Pavia, which is 9.6 km. North of Iloilo City, now tagged as the Regional Agro-Industrial Center and better known as (RAIC) for Western Visayas, has really emerged from a facile to a bustling town of industrial and manufacturing firms.The detailed account of Pavia’s history was found in an unpublished report as edited by Gaudiosa Janeo, Fernando Hubero and Former Mayor Nelson Gumban. It was an updated report of the preliminary report made in 1954 during the time of Mayor Vicente Gerochi. The latest report was made in 1977 by Guia Villaprudente as published in her book, “Pavia, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”
It was believed that PAVIA was settled by the Malays before the invasion of the Spaniards. It was later settled by the Chinese as evidenced by archeological diggings of a Chinese burial ground on the embankment of Cabugao Sur approximately between the 15th and 16th centuries. The Malays and the Chinese has established trade and commerce in the settlement with an estimated population of 200 to 400.
PAVIA, is believed to have been officially established in 1848, during the Spanish occupation, when thirteen (13) landowners decided to shape the future of what used to be a “camping place”, a “settlement place” or an “abandoned place”.
The thirteen (13) landowners were the following:
- Anacleto Hedriana
- Marcos Evangelista
- Barbarino Maquiling
- Constantino Gumban
- Graciano Gonzaga
- One surnamed Ramos
- One surnamed Remegio
- One surnamed Leocadio
- One surnamed Gregori
- Mariano Maquiling
- Vicente Hechanova
- Locario Jontanilla
- Jorge Jagolino
The first nine (9) of those landowners are being immortalized, as nine (9) of the municipal streets were named after them. The place being a “camping place” has been derisively referred to as “biya-biya” which means “neglected” or “abandoned”. It was believed then that the town got its name from the word “biya-biya”. Other version had it that the town was named after General or Colonel Pavia, as to why should he be immortalized, it was not known.
PAVIA, which became a part of Sta. Barbara in 1901, seceded from it 1904 and was then attached to the City of Iloilo. In 1907, PAVIA, together with Leganes and Jaro seceded from the City of Iloilo making PAVIA then an “ARABAL” of Jaro.
Petronilo Gumban governed PAVIA from 1916 until his election as Presidente Municipal of Jaro in 1920. It was in 1921, the PAVIA through the efforts of its prominent citizens headed by Delfin Gumban obtained her territorial independence from Jaro. Since then, PAVIA remained independent up to the present.
The different Presidente Municipal (equivalent to Municipal Mayor now) who had served PAVIA with their corresponding terms were:
- Delfin Gumban, 1912-1924 – known to be Pavia’s Father of Independence
- Domingo Guillem, 1924-1927
- Simplicio Hechanova, 1927-1934
- Pacifico Jabonillo, 1934-1942
- Buenaventura Gumban, 1942-1945 (Resistance Civil Gov’t.)
- Cornelio Gumban, 1942-1945 (Japanese Gov’t.)
- Juan de Dios Gonzaga, 1945-1946
- Luzon Gumban, 1946-1952
- Vicente Gerochi, 1952-1955
- Florencio Hisole, 1956-1959
- Gerardo Gorriceta, 1960-1971
- Nelson Gumban, 1972-1986
- Felix Gorriceta, Jr., 1986-1994
- Rogelio Trimanez, 1994-1995 (serving the unexpired term of Mayor Gorriceta)
- Felix Caronongan, Jr., March ’95-June ’95
- Ervin G. Gerochi, June 30, 1995-June 30, 2004
“Pavia is Back” – in the airwaves… best describes Pavia when Mayor Arcadio H. Gorriceta assumed office in the afternoon of June 30, 2004. After only a couple of days, changes occurred in the workplace, in the market, on the road networks, education, health and transport facilities, and many more… bringing new hopes and aspirations to the town people, making them proud of having a town called Pavia and to be identified as PAVIANHONS.