Sunday, August 21, 2016

Passi: Sweet City and More

pineapple plantations in Barangay Bita-ogan, Passi City

Passi, the only component city of Iloilo was originally an area of refuge for Malay migrants long before the arrival of the Spaniards. In 1766, it was organized as a pueblo. It became a component city in January 30, 1998 through Republic Act 8469 signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos.


sugarcane chimney in Barangay Sto. Tomas
Passi City prides itself as the “Sweet City at the Heart of Panay” because of its vast plantations of sugarcane and pineapple.  Not known to many, the title rests on the foundation of a rich cultural heritage.

Sugar farming was so profitable that plantations grew everywhere in Passi and its neighboring towns. Sugar Cane was a highly profitable and prosperous activity and was known to be the backbone of our economy. The surrounding plantations provide livelihoods for many of its residents. The town's surrounding attractions showcase the area's intimate relationship with this crop. Many sugar estates, as a prestige symbol, raised sugar mill chimneys. The sugarcane fields were flourishing and sugar were produced in the grounds of these chimneys. With time, however, there was a decline in sugarcane production because of low demand. 


Chinese chimney in Barangay Imbang Grande
These chimneys were operating in full force during the agricultural heyday. The old red brick chimney areas became overgrown and structures deteriorated rapidly. These ruins are a familiar sight to all driving along sugarcane plantations in the area.The existing Passi Sugar Central II in Barangay Man-it reminds visitors of an industry still dominating the area.

CPU tourism students for their Tumandok field work posing in front of the Balete tree

Along the sugarcane plantations in Barangay Imbang Grande stands a historic Balete tree  said to be the biggest of its kind in Passi, because of its gigantic structure it would take around 20-25 men to encircle its huge trunk. Though people believe that it is a dwelling place of a supernatural being, it has become an attraction for many who are drawn to its massive root system. It had become a popular spot to take souvenir photos and had served as a wonderful shade for everyone passing by the barangay.

Passi Presidencia, old Municipal Hall finished in 1930

The Passi Presidencia also known as the old Municipal Hall was completed in 1930 under Former Mayor Jose Paloma. This 2-storey white building with wooden floors houses the Passi City Gallery where it showcases old photos, coins and info about historic Passi. The gallery is joined by the Special Project Office of the City Mayor and the Population Commission. The ground-floor is occupied by the Post Office, Commission on Elections, Parole, City Registrar and Department of Agrarian Reform.

CPU tourism students exploring Bita-ogan cave
Get your daily dose of adrenalin by exploring the city's most important feature --- its caves. It is home to Tinay and Bitas caves situated in Barangay Imbang Grande; Cueva ni Musyo in Barangay Bayan; Erimnat Maya, Cuadrado and Suhoton caves found in Barangay Agtambo; Irimnan It Maya Spring cave, Santos, Baboy-baboy, Amorotik and Tubigon caves in Barangay Magdungao; Cabugon cave in Barangay Imbang Grande; Ninfa and Kweba ni Wening caves in Barangay Aglalana; Ibajay Cave in Barangay Bacuranan and Bita-ogan cave in Barangay Bita-ogan.

Iloilo is a beautiful province that attracts local and foreign visitors each year. There are too many less popular travel destinations in Iloilo that are often underrated and overlooked and Passi City is one of them.


chimney in Barangay Quinagaringan Pequeno
The component city of Passi is 50 kilometers away or an hour and twenty-five  minutes away from Iloilo City. It is located along the Central portion of the province using the Iloilo-Capiz National Highway.  Made up of 51 barangays over a land area of 25,068 hectares, it annually celebrates its cultural festival every March and Religious Festival every February in honour of San Guillermo.

For sightseeing, Passi has guided tours that explore nature, culture and adventure. You can visit the City Tourism Office under Miss Gina Palmares – City Tourism Officer at (033) 3115087/ 3116072. Visitors to Passi City can take the bus at the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Kamalig, Jaro, Iloilo City. 


chimney in Barangay Agtambo
Know more about Passi and its offerings on the 12th TUMANDOK, a Tourism Month celebration on September 22-25, 2016 at the fountain area of Robinsons Place Iloilo. The event is organized by the Provincial Culture, Arts, History and Tourism Office of the Iloilo Provincial Government in partnership with the Department of Tourism Region VI, the Iloilo Tourism Officers Association, Inc. and Robinsons Place Iloilo. The event is also brought to you by  Central Philippine University - College of Hospitality Management, Tinukib, Department of Trade and Industry and The Daily Guardian.

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