From WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia
Leganes is a 4th class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. It is located 11 km north of the capital Iloilo City. Like most Philippine towns that sprawl outward from the capital, is made up of houses, farms and light agricultural industry. The major throughofare runs right through the center of the town. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 23,475 people in 4,533 households.
Leganes is politically subdivided into 18 barangays.
The Municipality of Leganes sprang from a small settlement in the early part of 1840 in the site now known as Barangay Guihaman. The word guihaman originated from the presence of wild boars or guiham which inhabited the place. The early founders of the municipality named the place Valencia, a town in Spain whose patron saint is San Vicente Ferrer. Learning the existence of the settlement, Don Isidro A. Brudit, the Spanish Governor of Iloilo decreed in 1856, that the settlement be registered as a pueblo otherwise a fine of P600 will be levied upon the inhabitants. In compliance to the decree, the place was registered as pueblo in 1858.
The little pueblo at the time had grown into a thriving community with the influx of settlers from the adjacent towns of Jaro and Sta. Barbara. One of its founders, Don Miguel Valencia, seemed to enjoy unmerited, if not unusual honor after the settlement was named Valencia. The other founders moved to have the name changed through a petition to the Alta Mar in Spain. The Spanish authorities, annoyed by the complaint, named the pueblo Leganes---after a town in Spain which is of little significance, just to settle the seemingly heedless dispute. The other originators, Don Angel Gustilo, Don Mariano Gustilo, Don Jacinto Sandoval, Don Lorenzo Gustilo, Don Juan Hilado and Don Fulgencio Espino fought hard for the autonomy and independence of the little pueblo.
After having been administered by kapitanes from 1860 up to the close of the Spanish rule in 1899 the town under the American regime appointed its first president, Zacarias Jaen who reigned from 1900 to 1902. He was succeeded by Tomas Gustilo who headed the pueblo from 1902 to 1904. Because of slow progress and lack of harmony among leaders, the pueblo was annexed as an arrabal of Sta. Barbara by order of Governor Martin Delgado in 1905.
Leaders like Councilor Tomas Gustilo and Mariano Jagunap who represented the pueblo from 1907-1908 and Arsenio Guillergan together with Eugenio Marañon from 1914-1915 gave their best in working for the autonomy of infrastructure projects like building of school houses, police station, wells, roads, etc.. They also put up a fight in transferring the revenues of Leganes fishpond from Sta. Barbara to the town treasury of Leganes. With the aid of Jaro councilors Petronilo Gumban and Valentin Jordan, the fishpond revenue was eventually moved from Sta. Barbara to Leganes. This was used in the improvement of roads around the plaza and telephone connections to Jaro.
Through the efforts of then Jaro President Petronilo Gumban and his successor Valentin Jordan, Leganes was transferred as an arrabal of Jaro on January 1, 1916. Under these two successive presidents of Jaro who were in sympathy with the cause of the Leganesnons, the arrabal progressed steadily. Philanthropic landowners, notably Florencio S. Jagunap and Melencio Espinosa donated lots for school sites on which the school buildings of Leganes Primary School (now Leganes Elementary School) were constructed.
The Sta. Barbara Irrigation System was constructed in 1919 and was completed on July 4, 1922. A monument for Dr. Jose Rizal was erected in the school site of Leganes Primary School and completed on October 21, 1927 from funds raised by the people and donations from the wealthy family of spouses Modesto Jinon and Capitana Anding Espino. A concrete Gabaldon type school building was built and finished in 1929 from Insular funds through the efforts of Assemblyman Vicente Ybiernas.
A new era of peace and progress began when Leganes finally gained its autonomy from Jaro and became a full pledge town through the efforts of the late Congressman Tomas Confesor, then Governor of Iloilo Province. Leganes was created a Municipality pursuant to Executive Order No. 241 of then Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon on January 1, 1940. Marcos Espino was appointed mayor; Martin Jaen as vice mayor, while Constantino Gulmatico, Vicente Guinalon, Severino Quidato, Simplicio Griño, Primitivo Gustilo and Marcial Jacildo were appointed councilors. Their tenure of office lasted only for one year because of the election that followed in November, 1940. In that election, the following candidates were elected: Mayor Marcos Espino, Vice Mayor Marcial Jacildo, and councilors Felix Trespeces, Primitivo Gustilo, Simplicio Griño, Valencia Solinap, and Fausto Espinosa.