ILOILO City, for the first time, will celebrate its 73 years of existence with more than a month of special events highlighted by a grand civic military parade on August 25.

The City Government is commemorating the events that depict the Ilonggos charm, hospitality and love for life, said Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

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Iloilo is an old city that rose from the Spanish period, but flourished in the American period and suffered but survived during the Japanese time up to its present status as a highly urbanized and respected regional capital of Western Visayas.

Mabilog said remnants of past regimes are preserved by the Ilonggos as grim reminder of the past, present and future of the city of hard working people, with a languorous language and commitment to development.

The city that Ilonggos take pride as their home today was used to be known to the rest of the world as "La Muy Leal Y Noble Ciudad de Iloilo" during the Spanish Colonial times, until its formal birth as a chartered city on July 16, 1937.

The pervading lore in Panay and the documented records of Philippine and Visayan histories point to the peculiar place that a unique river system surrounding the territorial boundaries of Iloilo City greatly contribute to the development of its economic and socio-cultural, including the local political dimension.

Mabilog said Ilonggos have more reasons to "paint the city red" with the Charter Day celebration that shows what the Ilonggos really are as a people.

"The Ilonggos and their strong moral conviction to stand firm for the cause of truth, justice and peace have never waned, especially when critical times in the nation's history call for it," he said.

When the first encomienda system was first established by the Spanish Conquistadores in the Island of Panay way back more than five centuries ago, not one of them ever thought that time that a glorious and wonderful city would ever stand-out today in this part of Philippine Archipelago.

A city that is beaming with the bountiful promise of development and social progress, one that will serve as a repository of rich socio-cultural and historical heritage in this part of the country where traditions blend well with the skewing nuances of urbanization.

On top of the civic military parade, other activities in the month-long celebration include a thanksgiving mass, exhibits, cheerleading seminar, hymn writing contest, river clean-up, auction sale, mass wedding, mangrove planting, sports fishing, swimming, boat rowing and kayaking, search for Mr. and Ms. Iloilo City, oratorical contest, medical mission, dance sports, Dungog sang Dakbanwa sang Iloilo, search for model employees, job fair, city tours, Iloilo Got Talent search, food festival and night run. (LCP)