Oton – The Origin

Oton, the home progressive-minded and future-oriented people, derived from three popular theories. Many people believe that Oton is a hispanized version of the phrase “ogtong adlaw”, which means noontime. According to the story, the native gave this phrase when they were asked by the Spanish exporters as to the time of the day. Many people still refer to the town as Ogtong.

Kogtong

Kogtong (Grouper Fish)

Another theory is that the name of the town comes from the name of a fish, “kogtong”, a very abundant kind during those days.

The third is that Oton’s name comes from a plant abundant in the river’s estuary. It was the decayed stalk of this plant that was deposited along the river banks, later forming the town’s site.

Oton was the first settlement established in Panay during the spanish Period and which later became the seat of the Alcadia de Panay from 1572 to 1581.

After the founding of Arevalo in 1581, the seat of the government was moved there, hence, Arevalo was the capital of the province from 1581 to 1688 while the province was then called Province de Iloilo.

Much earlier, Oton was also an important Malay capital. Under Datu Paiburong, the seat of the government was Katagman(now, Brgy. San Antonio) until he died of old age in 226 A.D. Only then did the chieftainship was returned back to Aklan, that was when Balingsasa, Datu Bankaya’s son became Paiburong’s successor.

The town has the great honor to be the first place in the Philippines where the temple dedicated to the Immaculate Concepcion of the Virgin Mary was built and where the Gospel was first preached.