Pavia, Iloilo

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Municipality of Pavia
Seal of Municipality of Pavia, Iloilo
Map of Iloilo showing the location of Pavia
Map of Iloilo showing the location of Pavia
Pavia is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°46′30″N 122°32′30″E / 10.775°N 122.5417°E / 10.775; 122.5417Coordinates: 10°46′30″N 122°32′30″E / 10.775°N 122.5417°E / 10.775; 122.5417
Country  Philippines
Region Western Visayas (Region VI)
Province Iloilo
Legislative district 2nd district of Iloilo
Founded 1848
Barangays 18
 • Mayor Michael B. Gorriceta
 • Vice Mayor Michael Gumban
 • Congressman Arcadio H. Gorriceta
 • Total 27.15 km2 (10.48 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 55,603
 • Density 2,000/km2 (5,300/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Pavianhon
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 5001
IDD:area code +63 (0)33

Pavia is a second-class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 55,603 people.[3]

Pavia is the smallest municipality in terms of area in Iloilo, covering only 2,715 hectares (6,710 acres).[2] The municipality is the Regional Agro-Industrial Center for Western Visayas and is located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Iloilo City.

The Catholic church, currently undergoing restoration, is similar to one in Pavia, Italy.[4]


How the town got its name is unclear, and has long been disputed. One theory has it that the name came from a certain Colonel Pavia of the Spanish garrison in Iloilo who was supposedly responsible for initially establishing a Spanish presence in the area. Others believe that the name is a Spanish corruption of the Hiligaynon word biya-biya, as the area was originally considered a neglected patch of land that served mostly as a camping ground for city sophisticates and absentee landlords. Others claim that the town was named after a Spanish governor-general, Manuel Pavia y Lay, Marquis of Novaliches, who eventually became a priest after his short tenure in the Philippines from 1853-1854. However, the more credible theory seems to be the overlooked fact that the town's religious well-being was placed under the jurisdiction and supervision of the friars of the Augustinian Order, and they simply named the place in honor of the town of Pavia, Italy, where the founder of their order, Saint Augustine, was buried.[5]

The last theory seems to be supported by circumstantial historical evidence: it was also in 1862 that an independent parish dedicated to Saint Monica was established by an Augustinian friar, Policarpio Minayo. But it was only in 1889 when construction of the famous brick church—as it now stands—began. It was envisioned and built in the Byzantine style, with Romanesque design elements. Two Greek crosses dominate the facade, and the transept is round set against the rear wall. It is unique in the whole of Panay Island, as it is the only church built entirely of red brick, inside and out. Quite significantly, the church design was apparently inspired by the ancient royal arched basilica of San Michele Maggiore in Pavia, Italy—minus the front columns.


Pavia was settled by Malays and later by Chinese approximately between the 15th and 16th centuries, according to archeological work at a Chinese burial ground in Cabugao Sur. The settlement had an estimated population of 200 to 400.[6]

Pavia was officially established in 1848, during the Spanish Colonial Era, by thirteen landowners in what used to be a “camping place”, a “settlement place” or an “abandoned place”.

Pavia became a part of Sta. Barbara in 1901 and then in 1904 part of Iloilo City. In 1907, Pavia, together with Leganes, Iloilo and Jaro seceded from Iloilo City to become the suburb Jaro. Petronilo Gumban governed Pavia from 1916 until his election as Presidente Municipal of Jaro in 1920. In 1921, Pavia led by Delfin Gumban became an independent municipality.


Pavia is politically subdivided into 18 barangays.[2]

  • Aganan
  • Amparo
  • Anilao
  • Balabag
  • Purok I (Pob.)
  • Purok II (Pob.)
  • Purok III (Pob.)
  • Purok IV (Pob.)
  • Cabugao Norte
  • Cabugao Sur
  • Jibao-an
  • Mali-ao
  • Pagsanga-an
  • Pandac
  • Tigum
  • Ungka I
  • Ungka II
  • Pal-agon


Population census of Pavia
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1903 5,700 —    
1939 8,918 +1.25%
1948 9,637 +0.87%
1960 11,258 +1.30%
1970 13,745 +2.01%
1975 15,180 +2.01%
1980 17,330 +2.68%
1990 23,814 +3.23%
1995 26,756 +2.21%
2000 32,824 +4.48%
2007 39,275 +2.51%
2010 43,614 +3.89%
2015 55,603 +4.73%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][7][8][9]

In the 2015 census, the population of Pavia, Iloilo, was 55,603 people,[3] with a density of 2,000 inhabitants per square kilometre or 5,200 inhabitants per square mile.


Pavia is famous for "baye baye," a by-product of rice made from the newly harvested palay. Baye-baye is a sweet Ilonggo delicacy made from scraped young coconut meat, sugar and pinipig.[10]

Its century-old pottery industry especially in Brgy. Pandac(Pik- Pik Koron) and Jibao-an still survives amid flower and bonsai gardens. Pottery makers made pots (coron), firewood-fired stoves (sig-ang), drinking jars (banga) and water containers (tadyaw) using the open pit firing method.[11]

Local government[edit]

Michael B. Gorriceta is the present mayor.[1]

List of former municipal mayors[edit]

The different Presidente Municipal (equivalent to Municipal Mayor now) who had served Pavia.

  • Delfin Gumban (1921–1924) – known to be Pavia’s Father of Independence
  • Domingo Guillem (1924–1927)
  • Simplicio Hechanova (1927–1934)
  • Pacifico Jabonillo (1934–1942)
  • Buenaventura Gumban (1942–1945) Resistance Civil Government
  • Cornelio Gumban (1942–1945) Japanese Government
  • Juan de Dios Gonzaga (1945–1946)
  • Luzon Gumban (1946–1952)
  • Vicente Gerochi (1952–1955)
  • Florencio Hisole (1956–1959)
  • Gerardo Gorriceta (1960–1971)
  • Nelson Gumban (1972–1986)
  • Felix Gorriceta, Jr. (1986–1994)
  • Rogelio Trimanez (1994–1995) serving the unexpired term of Mayor Gorriceta
  • Felix Caronongan, Jr. (March 1995 - June 1995)
  • Ervin G. Gerochi (1995–2004)
  • Arcadio Gorriceta (2004–2013)
  • Michael B. Gorriceta (2013–present)


Carabao-Carroza Race[edit]

Pavia, since 1973, holds the Carabao-Carroza Race Festival every 3 May. The Carabao is made the "king" for a day, and the race features carabaos each pulling a bamboo sled or "carrosa" on a 400-meter course.[12] Carrozas with native designs are also paraded as part of festivities. The Carabao-Carroza Festival is the oldest festival in Iloilo.

Tigkaralag Festival[edit]

The Tigkaralag festival is the “only festival of its kind” in the region celebrated in consonance with All Souls’ Day. The term “TIGKARALAG” comes from Ilonggo words, “tig” which means “season of” and “kalag” which means”soul”. Participants from the 18 barangays wear tigkaralag costumes and parade themselves from Brgy. Aganan to the town’s plaza for a dance-drama competition with a storyline reflective of Tigkaralag. Held every 30th day of October, the festival was conceived by Cecilia H. Capadosa in 1992.[13][14][15] Recently, Baye-baye night was included as a side event of the festival in celebration on one of the town's industry, the Baye-baye.

Pavia Parish Church[edit]

Pavia Parish Church, popularly known as Sta. Monica Parish Church is a century-old church built by the Spanish Augustinian Fathers sometime in 1862. Its interior and exterior walls are made entirely of red-bricks, making it the only existing brick-constructed church in the island of Panay. This church is similar to the church of the town’s namesake, Pavia in Italy.


  1. ^ a b "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Province: Iloilo". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Census of Population (2015). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  4. ^ paviachurchrestore : Pavia Church Restoration
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Census of Population (1995, 2000 and 2007). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City and Municipality. NSO. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Province of Iloilo". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Iloilo Festivals and Events
  13. ^, Tigkaralag Pavia Style
  14. ^ Official Website
  15. ^ Iloilo Festivals - The List of Festivals and Fiestas in Iloilo for the Year

External links[edit]