Published on : 09 February 20171 min reading time
Iloilo People from Iloilo are called Ilonggos. There are two local languages spoken in the province: Hiligaynon sometimes called Ilonggo, and Kinaray-a. Hiligaynon and variants of it are spoken in Iloilo city and a few towns of the province. Spanish architecture can be seen in old buildings in downtown Iloilo. Chinese Merchants and Indonesians were trading with the Ilonggos long before the Spaniards came. The ruling Spanish government encouraged these foreign merchants to trade in Iloilo but they were not given privileges like ownership of land. The Mestizo a class eventually was born from the intermarriages of the locals and Chinese merchants, Spanish with the local Melayu people. They later emerged as the ruling class of the Ilonggos (see Principalía). The town fiesta is one of the most important events for Ilonggos. Almost every town (municipality) in Iloilo has a fiesta and festival celebrated annually.