HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 28-29 no. 1-2 (1984)

History and Legend in Western Visayan Place-Names

Demy P. Sonza

Discipline: Philippine History



Philippine place-names have not yet been well-studied. By place-names we mean the names of the various subdivisions of the country such as regions, provinces, cities, municipalities, municipal districts, barangays, sitios, and streets; and the names of geographic features such as seas, lakes, rivers, creeks, bays, mountains, hills and valleys.

Considering that there are thousands of named places in Western Visayas what has been done so far in the matter of studying place-names is very little indeed. Moreover, no systematic investigation has been made to find out what history is and what legend is in the origins of Philippine place-names.

I would like to attempt, after a very tentative and cursory survey, to show that Western Visayan place-names have elements both of history and legend. Furthermore, I wish to prove that the study of place-names is important in the writing and in the understanding and appreciation of local history.