Distance from Bacolod: 48.5 kilometers
Land Area: 11,250.00 hectares
Classification: 3rd Class
No. of Barangays: 23 Barangays
Population: 42,089 (May 1, 2000) – 44,521 (2005 Projection)
Language: Hiligaynon/Ilonggo/English is spoken and understood
According to historical authorities and scholars of Negros Occidental who conducted research at the Spanish Archives, Pontevedra, which is undoubtedly an Iberian name, was taken from that beautiful place in the Galicia Region of Spain and brought to the province’s shores by the Spanish colonizers who wanted to be reminded of their land of birth and their loved ones left behind. Some of them decided to stay and made it their second home, bringing with them the rich Spanish and European cultures, influence, and most importantly, the Christian religion. By virtue of a Spanish decree, Pontevedra was declared a pueblo in 1856.
Long before the Spaniards came, the place already had some settlements and was called Marayo, an old Ilonggo or Karay-a term for a faraway place, as viewed from the neighboring islands of Guimaras and Panay. It looked like a distant place, indeed, because there were no faster means of transportation other than sailboats.
Those settlers brought with them the skills in fishing, hunting, agriculture and trade, including barter.
However, because of the stronger Spanish influence, the term Marayo was ultimately replaced with Pontevedra, although the river that runs through the town is still called Marayo River,which has its mouth along the famed Guimaras Strait. Pontevedra was created a municipality on January 21, 1901 by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act No. 82, otherwise known as the Municipal Code. At present, it has a population of 44,000, land area of about 11,000 hectares with 20 barangays, and performs the functional role as “The Food Growth Center of Negros Occidental”.
How to Get There
Pontevedra is approximately a 45-minute drive from Bacolod City towards the south by private car and an hour in public utility jeepneys and buses via the main highway.
Pontevedra is bounded on the north by the Municipality of San Enrique and La Carlota City, on the east by La Castellana, west by Guimaras Strait, and south by Hinigaran.
St. Michael the Archangel Church is patterned after Spanish mission churches in Spain. The church has a capacity to accommodate 1,500 worshippers. It has a round stained glass windows painted with St. Michael the Archangel.
Gallera de Pontevedra. Reputed to be one of the best cockfighting arenas in the country is a “Mecca” for serious and big time cock breeders and cockfighting aficionados. It is situated inside the Cojuangco fruit plantation (Hacienda Balbina) where the air is farm-fresh all year round.
There is a “Balbina Cup” every October, a big time derby event where cockfighting aficionados from all over the country bring their prizefighters and money for betting.
The arena consists of several lounges where food can be ordered anytime during derbies. The arena is televised and can be seen from the dining halls.
A pasalubong center which sells the farm’s products is found inside the 3-hectare gallera. There are also airconditioned cockhouses and the whole complex is naturally shaded by Australian mangoes, rare variety of eucalyptus trees, ilang-ilang and raintrees.
A wide parking space is available and the arena can accommodate about 2,000 persons comfortably. Entrance fee is P 300 per person. For more information, call Tel. Nos. (034)460-2348 and 460-2372.
Sugbahan sa Punong is three kilometers away from the town proper. It has a restaurant, air conditioned rooms and fishing zone.
Balangigay Beach Resort is ideal for excursion and family outings. It offers three rest houses for overnight stay and 25 shed houses.
Caingin Beach Resort is a place suited for meetings and camping. It has rest houses, conference hall and dining hall.
Anchorville Beach Resort is situated in Sitio Balangigay, Barangay Miranda managed by Lina Dorio with Mobile No. 09270077262. It is within the fishing village of the barangay. Anchorville has six non-aircon but very comfortable rooms at P 800.00 and an aircon room at P 1,000.00 per day. Food is also available upon order. It has ten (10) open cottages along the shore at P300.00 each and a separate function house in a garden-style setting at P 1,500.00 per day. Entrance fee is P 5.00 per person.
Galve Beach Resort also in Sitio Balangigay, Barangay Miranda. It has 6 closed cottages at P1,000.00 each for a day. A pavilion which serves as function – house can be rented for P 2,500.00 per day. Entrance fee per person is P 5.00 and each of its open cottages rate is P 150 for a day. Every morning fresh catch of fish and other marine products are sold in front of the resort.
Experience a laid-back environment where time seems to stand still. For inquiries and reservation, you may inquire at Mobile No. 09164244785.
There are also about four (4) smaller beach resorts with open cottages that cater to excursionists who come in the morning and go home in the afternoon, especially during Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Those are the Tuvilla, and Biane’s in Balangigay (Miranda) the Caingin in Barangay III, and Oro del Mar Beach Resorts in Barangay Recreo. The rates are from P 100 to P 150 per cottage and entrance fee is P5.00 per person.