Passi City is located in the heart of Iloilo Province. Passi City’s boundaries are San Enrique on the north; on the south is Dumarao, Capiz; Calinog on the east; and on the west is Lemery. Passi City is a mountainous area and is composed of 51 barangays. It has the largest land area in Iloilo Province and is 50 kilometers away from Iloilo City.
Passi City has a variety of dialects. The Passinhon (local natives) speak Karay-a as their predominant dialect. Businessmen and investors use Cebuano and Tagalog dialects as well. Roman Catholicism is the religion of approximately 95 percent of the population in Passi City.
Throughout the Iloilo Province, Passi City is the District Agri-Industrial Center thus making it locally important. Passi City is rich in agricultural resources. Agriculture has been the long time backbone of Passi City’s economy. The main agricultural products include pineapples, coconuts, sugarcane, corn, rice, and vegetables.
Aside from agriculture, Passi City also has other industries that contribute well to their economy. These include fruit processing, metalworking production, wallboard production, and cut-flower propagation. Passi City also locally produce pineapple jam, wine, and preserves. These locally produced products have gotten their exposure due to various trade fairs and exhibits. Because of these fairs and exhibits, these products have already an established market.
Passi City has an annual festival called “Pintados de Passi Festival”. This festival is one of the very popular and well-established festivals of the region. It is an important event in the life of a Passinhon. The Pintados de Passi Festival attracts local and foreign tourists, which helps the tourism industry of Passi City.
Passi City’s Pintados de Passi Festival reminisces lives of the early settlers. These people have their bodies adorned with tattoos. Thus the name “Pintados” or literally the “Painted Men”.
The Pintados de Passi Festival of Passi City is celebrated with theatre-like street dancing. Participants do aggressive and heavy body movements to the rhythm of the music. They act out folk plays, character types, combat dances, and other ritual actions. Passi City’s rich history and culture play an important role in the preservation of Pintados de Passi Festival.
According to history, in 1766, a Spanish settlement was first established in this area. This marks the Spaniards’ onset colonial rule. In Ansig, Spanish explorers anchored there. Ansig is a place located at Lamunan River’s delta. Passi City’s name is derived from the word “Pasi”. This is a Hiligaynon word that means “unhusked grains of rice”.
Passi City is a great place to visit if ever you have a chance to come to the southern part of the Philippines. It is a place you shouldn’t miss when you visit the province of Iloilo, Philippines.