Panay, Capiz

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Church of Pan-Ay---.JPG
Motto: Heritage Capital of Capiz
Map of Capiz with Panay highlighted
Map of Capiz with Panay highlighted
Panay is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°33′N 122°48′E / 11.55°N 122.8°E / 11.55; 122.8Coordinates: 11°33′N 122°48′E / 11.55°N 122.8°E / 11.55; 122.8
Country Philippines
Region Western Visayas (Region VI)
Province Capiz
Legislative district 1st district of Capiz
Founded 1566
Barangays 42
 • Mayor Dante B. Bermejo
 • Total 116.37 km2 (44.93 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 46,114
 • Density 400/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 5801
IDD:area code +63 (0)36

Panay or Pan-ay is a third class municipality in the province of Capiz, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 46,114 people.[3] It used to be the Capital of Capiz Province. Panay is 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east from Roxas City.

Pan-ay is the site of the famous coral-stone Sta. Monica Church, home to the largest Catholic Church bell in Asia.


Panay is politically subdivided into 42 barangays.[2]

  • Agbalo
  • Agbanban
  • Agojo
  • Anhawon
  • Bagacay
  • Bago Chiquito
  • Bago Grande
  • Bahit
  • Bantique
  • Bato
  • Binangig
  • Binantuan
  • Bonga
  • Buntod
  • Butacal
  • Cabugao Este
  • Cabugao Oeste
  • Calapawan
  • Calitan
  • Candual
  • Cogon
  • Daga
  • Ilamnay
  • Jamul-awon
  • Lanipga
  • Lat-asan
  • Libon
  • Linao
  • Linateran
  • Lomboy
  • Lus-onan
  • Magubilan
  • Navitas
  • Pawa
  • Pili
  • Poblacion Ilawod
  • Poblacion Ilaya
  • Poblacion Tabuc
  • Talasa
  • Tanza Norte
  • Tanza Sur
  • Tico


The town originally called Bamban was changed by the early Spaniards to Panay, a word which means “mouth of the river.” This is also the location of a fortress built by Juan de la Isla in late 1570. The Paseo de Evangelizacion 1566 can be found in the town plaza and was erected through the efforts of Rev. Msgr. Benjamin F. Advincula. 1566 was the year the Spaniards arrived in the island of Panay and became the second Spanish settlement in the country next to Cebu.

Miguel Lopez de Legazpi transferred the Spanish settlement from Cebu to Panay in 1569 due to the lack of food. The town was formally founded in 1572 (1581 according to Jorde), although by that time Legazpi had moved the capital of the Philippines, further north, to Manila. Fr. Bartolome de Alcantara was named the prior of the town with Fr. Agustin Camacho as assistant. A prosperous town due to trade, Pan-ay became capital of captivating Capiz for two centuries, until Capiz was named capital. The town name was eventually given to whole island. After 1607, Fr. Alonso de Méntrida, noted for his linguistic studies and Visayan dictionary became prior. In the 18th century, Pan-ay was famous for its textile industry which produced a cloth called suerte and exported to Europe. In the 19th century, Don Antonio Roxas, grandfather of Pres. Manuel Roxas, opened one of the largest rum and wine distilleries in the town. The Augustinians held the parish until 1898, when administration transferred to the seculars.

The first church was built before 1698 when it is reported that a typhoon had ruined it. In 1774, Fr. Miguel Murguía rebuilt the church, but it was later damaged by a typhoon on 15 January 1875. Fr. Jose Beloso restored the church in 1884. The church is best known for its 10.4 ton bell popularly called dakong lingganay (big bell). The bell was cast by Don Juan Reina who settled in Iloilo in 1868. Reina who was town dentist was also noted as a metal caster and smith. The bell was cast at Pan-ay from 70 sacks of coins donated by the townspeople. The bell was completed in 1878. It bears an inspiring inscription which translated reads: “I am God’s voice which shall echo praise from one end of the town of Pan-ay to the other, so that Christ’s faithful followers may enter this house of God to receive heavenly graces.”


Population census of Panay
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 36,817 —    
1995 39,124 +1.15%
2000 40,599 +0.80%
2007 42,357 +0.59%
2010 43,449 +0.93%
2015 46,114 +1.14%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][4][5]

In the 2015 census, the population of Panay, Capiz, was 46,114 people,[3] with a density of 400 inhabitants per square kilometre or 1,000 inhabitants per square mile.

Heritage features[edit]

Sta. Monica Church
The structure was first built during the 1690s but was completely destroyed by a fierce typhoon in January 1768. The current church was re-built in 1774 through the efforts of Fr Miguel Murgia only to be severely damaged during typhoons in 1874 and 1875. the church was built by Fr. Miguel Murguia in 1774 and it was heavily damaged by a typhoon on January 17, 1875. Under the supervision of Fr. Jose Beloso, the current church was built rebuilt in 1884. By virtue of the National Historical Institute Resolution No. 3, the church was declared as a national historical landmark in 1997. The church is built in the Filipino Colonial Baroque style with Neo-Classical influence, is a grand structure of coral stone that is 70 meters long, 25 meters wide and 18 meters high. The walls are 3 meters (or about 10 feet) thick and the floor is covered with marble.. The pediment cascades gracefully down. The façade is ornamented with swags of flowers, niches and statuary. The bell tower to the left of the façade is simple in contrast to the façade. It base is planned as a quadrilateral but its upper stories are octagonal with the two sides longer than the other. To the church was attached an L-shaped convento, which had been ruined. Remnants of the covento have been incorporated into the present modern convento. Behind the church are remnants of a wall, which according to town lore was once a fortification. Attached to the sacristy is a large storage room, now converted into a Blessed Sacrament chapel.The interior was formerly divided into a central nave with flanking aisles, but in recent years, the wooden posts that marked the divisions were removed to improve sight lines to the altar. The wooden choir loft was also removed because it was damaged by termites, so were the wooden floors of the bell tower. In place the tower has an independent steel stairway that leads to the topmost floor. This floor has been reconstructed in reinforced concrete with coral stone facing. The roof of the church, already damaged by a storm in 1984 and subsequently repaired, was already in a dilapidated condition in 2000. Its wood work was rotten and was in danger of collapsing. The woodwork and roof have been replaced by a steel and galvanized iron structure. The church retains much of its original floor: terra cotta tiles, white marble and black slate as accents and for the sanctuary. The church has three altars in Baroque style. The retablo of the central altar has been painted over in silver and gold enamel, however, the side altars have hardly been touched and probably represent the original colors of the woodwork—primaries of blue, red, green, orange with gold leaf accents. These altars are unique for Latin inscriptions carved on roundels set in its reed thin columns. Behind Gospel side altar are remnants of decorative painting, also done in brilliant primaries.
Bell of the Church of Pan-Ay
Dako nga Lingganay (Big Bell)
This bell holds the record as the biggest Christian bell in Asia. It was cast from seventy (70) sacks of gold coins donated by the townspeople. The bell measuring 7 feet (2.1 m) in diameter, 5 feet (1.5 m) in height and weighing 10,400 kilograms (22,900 lb), was completed in 1878 by Doc Juan Reina, a town dentist and noted blacksmith.
An inscription on the bell reads:
“Soy la voz de Diosquellevare y ensalzaredesde el principio hasta el fin de este Pueblo de Panay para que los fieles de Jesus vengan a esta casa de Dios a recibirlas gracias celestials.” (Translated to English: “I am God’s voice which I shall echo and praise from one end to the other of the town of Panay, so that the faithful followers of Christ may come to this house of God to receive the heavenly graces.”)[6]
Calle Revolución
Calle Revolución is the second oldest street in the Philippines after Calle Colon in Cebu City.
Paseo de Evangelizacion
Paseo de Evangelizacion can be found in the town plaza and was erected through the efforts of Rev. Msgr. Benjamin F. Advincula. 1566 was the year the Spaniards arrived in the island of Panay and became the second Spanish settlement in the country next to Cebu.
Fuente de Vida
Fuente de Vida is an old Spanish well that was restored and is now one of the major places to visit in Panay. The well is made of coral stones just like the church and was a source of water during the Spanish era.


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Capiz". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Census of Population (2015): Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay (Report). PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Census of Population and Housing (2010): Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay (Report). NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Province of Capiz". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]