The municipality is located 33 kilometers north-west of Iloilo City. It was created in 1769.
In the summer of 1578, the natives of Tala-ugis trudged up from the coast to establish a settlement northward in the interior along Suage River. The first settlers were led by families of Gamuk, Hutikon, Uganet and Pagdakton, who settled themselves in what is currently known as barangays Matag-ub, Danao, Yabon and Quipot.
More than a century later, Spaniards came along these parts of Panay.
Early in 1738, Datu Buhawi of Yabon recognized the Spanish government, thus subjugating himself and his barangay to Spanish rule. But, Datu Dumagtol of nearby Ubian refused to follow suit. He led his subjects to the mountains to resist against the Spanish colonizers.
The Spanish governor Francisco Bayot de Ocampo recommended to the Principalía to transfer the seat of government, and in the following year (1770), the settlements were strengthened in their administration in what they called "Janiuay".
There are two legends of how the place got its name. One is that it came from the ruling Datu's sons named "Han" and "Oway". Another is that the words "hani" (whisper) and "oway" (rattan) were combined.
Janiuay pride itself of two heritage infrastructure dating back from 1760.
The Janiuay Catholic Church was built of sandstone, lime stone and layered bricks and was completed in February 1770. Its belfry used to carry three magnificent bells, the largest weighing close to a ton. WWII damaged the belfry and the bells were lowered to ground after the war. The largest bell crashed down during the relocation and suffered a crack 18 inches in length from its lip upwards. When sounded it gives a distinct baritonic rattling sound that can be heard for miles. It is now mounted in the new church's bellfry built in the late 60s.
Another heritage infrastructure is the Janiuay Cemetery. It was built much later in 1870 and is also walled with ancient sandstone and bricks brought from distant locale some 30 km away in what is now known as the town of Dingle. Spanish Fr. Llorente directed the construction of this cemetery in the Gothic design of his time. The Janiuay town cemetery is located a kilometer east of Janiuay Catholic Church.
Janiuay is also home to several heritage mini sugar mills owned by landed Spanish mestizos and Swiss descent. These mini sugar mills have seen their own time and once produces brown sugar. Wrought steel rotary crushers driven by water buffaloes or carabaos extract sugar from canes and cooked in large vat until brown and solid.
Two rivers coming from the north-west cuts in parallel through Janiuay. One is the Suage River and the other is the Magapa River which provide natural irrigation supporting the mainly agricultural town of Janiuay. The Suage river bridge was once witness to fierce fighting between Japanese and Filipino-Americans. The Magapa river bridge was built after WWII.
Use this link for more details http://www.fallingrain.com/world/RP/30/Janiuay.html
Rice, corn, sugar, copra, coffee, banana, abaca fiber, fowls (and gamefowls), goat and cattle raising are main livelihood. Commerce for these products are generally brought into the town proper for market. The rainfall generally dictate the commerce of these products as the river go dry in summer months.
Most of these are coming from the west, north-west and south-west of the town.
Transportation & Telecommunications
Janiuay can be accessed from all directions with good paved concrete and asphalt road infrastructures from the east, north and south. Mode of transport can either be jeepneys, motorcycles fitted with cabs for 2-5 persons locally known as tricycles for inter barrangay transport. Intertowns are plied by buses, jeepnes and private vans. Within the town, "trysikad" - a bicycle fitted with a cab for 2 people are commonly available.
Communication is generally available with nationwide carriers Globelines and Smart competing with local and ageing analog Pantelco.
Electricity is sourced from electric coorperative Ileco II supplying 75% of the town proper and about 25% of the neighboring barangays.
Janiuay Old Prison and Town Hall - Post Hispanic infrastructure with 24 inch thick walls and wrought iron bars.
Janiuay Pilot Elementary School - established before WWII
Janiuay National Vocational School (Now Janiuay Polytechnic College) - established before WWII.
Janiuay Protestant Church - First outside of Iloilo City
Iglesia ni Cristo Church in Bgy. Jibolo
Janiuay Public Market
Janiuay Cattle Market - the only in Iloilo Province
Janiuay Town Hall and Plaza
Janiuay Public Library
St. Elizabeth Academy (Now St. Julian Academy) established in the 60's
Janiuay Emergency Hospital
Don Juan Wutrich Estate in Bgy. Jibolo
Lutero Estate in Bgy. Tambal and Bgy. Kinambud
Locsin Estate in Bgy. Guadalupe
Camarista House in San Julian St.
Marin House in Sta. Rita St.
Suage River Breakwater - A kilometer long concrete breakwater from Esperanza St. to Aquino Nobleza St.
Calmay Elementary and High School - biggest public school outside and west of Poblacion Janiuay.
Bgy. Ubian, Yabon and Quipot - seat of pre-Spanish Janiuay in 1578 to 1760. Moved to its current location on or before 1760 by the Spanish Principalia. About 22 km. west of Janiuay.
Quipot Wier - A natural wier located at sito Punong. These are two big massive land mass blocking entry of downstream Suage river to the Janiuay Poblacion and beyond. About 22 km west of Poblacion Janiuay.
Barasalon Falls - located in sitio Igbiating. Up inland and about 15 km from Bgy. Yabon.
Janiuay is politically subdivided into 60 barangays.
Sto. Tomas approximate population is 500-800. Sto. Tomas (Pakol to locals) is bounded by Madong in the east, Mangil in the northeast and Danao in the south west. It is accessible by three class C feeder roads in the east, south-west and south-east. Agriculture centers around rice, corn, coffee, beans, sugar cane, and copra. General topography is flat rice fields on the east and hill-valley-hill dotted by bamboos, coffee, manggo, banana, coconuts and other fruit tree crops in the reamining areas. Water source are via deepwells and rice produce is primarily dependent on rainfall.
Motorbike is the easiest mode of transportation and four-wheels during festive events. Ride is some 30 minutes from the town proper. Electricity is subscribed by 15-25% of the population. Wireless cellphone carrier SMART covers the area and is generally available in 20-25% of the population. English language is generally understood and spoken fairly by locals in certain situation.
Danao-Sto. Tomas Elementary School established during the 50's is located on the highest hill of the surrounding barrangays and view of ricefields in the east is impressive especially in the morning.