10 Things You Need To Know About Ilonggos

Aug 9, 2011 by

Like some kind of positive racism, Ilonggos are known to be malambing (gentle, soft-spoken). It is a quality that haunts any Ilonggo whenever they go to another city and are candidly asked to speak the Hiligaynon language. Apparently, the sing-song pattern/intonation of the language tickles the people who come from other regions.

Another form of identity attached to an Ilonggo is the kind that gets depicted in film and television: the atsay or housemaid identity. While it is true that a lot of Visayans (locally called Bisaya, a name technically exclusive to those who are Cebuano-speaking Visayans) move to Manila to work as househelp (submitting themselves to be called one name altogether: Inday), this does not define the Visayan peoples in general. In fact, our world from down here is far grander and more bizaare than what most cosmopolites are used to.

Sizing up an Ilonggo is perhaps one of the most difficult things anyone can attempt to do. What makes an Ilonggo an Ilonggo? What makes them unique? The long-winding history and physical and social elements come into play in shaping a true-blue Ilonggo. Of course, anyone who comes from somewhere would have the same, but for now, this blog is dedicated to Ilonggos in a simple kind of paradigm: A Guide to Understanding an Ilonggo.

1. Ilonggos are generally gentle. We speak softly. There is always a certain amount of meekness in the way we say things, and a smile usually accompanies it. The smiles are most often genuine, unless you are given the sarcastic treatment — which you would be able to sense too. This is one quality that never gets old and we take pride on this, lest we are challenged beyond tolerance.

The Ilonggo weaving women (photo courtesy of LIFE MAgazine from the Provincial Capitol of Iloilo archives)

2. Ilonggos are laid back. It is seldom that Ilonggos rush over work, or appointments or meals. They like things to go winding and taking it easy. It can be annoying to people whose idea of good food is take-out, but down here in Iloilo, we take our sweet time and it ain’t a bad thing because…

3. A lot of Ilonggos are rich. This part deserves an entirely separate blog to explain this bit of information, but to put it simply: Iloilo was the first Queen City of the South and was the center for trade and governance outside Manila. Iloilo has countless banks in every street and corner and families still keep the traditions of the old rich.

Downtown Iloilo ca 1930s (photo courtesy of LIFE Magazine from the Provincial Capitol of Iloilo archives)

4. Ilonggo women are beautiful — it’s like an “Inside-Out” kind of beauty. Add that quality to the genteel language and you get a Filipina as described in myth-like stories. As for the men, the Negrenses hold the title in terms of having more goodlooking males. Whether this has something to do with geography or the volcano, I have no idea.

Rice pounding during the early times (photo courtesy of the Provincial Capitol of Iloilo archives)

5. Ilonggos are the most discriminating foodies. Because good food is a way-of-life in Iloilo (even the poorest can manage to serve proper food to their families here), do not attempt to promise any earth-shaking food experience that you are not sure of. Although the typical Ilonggo would still compliment your food suggestion, you sure will be the next table topic once they get back to the comforts of their comidor.

6. Ilonggos have a difficulty showing appreciation to a particular performance. Clapping seems like a struggle. To make an Ilonggo crowd give a standing ovation is close to getting a miracle. This behavior can be attributed to the elitist quality that have been passed on from the Ilonggo familia regal systems.

7. Ilonggos never, ever show their real financial status with the way they dress or behave in public on a regular occasion. You would see millionaires walking downtown in short pants. Women who own lands of epic proportions do groceries at a wet market and would ride the jeepney. When in social gatherings, the old rich NEVER talk about their wealth and will not attempt to even give you a hint.

8. Ilonggos do not like being belittled. There is quite a good amount of pride running through our veins. Once this part is ticked, it can be dangerous. An outraged Ilonggo is very difficult to appease and are not easily forgiving.

9. Ilonggos are extremely stingy. In a good way, not too much of a Scrooge. They always say ang hirap ng buhay (life is difficult) – but really, that is more like a way of letting you know that you’re splitting the bill. In some places, lean months are pronounced (like August til September). In Iloilo it isn’t really an issue.

10. Ilonggos consider laughter as an assurance that everything is going to be alright. We have been through horrible times and have made it to the headlines, but we continue to celebrate the goodness of life and come together as a community of strong regional identity.

And another thing:

11. Ilonggos are very religious, prayerful and spiritual. I am not saying this just because we are the last stronghold of the Spaniards during the liberation thus acquiring an extraordinary loyalty to the doctrines of the church, but maybe that’s the kind of effect on anybody who comes from a family that equates being an Ilonggo to being religious too. It’s not a bad thing, so there.

The Jaro Tower and the Cathedral

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  1. RamirJM

    Proud to be Ilonggo, Bob! Btw, I like the 2nd and last pic. Classic. Once again, congrats, Bob!

  2. Sharon del Mundo

    Nice one Bob! Proud to be Ilonggo…
    Keep goin’!

  3. richard

    am so glad to read this..thanks for sharing Bob

  4. Great one Bob…! Proud to be Ilonggo…!Ü

  5. This is a good article to read Sir Bob! Makes me even more proud to be an Ilonggo ?

  6. GT

    Hi Bob,
    Just letting you know that I enjoy reading your blogs. You really do a great job with your site. Keep em’ coming Bob, good stuff!

    • bobby

      Thanks GT! Will try my best to come up with stories that would make you guys smile! Hope to see you soon! Cheers!

  7. FG

    By “In some places, lean months are pronounced (like August til September)”, you mean on the other side of the Guimaras strait.. hahaha

    Nice one.. :)

  8. JuAnN

    2, 4, 6 and all of the above.. Proud Ilonggo :)

    And I’ve also learned that when we were the Queen City of the South, it was really Queen’s City of the South (because of the old historical and antique churches and regal/elite houses around Iloilo).

    • oleg

      yes..true Juann…it is not Queen City of the South but the Queen’s City of the South in honor of Queen Regent Maria Cristina in October 1889 implying that the Queen’s favor rests upon the city.

  9. Nice ya Bob! Great article! Makes me want to show the whole Cebu what we really are! Haha

  10. The Boleyn Gal

    Hiligaynon is not a dialect but a language. Karay-a falls as a dialect under Hiligaynon as a language.

    • bobby

      Noted. Thanks for the helpful correction… :)

    • red

      Kinaray-a is a language as much as Hiligaynon is considered as one, and more often it’s a common misconception among few Hiligaynon speakers to say that Kinaray-a is a dialect of Hiligaynon. In truth these two belong to two different but related language subgroups.

      • bobby

        Thanks for the info. It has been noted in a previous comment by another linguist regarding the “language” as against “dialect” as a way to describe both. So yes, Kinaray-a is a LANGUAGE. :)

  11. Ilonggo’s simply Rocks!

  12. Ruben Cerbo

    I like it. Proud to be Ilonggo. Make it 11 things na. Not 10 (sa title) Tnx

  13. Isaiah Cabanero

    This is a wonderful read. It’s a more profound thing for me to say and to will myself always that I am rather an Ilonggo in true and pure identity, so proud of that; I’d say I am a Filipino only in nationality. The Ilonggo “race” is a genuine one. Ilonggo represent! Kudos!

  14. Anthony

    Number 4 is actually true, I’m in market research and we have a pretty big AB-income class.

  15. Doren Faith Alba

    Hi, bobby,
    I like your blog, it seems that i have forgotten my roots, when living in one distant country an ilonggo can adopt easily, being meek and a gentle spoken person has been hidden underneath in once persona, well by your blog i still can manage to put it back and one more thing, an ilonggo is linguist at birth, bisan diin ibutang nga lugar kag wala kabalo sing lenguahe duwa lng kabulan ang kinanlan for them to speak the basic language.

    Madamo gid nga salamat!!!!

    Sincerly Yours,

    • bobby

      That’s heartwarming to know, Doren. Thank you very much for appreciating my blog. I hope to create more inspiring entries for my fellow Ilonggos. Mabuhay ang mga Ilonggos! :)

  16. Sally Sobrepena

    It’s an interesting read, and I’m an Ilonga by heart although I grew up in Manila. When I was young, I used to look forward to my summer vacations in Iloilo to visit relatives and friends. I had a blast! But I don’t think #9 is true. Rather, it’s the opposite of what Ilongos are in terms of spending. They are not stingy at all (at least in my encounters with friends and relatives). I think you maybe referring to the Ilocanos, who are well known to be stingy, but they know how to save their money. The Ilongos will do everything to make their friends and relatives feel at home. In terms of the dialect, Hiligaynon, the cadence of the dialect is melodious to the ears especially to the non-native speakers but not submissive. I feel good being an Ilonga. Interesting article!

    • bobby

      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. :) I’m glad that in this simple way, I am able to reawaken your genuine Ilonggo heart… :) More power to you!

    • Ging Gumban Dimaano

      I agree with you Sally, with the exception of a few, Ilonggos are very generous!

  17. RJ

    Very proud of ur article.. Btw bob, can u email me ur personal data and can I have dis article print out in our newspaper in the UAE? Please do reply thru my email.. Thanks and God bless

    • bobby

      Really?! That is just awesome! I would be soooo honored if this article comes out in a UAE paper since my mom and several relatives are working there too! Will email you shortly! :)

  18. Ryan R

    this is a good read. enjoyed the pictures. Can you post more old-timey pictures?

    • bobby

      Thank you, Ryan! For more old timey pictures, please visit a website dedicated to the old glory of iloilo… facebook.com/oldiloilo

  19. carlo

    nice article gid..may what news diri sa uae?

  20. john

    what the author of this site posted is right. ilonggos despite being known to be very hospitable, even going out of their way to make sure that their guests feel at “home” are not spendthrifts or wasteful. while it is true that they would go all the way to welcome their visitors, they do just that without ending up like fools or resorting to extreme measures such as borrowing an inordinate amount of money just to impress or please the guest. they would offer the best that they have and they consistently show this all the time, irrespective of the identity or status of the people they act as host to. ilonggos are the visayan counterpart of the ilocanos. local dailies including panay news have even fashioned a term to describe ilonggos who are tightwads and love to eat alone: “a boxer”. this colloquial usage of the term (boxer) derives its meaning from the act of closing and wrapping tightly one’s fist (Kuyom in Hiligaynon) before it is capable of hitting/’boxing’ someone. To be a boxer symbolically implies one’s hesitation and reluctance to part with money which he earned from the sweat of his brow and by the dint of hard work. Ilocano politicians (just like what Panay News’ Lapsus Calami section has been consistently doing to greedy Ilonggo public servants and callous prominent figures from the community’s upper crust) have been labelled ‘boxers’ by the Ilocos press corps too. Hence, it followed, by the laws of logic (deductive/inferred) and association that these two become interchangeable. Ilocanos are the Ilonggos of the North and Ilonggos are the Ilocanos of the South b/c they both share the trait of parsimony.:)

  21. Thomas Haguisan Alger

    I saw this blog on my cousin’s FB page. Although I was born and partially raised in Manila until the age of nine, I am proud to say that after that, my siblings and I spent two years in Iloilo before leaving the country altogether. I returned 19 years later in 1998 for the Centennial and the great Delgado family reunion. Through my mother and father, I learned about my family. I am very proud to be Ilonggo. A Delgado from Sta. Barbara, a Haguisan from Dumarao, a Trimania from Talisay and an Alger from Alimodian. These are the families that make me what I am. This blog makes me proud and I will share this with my non-Ilonggo friends with lots of pride about our people. Sometimes at work, I would meet a Pinoy client and they would try to confirm if I was Filipino and I would jokingly tell them, no, I’m Ilonggo.

    • bobby

      Ilonggos, wherever they may be, remain connected to their roots by heart. Here’s hoping you could visit Iloilo again, Thomas! The landscape of the city has changed and Iloilo continues to grow as the Philippines’ next best thing! God bless you always! :)

  22. toto

    Proud ilonggo ini! Nice facts, i just want to add some:

    12. Ilongos are very educated individuals. During the spanish era, iloilo was 2nd to Manila in terms of having the most number of well educated people.
    13. Iloilo is the home of the most wealthy Filipinos during the early days, , proof is the concentration of Mansions in Jaro. Jaro is actually the mansion capital of the Philippines.
    14. Most of the Generals in the Armed Forces of the Philippines are Ilonggos.
    15. Ilonggos are religious but not as religious and fanatic as other people from other provinces, that is because ilonggos were never hard up during the early days, Iloilo is very rich in natural resources like rice, seafood and sugar. The Phillipines has long been the number one producer of sugar in the world, thanks to Negros and Iloilo.
    16. Ilonggos are the best seafarers in the world: 1 out every 5 seamen in the world is a Filipino, mostly Ilonggos!

    I was able to browse a book written by a certain Lopez in the national bookstore some years back, many interesting facts about Iloilo and Ilonggos were written there
    hope i remebered them correctly. Hala Bira Ilonggos!!!

    • bobby

      Thank you for the additional facts, Toto! Truly, the list can go on and on when it comes to enumerating the wonderful and interesting qualities of Ilonggos! Cheers! :)

    • jeprox

      17. Ilonggos are natural born athletes, Western Visayas (Region VI), powered by mostly Ilonggos is always a team to watch/beat in Palarong Pambansa. Region VI has consistently been a contender for the top spot of the event. Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo is the “Football Country” of the Philippines, before the Younghusbands of Philippine Azkals, Paulino Alcantara, an ilonggo is already a football legend in spain. He is the first Filipino and Asian player to play in a European club. He played in FC Barcelona and is the club all-time top-scorer.

      • bobby

        This is so true! I just realized that Iloilo has produced several sports stars. I should research more on this and perhaps write a full blog soon. Thanks for the idea! :) Will definitely credit you for this.

  23. dennis elias plana jr

    proud to be ilonggo by blood. proud to be witsonian. its been a while wala ako naka puli dra sa iloilo. damu na gid gin bg o kag nag uswag na, i will share this blog to all so that they will know what about our roots, Thanks for the blog, nice article enjoyed reading it.

  24. Clark Antiquiera

    Ilonggo is simply an Ilonggo.

  25. Ilonggos are such great people! I wish you had explained the mystery behind repetitive names, such as Iloilo, halo-halo etc :)

    • bobby

      Hello there, thanks for dropping by the blogsite. Just some quick info: ILOILO originally comes from the word “Ilong-Ilong” which is the local term for the word “Nose”. The term is derived from the fact that Iloilo has a river with a nose-shaped formation from a bird’s eye view. As for repetitive names/words (Halo-Halo, dingding, pangpang, bitbit, hadhad, etc), they are not entirely exclusive to Ilonggos/Hiligaynon. They are on a large-scale language use in the Philippines. :)

  26. lusay dellosa

    oh em! this is what i have been waiting for, sir bob. very true gd ini.

  27. norby

    Proud to be an Ilonggo..Iloilo ang banwa ko..daad magiririmaw taton liwan tuya sa iloilo.

    • Kat Guadalupe

      Daw indi ka man taga city gid kay ga kinaray a ka man! :)

      • Jun Genovea Gevela

        I noticed that kinaray-a speaking people when going to downtown city try their best to speak Ilonggo or Hiligaynon para lang hindi masabi na sila ay mga “buki”. Bakit? nakakahiya ba ang kinaray-a? Sa Maynila nga kinaray-a kung mag usap kami. Still I’m proud to be an Ilonggo, nga ang hambal ay KINARAY-A.

  28. Born and raised. Proud of where I come from. Never let other people look down on you for being an Ilonggo.

  29. Edzel Gonzaga Jereza

    you hit that nail right on the head sir! thank you for such an amazing read and entertaining/factual article on ilonggos……born and raised in jaro (jereza clan). i am a retired us navy servicemember and proud to have carried the ilonggo banner throughout my career and have met quite a few of our “kasimanwas” in every branch of the us armed forces….we are everywhere! more power to you sir and thank you again for the great read!

    • bobby

      The honor is mine, sir. Heroes like you who carry the Ilonggo banner in service deserve our gratitude and accolade. Looking forward to making more inspiring articles about Iloilo/Ilonggos for the world to know. God bless!

    • hi edzel, this is emil your former bandmate at cpu… i was so fortunate to see your name here… do keep in touch…

      • The Ilonggo speaking tone will tell you if they respect you or not without the “ho” or “po”. Pleasant to the ears gliding up and down without force – you are loved or endeared by the speaker. With a forced sound, it could be a sarcastic insult…still pleasant sounding but a warning…which may not be taken seriously by the other person until he surprised with an Ilonggo fist smack on the face.

  30. alejando SUBOC Cortez

    Iloilo ang Banwa ko na akun na hamut-an….paspas sa pag-uswag…

  31. Jun Zulueta

    Very good read…

  32. Luz del Mundo

    How would you explain this “trait” as exemplified by the following circumstances?
    In the run up towards the 2010 presidential election, more than a majority of the presidentiables were Ilonggos or had Ilonggo blood, namely, Manny Villar, Franklin Drilon, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Mar Roxas, Loren Legarda, Ping Lacson — that makes six (6) as against the non-Ilonggos – Noynoy Aquino, Jojo Binay,Chiz Escudero – three (3.

  33. Maize

    ….Very well defined qualities of Ilonggos…
    You may add for 12. Ilonggos dont easily trust anybody, but once you gain their trust, it will be lasting….

  34. Kat Guadalupe

    It’s very good to know that people like you took the time to write about the real story of Ilonggos. I am a proud one and all my vacation leaves are spent at Iloilo or Bacolod (see, I am a true-blood Ilonngo as i would like to refer myself) and sometimes I am a bit offended when people make fun of our intonation and more often than not they would comment “ay bisaya/ilonggo ka pala?”. And by their tone i can tell that there’s a slow-forming thought bubble saying: “parang katulad ng mga helpers or yung mga nakikipagsapalaran dito sa manila”. I have nothing against helpers and the latter, in fact i have a yaya before and I love her to death :) and I salute our kababayans that would leave their families and take their chances here so that they can support their families. I just don’t like the demeaning tone of some people. And in your blog you got 9 out 10 and I agree with some of the people who commented that no.9 is a bit off the wagon :) my tita personally is not like that, she and all of our relatives are generous when entertaining guests because they would love to know that their guests are having a great time and would have a memorable vacation. Readig your blog makes me miss Iloilo more even though I just came from a 9-day vacation from the lovely city. Please do blog more about our city. :) thank you for the good read! :))

  35. Maria Theresa Valencia McCurdy

    I am proud to be an Ilonggo – by birth and by blood. I am and will always be c”,)Nice article Sir Bob, thanks!

  36. Jay

    This is amazingly true. Ouu family came from iloilo and I am from Koronadal City in mindanao and this city has a lot of illonggos. The first settlers in my city were actually from iloilo. Although our hiligaynon is a bit different from the original. Our illonggo is less complicated as i described it because i had a conversation with a pure illonggo from iloilo once and some of the words were really new to my ears, although Ii can identify it as an illonggo word due to the meekness or intonations. I hope there are a lot of DEPITA clan members in iloilo.

  37. Krizzie

    Nice one! Sampat gid! Proud guid ang mga Ilonggo nga makabasa sini. :)

  38. And I felt like you were describing me in this blog post. Proud Ilonggo always and forever! If I can choose my home again and again, I wouldn’t exchange Iloilo for anything in the world.

  39. Myra Mila

    Thank you so much Bobby for sharing this wonderful.. great article. God bless and more power! Forever proud of our Ilonggo heritage and my being true blooded Ilongga! :)

    • bobby

      Thank you so much! Will keep working on more interesting blogs that will show the wonderful spirit of Ilonggos. :)

  40. #6 is definitely true! We don’t usually go gaga over artistas and celebrities. We appreciate them but, in general, we are not fanatical.

  41. item 11 is oh so very true… if you’re a shutterbug, you can spend a month in panay island just taking 100s of church facades… and they are really magnificent… although the best picturesque church for me is miag-ao church which is considered as one of unesco’s heritage site… congratulations to the blogger… maayo gid ang imo site…

    • bobby

      Thank you very much, sir! Looking forward to seeing you visit the site more often… :)

  42. hydee

    yes,proud to be Ilonggo,my daughter still can speak fluently even karay a.although been out of the country for 9 yrs. na.

  43. Mae

    Truly indeed TRUE… I’m proud to be an Ilonggo!
    Two thumbs Up!!!

  44. Proud Ilonggo!!! Love the write up!

    • bobby

      Thanks Jed! But hey, YOU MAKE US ALL EVEN PROUDER!!! We support you in everything that you do and we pray you will go a very very long way! More power to you!

  45. NJ

    Iloilo is a great city.

    #100 – Ilonggo’s don’t want to ride old jeepneys because we have great great ones (Pang biyaheng parola lang yung luma :) We pimp our jeepney’s to the max and like no others. The francisco, the lowered, the starex head, honda head, mercedez head, stainless … name it we have it.

    • bobby

      That’s one aspect of Iloilo I also would like to write about: jeepneys! :)

  46. Alfie Matalubos

    Hi Sir Bob, salamat sa gin post mu ngA impormasyun…ako proud gid nga illongo sa tinuga kg dugo..oo sakto gid sir bob ang 10 ka butang para sa mga ilonggo..
    Godspeed kag tani damu pa gid ang mabutang mu sa blog nga ini para ang mga ga obra sa iban nga pungsod madula ang pagkahidlaw sa ila mga pinalangga..

    Pirme na ako mag open diri nga blog para pirme lang ako updated..
    kag sir bob mahambal ko nga ginabugal ko bilang isa ka ilonggo ay ang pagiging FAMILY ORIENTED gd….

    Salamat salamat salamat liwat sir bob…godbless

    • bobby

      Thank you so much, Alfie! I’ll continue to try my best to come up with more uplifting articles/stories about Iloilo and about being an Ilonggo… :) Keep visiting Myiloilo.net :)

  47. jun roa

    Baskug gid man mga ilonggo,biskan sa tikalay indi kita ya papyerde. =) Proud to be in the City of Smile…

  48. dagul

    I am proud to be an Ilonggo.Bugal ko gid na ang Iloilo ang banwa ko…this is a great article..Keep it up..Hope to read more of your blogs!!!Cheers!!!

  49. Jun Tabao

    I am proud to be an Ilonggo. My mother is a pure Ilongga while my father is an Ilocano. But I was born in Iloilo and finished high school. Though I spend most of my life in Manila, my values of being an Ilonggo are inherent. Until now I am still soft spoken. And I don’t care what other people say and I am proud of my diction. Kudos to your article.

  50. Jesi Gerardino

    Thanks for this blog… keep it going, more power!! I am proud to be Ilonggo.

  51. Theresa Sasi

    Im proud to be an Ilonggo and everytime i speak tagalog they know that im from Iloilo,so malambing my voice..I missed Lapaz batchoy,halohalo and ibos….Thank you Bob,i love reading your article…

  52. Mark

    I’m proud to be an ilonggo

  53. Sansue

    Sir Bobby,
    Thank you for the article. It just confirmed what I teach at Iloilo City Community College. I teach Ilonggo Cultural Heritage. Though born in Molo, I grew up in Manila. I am glad that since my return in Iloilo I have regained my Ilonggo intonation. However, whenever I am with Tagalogs, I readily shift back to that harsh sounding tone of voice.
    Anyway, may I add my opinion why Negrense seem to be goodlooking than those in Iloilo– I think it is because Negros was inhabited or rather populated by immigrants from Iloilo who were Mestizos (both Spaniard and of European descent). Remember that during the sugar boom , the wealthy families bought lands and some even permanently transferred and built their mansion in Negros. That’s a historical fact.

  54. Bong

    Proud to be called Ilongga! It gave a good feeling always when identified as Ilonggo … wherever when one know you’re an Ilonggo speaking, automatic they will speak in dialect, and i find this attitude very heartwarming <3

  55. nelly

    Definitely Ilongga!

  56. liz

    We need more of this Bob. Thank you for this. People need to know…bout the classy Ilonggos, great academicians and politicians as well…home of the Lopezes too.

  57. Janna Marie Sia

    No. 6 is definitely true. I’m smiling while reading it. Even artists from Manila can prove this. :)

  58. absolutely true, especially number 5. ilonggos are really the most discriminating food critic. it shows, actually, in their food. if you haven’t tried ilonggo food before, you might never leave: from their posh restaurants to the lowly batchoyan, inasalan or patahan, they always manage to serve exquisite food. i tried it 14 years ago, and i never left.

  59. Jean

    Basta Ilonggo kg Ilongga gwapo kag gwapa ;)
    Proud gid ko nga naghalin ko sa City of Love, Iloilo. Pero daw wala gd may nagahambal Ilonggo di aw?!? (mangkot mn lang ha!) Ipalapnag ang aton hambalanon nga tinawhan bisan nagaduyan, kanami lang pamatin-an :D
    Salamat gd Bob sa pagpaintindi sang aton ginhalinan. Tubtub sa liwat mo nga blog.
    Keep it up!

  60. Janice Vina G. Dotimas

    Hi Bob!
    Thank you for this article! Hidlaw man ko sang Iloilo ba! I was born in Fabrica, Negros Occidental. Ti, am I considered Ilonggo man?

    • benedict manalo cachumbo

      houd te. ilongga gd ikaw ya. parehas sa aqn. i came from hinigaran neg. occ:)

  61. Moon Cake

    I’m from the Southern Philippines and have lived in Iloilo for almost 5 years now and this article is quite a hit and miss based on my own personal observations. But kudos since it’s well written. :)

  62. Jebb

    Ilonggo gid ko ah. :)

  63. Numbers’ 6-10 is so me! Though I’m half ilonggo, I’m super proud of my rich maternal family’s heritage. Thank you for posting this!

  64. CEnda Narvaez

    Gai ko man nga amo ko sini kay..true Ilonggo gid ko gali. Damo damo gid nga salamat for this. Indi man ko old rich..the rest best describe ma. :-)

  65. gabriel summer abeja

    tama. maski diri ako gibata sa general santos city pero by heart ilonggo gid. my nanay always keep telling me how beautiful the place is and same with the people there… thank you for additional info about the ilonggos…

  66. Laarni A. Ortega

    Sir Bob your write ups always never fail to deliver and hit the meat of the matter. I’m a frequent reader of your blog. But this, I can’t help but leave a note, you made me love even more my individuality as an Ilongga. Thank God you’re a fellow Ilonggo.

    Keep on inspiring us Sir!

  67. chico

    Maayo gid nga blog.. salamat sa pag tanaw sa mga positive na mga perception sang ilonggo!.. makabulig gid ni sa mga tawo para makilala kung diin gid sila nag halalin.. :) kodus para simo! :D

  68. Ryan Amantillo

    I really don’t read article or blogs or whatever they call it… But this one is a must read. Congratulations to you!

  69. Neonita Arenga Burns

    Thank you Bob for the blog. Well said and a very good read. Very proud to be an Ilonggo!

  70. E. Celeste

    Proud to be an ilongga!!! Ipadayaw gid ina naton!!

  71. arlene franco bonete

    Great one, Bob;)

  72. Julie Ann Esungga

    So true! This article made me realized how much I’ve been missing my hometown, Iloilo. Missing the serenity of the beaches which are very accessible wherever you are in Iloilo. The food which reveals the history of an Ilonggo and most of all, the people who are known to be sweet and “mapinalangga-on.” Only a born Ilonggo has this innate quality. :)

    ILOILO ang banwa ko!

    Thank you and Thumbs up, Sir Bob!

  73. Daniboi Perez

    I was made and born in Mindanao. But my parents originate from Iloilo. My father came from Pototan while mama came from Dingle. Reading this article made me proud of being an Ilongo. Bisan malaka lang kami makabalik kag makabakasyon dira sa Ilolo, pero wala kmi nagakalipat sa pagsugilanon sang Hiniligaynon. Tama ka tuod nga ang mga Ilongo mapinalanggaon kag matinahuron, mga matahom ang mga lin-ay sang Iloilo. Relihiyuso kag indi sang daluk. Kag nagatuman sang iya ginapaaad. Salamat gid Sir Bob sa article mo. Kabay pa nga ang aton Diyos magbugay sa imo kag sa imo pamilya sang maayo na panglawas kag bugana na bag-ong tuig.

  74. Rham Ternura

    WOW ILOILO,,,PROUD to be an ILONGGO,,,hala bira ILOILO

  75. Eugene Vince

    Lingaw gid ko diri maglantaw sang blog nyo ba! Igo gid sa patad ya gid ang pagdescribe sang isa ka ilonggo. God Bless and More power to this blog!! Proud to be an Ilonggo

  76. Kaye Fabronero

    Hi Sir Bob!

    I keep on reading this article over and over again with a smile on my face. This, sir, is a direct (in my opinion) hit especially with number 6. I do often find myself not applauding to some concerts held here.
    I shared this article to some of my foreign friends and I am waiting for their reactions/opinions.
    I would dearly like for you to write another blog about the “old rich”. I am enjoying your articles immensely!

  77. Joe Walshe

    Delighted to find this blog. I am flying from Ireland to Iloilo next week and wanted to learn more about the place. Everything I have read here makes me happy to be going there.

  78. Edison Molanida

    Hahahahaha! Many of what was said here are true. These are good pointers for formal studies on Ilonggo character. Evident here were mostly observable traits. We need to dig deeper to truly authenticate the Ilonggo culture.

  79. Victor Parina

    When I left Iloilo at the age of 16 and studied at Adamson University, Manila, My classmates were amazed of my Ilonggo accent during recitation. Because of that, i received invitations from different fraternity. They have high regards and RESPECT sa aton nga mga Ilonggo. Isn’t it amazing? Ang sarap maging Ilonggo. Hambal sang mga Iloggo, Amo gani nga ari kita dire sa ila lugar kay makasarang kita.

  80. jenalie lacerna salt

    ay kanami gid ah,reading thru the thread,baw madumduman ta man ang gin halinan ta ba,amo gani na ang ginasiling nga bisan diin ka pa ya kalab-ot kon ilonggo ka ilonggo ka gid ya.luxury,affluence even nationalized at another country deep down sa taguipusuon ilonggo sa guihapon…

  81. Rhoda

    This is great! I am very proud to be an Ilongga and I thank you for sharing this here! Gogogogogogo…!

  82. nonoy p.

    yes it is a fact, panay has one of the highest middle income class in the whole philippines.

  83. chad b

    I just recently visited Iloilo after being away for over 20years and I had a fantastic time with reconnecting with both my family in Molo and Barotac Nuevo. The hospitality that was shown was beyond my expectations and the changes in the city has been quite amazing. I understand more improvements are slated in the next year due to the upcoming APEC Summit in 2015.
    I really enjoyed reading this article and must admit that I wasn’t aware of some of the traits that are “exclusively” Ilonggo. I like the part about us being so discriminating when it comes to food. That is so true and we bring that with us wherever we go and with whatever food are being introduced to us. I particularly loved our Binakol na Manok and probably will make an attempt to make it here.
    I also agree with your point on not “showing off” that we have money. I like that very humbling and modest trait that we have in us. And it is true that we are, in general, good with money. Not necessarily what others may call tightwads but more like financially conscientious. My family took me out to dinners where I did not even have to pay a single centimo and in some occasions, they wouldn’t even want me to pull out my wallet to pay for anything (i.e. shopping). I did take them out to a nice restaurant on our last night there.
    Your entire article is very enlightening and educational, and I must commend you for this. It was overall an interesting read. By the way, I saw this because of a Facebook group Ilonggo Sa Amerika (I.S.A).
    Madamo gid nga salamat!

  84. Rose

    Sorry but I don’t agree with #9. Ilonggos are responsible spenders. They are very hospitable and will go out of their way to treat their guests right – giving the best of what they have. What the Ilonggos won’t do is buy beyond their means to impress someone. They realize that money is hard earned and must be spent responsibly. That does not make them stingy. They Live within their means :)

  85. Bok

    Very well said!
    I’m guilty from 1 to 11.
    Number 5 is so me! Hehe

  86. Ilonggos are very clannish, my mother from the north and my father from the south, when i visit any of these province…. you can trace your family line easily, and almost everyone is “pariente”

    • rheeno

      I. gree that we are clannish. Even if many of my rrlatives have been living in Manila for decades, clans and lineage are still well regarded. (I tend to be very clannish at times, too.)

  87. When I transferred to Cebu people are always commenting on how I gently speak. I dunno if it’s a compliment or not but it’s always flustering to be asked “you’re Ilonggo” when you just wanna buy food. Great blog.

  88. Lize Velez

    I am from Iloilo…a real Ilonggo…and I am very proud for that….just wondering…a lot of other provinces..claiming..they are also an Ilonggo…confusing….

  89. rheeno

    Daw nabitîn ko ah. Haha. Salamat sa pagsulat sini kag isa man ako nga nagapabugal nga Ilonggo. I think we are proud people (in a good way) because we have so many things to be proud of. When foreigners and other people ask me what languages I speak, I always indicate that my two native tongues are Kinaray-a and Hiligaynon. Oh and my Tagalog friends are really amazed by our accent, they love it. And the food, too. Haha

  90. agatha

    My late mother hails from Iloilo and this post is spot-on!!! I was not born in the Philippines but I have been to Iloilo as a teenager, and I am so due to return.

    • bobby

      Much has changed in Iloilo and they’re all good. I hope you can come again and visit this city! Cheers!

  91. cecile parian pillena

    I am so proud to be an ilonggo ! Thank you for posting this. Been residing in manila for yrs now but i always go back to my roots everytime i have time. Even my two daughters love te place,they understand kinaray-a and speak a little of it, ” lengua franca ” ,they love the ilonggo expressions. I disagree with # 7 tho. Maybe that speaks for the real, old rich, but the noveau rich kung kis- a gaparamdam gid nga may ara sila,hehe,tikal ba. But generally , sakto gid man nga ang ilonggos di mahalata nga may ara sila.
    Thanks again for this. Mr. bobby!

  92. paul treseler

    Your anthro dissertation on the Ilonggos culture is most heartfelt. I appreciate honesty, and wit. Very good old man.
    I am trying to make a plan to come down this year. And I really like you telling it like it is. Hahah. I feel very comfortable now to walk down the street in Bacolod and fit in better.
    I was in Luzon years ago for a magazine and did not have much opportunity to really feel the people. The food I went all out, not the human end of the experience.
    Anyways, cool site/pages/post.

    • bobby

      Hello Paul,

      Thank you for leaving a rather wonderful comment (I haven’t received such a personal-sounding comment in a while from this site). And for that, Thank You again. It would be wonderful to help you see the city if you ever decide to come down and visit Iloilo. Just drop me a message via my email address rl.rodriguezph@gmail.com

      Many thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

  93. Rose Ann N. Torrico

    I am also an ilonggo, but i don’t have enough idea what really ilonggo are capable of, for any aspect. So, a lot of thanks for your blog Mr. Bob. :)

  94. J

    Nice blog Bob! My company is assigning me to our Iloilo site and it will be for years. Im looking forward to meeting new friends in Iloilo and to enjoying the place as a whole.

  95. helen

    it so nice even it is just a little information, i connect my self with some of those things i have read, i am also ilonggo but i was born and grow in davao.

  96. Rj

    Bugal ta ni bilang ilonggo d naton pag higkuan kag ikahuya kng dn man kita makalab ot… Proud to be ilonggo…Nami nga balasahon,ga tindog man balahibo ko.salamat gd,pang..kng cno da gusto mag pa tattoo sa or anything bsta art.. Manuel jucar ngalan no sa fb. Salamat sa blog mo pang.

  97. FedEx

    I hope you don’t leave out the Ilonggos in South Cotabato. We may be in Mindanao but our umbilical cord are tightly tied to Panay and Negros. We are very proud Ilonggos and will not relinquish our beloved Ilonggo to the fast-encroaching Cebuanos in the area. We are a breed of our own in a largely Cebuano-speaking communities around the area. We stand tall and proud to be Ilonggo of South Cotabato. Sad to say that there are people from Panay who do not know that Ilonggo is the lingua franca in South Cotabato and forums like this seldom mention our province.

    I now live in Canada and been here half of my life, but my being Ilonggo runs deep. I sang our classic lullabies, “Lumabay Labay Nga Daw Aso”, “Sa Higad Sinang Bukid”, “Dandasoy”, “Ili-Ili Tulog Anay”, etc., to my daughter to put her to sleep in her younger days (and I still do)to instill in her my Ilonggo identity. When talking to her, I would switch between Ilonggo and English but never in Tagalog. Although she struggles to speak in Ilonggo, she has a few Ilonggo phrases here and there when talking to me. Hopefully, she will feel connected to my people and carry the Ilonggo torch in her adult life.

    • Wave Doromal

      -inspiring indeed. proud of you. proud of us all Ilonggo.

  98. benedict manalo cachumbo

    hello sir bob. tnx for this wondrful article bout ilonggo :)
    pls continue making articles like this po. because of this art.

  99. mark

    ilonggo’s mostly are nice…however, i noticed that a lot of ilonggos love to make up stories they cannot back up…of course it’s a characteristic of an individual… but it’s mostly obvious to ilonggos. hence the quote, “basta ilonggo tikalon” or “gapiko-gapala”. i used to not believe that just because i don’t want to see myself as racist… but having observed a number of friends and people i know who are ilonggo, they really tend to brag and create stories…ex. i’m buying this and that and those and these… natapos na lang ang taon ni isa wala pa nangyari… then pag me mga bagong pinapakilala pa-impress…sila ang nanlilibre at sky is the limit pero pag sa mga kaibigan na parang hirap na hirap magbunot ng pera. this may not apply to all, but to most ilonggos i know… that’s how it goes…

  100. Wave Doromal

    -Just found this site and will share this site to all of my friends. Have a good one. Dakbanwa. The Queen’s City of the South”.

  101. Liza Sayonar

    # 6.Ilonggos have a difficulty showing appreciation to a particular performance. Clapping seems like a struggle. To make an Ilonggo crowd give a standing ovation is close to getting a miracle. hehehe Ilonggos really is a high standard people.

  102. Ilonggos are one of the reasons why I love Iloilo :) They are very accommodating and they are very kind. So, I thought that I want to live in a place full of people like them. So, when I am searching for a place to stay here in iloilo, a friend of mine suggested that Megaworld will soon be rising their newest condominiums and she told me to visit this site: iloilocondominiums.com . You guys could visit that too :)

  103. Lee

    #7 is very true. As for the #6, i didn’t know about this one. :D Great article Bob!

  104. elsie italia

    I could not help but smile (and laugh) at some descriptions. So apt! Thank you! I like your old pictures and asking your permission to use them in a research I am doing…

  105. Mae

    Congrats!Please allow me to use your blog in my class.I will let my students learn more about Ilonggo people.

  106. Nimia Fitzpatrick

    Always proud of Iloilo; Always proud to be Ilongga.

  107. Agustin H. Cartagena

    6. Ilonggos have a difficulty showing appreciation to a particular performance. Clapping seems like a struggle. To make an Ilonggo crowd give a standing ovation is close to getting a miracle. This behavior can be attributed to the elitist quality that have been passed on from the Ilonggo familia regal systems.

    galalaway gid ko sini sang kadlaw :) :) :)……and it is soooo true!

    kada sakay ko sa cebu pacific may ara sila hampang. the stewardess reads the mechanics of the game and asks the passengers for a sign of approval if the instructions are clear. “raise your hands if it is ok” i look around and could only see 5 or 6 ilonggos raised their hands. when somebody wins, they’ve ask for a round of applause….there you go…maybe only 3 ilonggos clapped their hands.

  108. Tania

    But in reality, to name a few, some ilonggo, ilongga’s are prone to infidelity.

  109. Carla Conejar

    My father is Ilonggo. Conejar, Cortuna, Rentoy, Armada. Yes, Spanish origin. And I am proud of having a dad na Ilonggo. Malalambing sila kahit galit malambing parin yung tono ????

  110. Scott A Farmer

    I have recently become engaged to an Illongo girl. I see so many of these traits within her. It was a great read and very relatable.

  111. sunset



  1. Food Places Along E. Lopez Jaro | Feature - […] Please allow me to quote: “Ilonggos are the most discriminating foodies. Because good food is a way of life …

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