Carles, Iloilo


Carles, officially the Municipality of Carles (Hiligaynon: Banwa sang Carles, Tagalog: Bayan ng Carles), is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 72,637 people. [3]

Municipality of Carles
Cabugao Gamay Island
Cabugao Gamay Island
Official seal of Carles
Alaska of the Philippines
Timbo-ok Carles
Map of Iloilo with Carles highlighted
Map of Iloilo with Carles highlighted
Carles is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°34′N 123°08′E / 11.57°N 123.13°E / 11.57; 123.13Coordinates: 11°34′N 123°08′E / 11.57°N 123.13°E / 11.57; 123.13
RegionWestern Visayas
District 5th district
FoundedJuly 1, 1862
Named forJose Maria Carles
Barangays33 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Bayan
 • MayorSiegfredo A. Betita
 • Vice MayorArnold T. Betita II
 • RepresentativeRaul C. Tupas
 • Municipal Council
 • Electorate43,737 voters (2019)
 • Total104.05 km2 (40.17 sq mi)
4.0 m (13.1 ft)
Highest elevation
108 m (354 ft)
Lowest elevation
−1 m (−3 ft)
 (2020 census) [3]
 • Total72,637
 • Density700/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
 • Households
 • Income class2nd municipal income class
 • Poverty incidence35.79% (2018)[4]
 • Revenue₱195,151,633.16 (2020)
 • Assets₱659,021,755.21 (2020)
 • Expenditure₱174,926,939.99 (2020)
 • Liabilities₱341,183,582.51 (2020)
Service provider
 • ElectricityIloilo 3 Electric Cooperative (ILECO 3)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)33
Native languagesHiligaynon

Located on Panay island, it is known for its rich fishing grounds.


Settlers first arrived circa 1846 and cleared an area at Punta Bulakawe, north of the current poblacion. Following an influx of settlers from Aklan and Antique, the settlement fell under Pueblo de Pilar, Capiz. About 10 years later, the settlement was transferred to the lowland and renamed to Badiang.[5]

In 1860, the first attempt was made to convert the barrio into a municipality but the provincial government of Capiz refused. Because of this refusal, the town leaders petitioned the governor of Iloilo, Governor Jose Maria Carles, who approved the petition. On July 1, 1862, the new pueblo was inaugurated and renamed to Carles, in honor to the governor. First Gobernadorcillo was Alenjandro Buaya.[5]

On January 1, 1904, the Municipio de Carles was demoted from a status of a Barrio to the status of a Barrio Balasan. This incident disheartened some Carleseños who migrated to other towns and provinces. But among those who stayed on were the strong willed ones who struggled hard to make Carles an independent municipality. Headed by Casimiro Andrada, the Carles Separation Movement succeeded in getting the approval of the Carleseños petition for separation from Balasan on January 1, 1920. Federico A. Ramos was appointed as the first Municipal President of Carles. It was during the incumbency of Municipal President Enrico Ilanga that the title of the municipal head was changed to Municipal Mayor and continued to be such until today.[6]

Typhoon HaiyanEdit

Carles was heavily damaged by Typhoon Haiyan. Buildings were destroyed and more than 1,200 people were displaced by the storm.[7]


Carles is the northernmost municipality in the province and is 142 kilometres (88 mi) from the provincial capital, Iloilo City, 71 kilometres (44 mi) from Roxas City, and 141 kilometres (88 mi) from Kalibo.


Climate data for Carles, Iloilo
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 27
Average low °C (°F) 23
Average precipitation mm (inches) 61
Average rainy days 12.3 9.0 9.9 10.0 18.5 25.0 27.4 26.0 25.9 24.9 17.9 14.2 221
Source: Meteoblue (Use with caution: this is modeled/calculated data, not measured locally.)[8]


Carles is politically subdivided into 33 Barangays.

  • Abong
  • Alipata (Sicogon Island)
  • Asluman (Gigantes Norte)
  • Bancal
  • Barangcalan
  • Barosbos
  • Punta Batuanan
  • Binuluangan
  • Bito-on
  • Bolo
  • Buaya (Sicogon Island)
  • Buenavista
  • Isla De Cana
  • Cabilao Grande
  • Cabilao Pequeño
  • Cabuguana
  • Cawayan
  • Dayhagan
  • Gabi (Gigantes Sur)
  • Granada (Gigantes Norte)
  • Guinticgan
  • Lantangan (Gigantes Sur)
  • Manlot (Manlot Island)
  • Nalumsan
  • Pantalan
  • Poblacion
  • Punta (Bolocawe)
  • San Fernando (Sicogon Island)
  • Tabugon
  • Talingting
  • Tarong
  • Tinigban
  • Tupaz


Eighteen of Carles's barangays are spread out over fourteen islands and minor islets.[9] The islands under Carles's political jurisdiction are:


Population census of Carles
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 6,676—    
1939 12,185+1.69%
1948 18,547+4.78%
1960 20,006+0.63%
1970 24,501+2.05%
1975 27,887+2.63%
1980 32,184+2.91%
1990 42,648+2.86%
1995 46,218+1.52%
2000 53,404+3.15%
2007 57,673+1.07%
2010 62,690+3.08%
2015 68,160+1.61%
2020 72,637+1.26%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[10][11][12][13]

In the 2020 census, the population of Carles, Iloilo, was 72,637 people, [3] with a density of 700 inhabitants per square kilometre or 1,800 inhabitants per square mile.


Carles is the 14th wealthiest town in Iloilo (based on income) in 2009, with an income total of P70,475,987 (2009)[21] The agricultural produce of the town includes fish, prawn, crab, rice, corn, sugar, cattle and poultry. Other industries include bakeries, shell craft and wood furniture.

Maritime resourcesEdit

Carles is a significant center for commercial fishing, so much so that it carries the name 'Alaska of the Philippines' - reference to the area's marine resources. The reason for this is that Carles' water territory lies in the Visayan Sea triangle where the islands of Gigantes are located. As part of the Coral Triangle, these islands contain some of the most biologically diverse marine resources, and one of the most productive fishing grounds in the country.[22] The imaginary triangle extends from the provinces of Iloilo, Negros, Cebu, Samar, and Masbate. This triangle is a part of the "Sulu-Sulaweisi Triangle" of the Sulu Sea and neighboring Indonesia where a large concentration of marine organisms coupled with climate conditions support a massive marine ecosystem.[citation needed] Various commercial species are harvested along Carles' waters, including mackerel, barracuda, sardines, shad, pompano, grouper, squid, cuttlefish, shrimp, prawns, shells, seaweed and others.


'Bancal Fish Port' is the main fish-landing port in the municipality and is where fish catches from Iloilo, other Panay provinces, Masbate and Romblon are unloaded daily.[23][24]


Landmark on Islas de Gigantes in Carles

Gigantes Group of IslandsEdit

One tourist destination in Western Visayas is the Islas de Gigantes or Higantes Group of Islands located in the second class municipality of Carles in northern Iloilo. [25] The Gigantes group of islands in Carles, Iloilo are endowed with limestone forests, caves, and white-sand beaches. It is classified as a high urgent conservation priority under the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priority-Setting Program (PBCPP). It is home to a variety of species, two of them endemic: the Gekkonid Lizard (Gekko gigante) and the Island Forest Frog (Platymantis insulatus). [22]

Sicogon IslandEdit

Sicogón is an island in northern Iloilo, which is part of the municipality of Carles. It is named after cogon, a type of grass found in abundance on the island. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 5,238.[26]

Sicogon was a popular tourist destination[27] during the 1970s, known for its clear waters and white sand beach lined with coconut trees.[28] However, due to the situation caused by martial law, development stalled and Sicogon's popularity faded in favor of Boracay Island.

Municipal Tourism CenterEdit

Located at Bancal Port, Carles Iloilo is a Tourist assistance, boat reservation, registration and payment center, they also regulates the rates and accredited the boats for the Gigantes tours. souvenir items can also be found in the center.[29]



Iloilo International Airport (IATA: ILO, ICAO: RPVI) serves the city of Iloilo as well as the province of Iloilo. It receives flights from Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, General Santos, Tacloban, Puerto Princesa, Singapore and Hong Kong and is served by three airlines; Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines.[citation needed][30]

Roxas Airport (IATA: RXS, ICAO: RPVR) is near to Carles with domestic flights from Cebu and Manila

Sicogon, Carles Airport is the first and only airport in Carles and Northern Iloilo with domestic flights from and to Manila.

Jeepneys and tricycles are the common public land transport with route Carles-Balasan and vice versa. The route Carles- Iloilo City and vice versa, and Carles- Roxas City and vice versa is served by Ceres Liner while Carles- Metro Manila and vice versa is served by Dimple Star Bus.[31]

Pumboats are used for transversing the water between the Islands of Carles and Its Mainland with Estancia. Bancal port serves as the gateway to Gigantes Islands.


  1. ^ Municipality of Carles | (DILG)
  2. ^ "2015 Census of Population, Report No. 3 – Population, Land Area, and Population Density" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. Quezon City, Philippines. August 2016. ISSN 0117-1453. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Census of Population (2020). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  4. ^ "PSA Releases the 2018 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Philippine Statistics Authority. 15 December 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Municipality of Carles: Brief History". Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Province of Iloilo Homepage".
  7. ^ "Provincial board declares Iloilo under state of calamity". Archived from the original on 2013-12-08. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  8. ^ "Carles: Average Temperatures and Rainfall". Meteoblue. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  9. ^ "The Carles of Today". Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  10. ^ Census of Population (2015). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  11. ^ Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  12. ^ Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  13. ^ "Province of Iloilo". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  15. ^; publication date: 29 November 2005; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  16. ^; publication date: 23 March 2009; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  17. ^; publication date: 3 August 2012; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  18. ^; publication date: 31 May 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  19. ^; publication date: 10 July 2019; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  20. ^ "PSA Releases the 2018 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Philippine Statistics Authority. 15 December 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Iloilo Financial Profile 2009 - Income Ranking of Iloilo Towns".
  22. ^ a b "Foundation for the Philippine Environment".
  23. ^[bare URL PDF]
  24. ^ "DA Invests P29.4M to Transform Northern Iloilo Fish Port into Major Hub".
  25. ^ "Gigantes, a call for small islands resiliency".
  26. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: As of May 1, 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  27. ^ "Sicogon Island". Retrieved 2013-10-07.
  28. ^ JM Hotels (2012-06-26). "ILOILO, Heart of the Philippines - Sicogon Island". Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
  29. ^ "Isla de Gigantes: Iloilo's Tourism Giant". 5 September 2015.
  30. ^ "How to Get to & Around Gigantes Islands".
  31. ^ "How to get to Dimple Star Transport Corporation in las Piñas by Bus?".

External linksEdit

  • Iloilo Travel Guide Website
  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • Philippine Census Information
  • Local Governance Performance Management System