partial Election Results 2013
  11. ^ Barangay in numbers
  12. ^ NSO10
  13. ^ "Province of Iloilo". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Ethnologue - Languages of the World
  15. ^ News Feature: Miagao town prides itself as onion capital of Western Visayas
  16. ^ Miagao town notes increased onion production
  17. ^ Other Crops: Volume of Production by Region and by Province
  18. ^ Socio-Economic Profile of the Municipality of Miagao
  19. ^ Miag-ao FITS Center Opens to Clients
  20. ^ Municipality of Miagao
  21. ^ Office of the Municipal Mayor
  22. ^ MHC Drug Screening Laboratory
  23. ^ Napulan Diagnostic Center
  24. ^ Angelo Adeno Pharmacy and Laboratory
  25. ^ Ronaliza Clinic
  26. ^ Fantillo Clinic
  27. ^ Department of Education, Region IV
  28. ^ Division of Iloilo
  29. ^ Miagao Website
  30. ^ Private Schools - Philippines
  31. ^ Southern Iloilo Polytechnic College

External links[edit]