University of the Philippines Visayas
| Western Visayas|
Dr. Macario N. Napulan (Liberal)
Miagao (also written Miag-ao) is a first class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 68,412 people. Miagao is considered as the "Onion Capital of the Visayas". It is located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwest of Iloilo City.
The town center of the municipality lies on the western bank of the Tumagbok River, the largest river in the municipality. The poblacion is made up of eight barangays.
The town holds their patronal fiesta in honor of St. Thomas of Villanova (more commonly known as Sto. Tomas de Villanueva) every September 22 that lasts several days.
The name of Miagao has many disputed etymologies. One of the most popular, and probably the most widely accepted version is that the name of the town was derived from a plant named Miagos. Miagos or Osmoxylon lineare is a flowering plant from the family Araliaceae that used to grow abundantly in the area when the Spaniards came. Because of its abundance in the area, the Spaniards named the place Miagos which later became Miagao. Another version, according to Rev. Fr. Lorenzo Torres of Igbaras, is that a native named Miyagaw was asked by the Spaniards for the name of the place but gave his name instead.
Miagao gained its independence as a municipality in 1716. Prior to that, it used to be a part of an arrabal of four different towns in southern Iloilo. Until 1580, Miagao was an arrabal of Oton. From 1580 until 1652, it was an arrabal of Tigbauan. It was an arrabal of Suaraga (now San Joaquin) from 1652 to 1703 and before becoming independent, it became an arrabal of Guimbal from 1703 to 1716. In 1731, Miagao had its first capitan and teniente mayor (now equivalent to mayor and vice mayor) after an election was held in Guimbal under the supervision of Victorino C. Ma., an authorized representative of the governor.
The town center of Miagao is located on top of a hill overlooking Panay Gulf. This remote location of Miagao helped the town defend itself from the frequent raids by Moro pirates in the 16th to 19th century that plagued many neighboring towns and caused whole town-centers to relocate towards Iloilo City. Thus, Miagao and its surrounding area grew without hindrance and with little outside influence.
Miagao is a coastal town with a hilly to mountainous terrain. Most of the flat areas in the municipality are found either in coasts or along the towns major rivers which include the Naulid, Tumagbok, Oyaoy, Bacauan, Tabunacan, Oyungan, Lanutan, and San Rafael rivers. A mountain range forms a natural boundary between Miagao and the province of Antique to the north.