Iba, Philippines

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Iba, Philippines

Region: Zambales


Geographic Coordinates: 15.333300, 119.983000
Climate: Data not available.
Population: 55581
Language: Tagalog

Iba is a captivating coastal town located in the province of Zambales, Philippines. Nestled along the western coast of Luzon Island, This charming municipality offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, Rich history, And warm hospitality. With its stunning beaches, Historical sites, And vibrant local culture, Iba has become an increasingly popular destination for both local and international tourists. One of the main attractions in Iba is its pristine coastline. The town boasts several beautiful beaches with powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters.

Among these is Anawangin Cove, A hidden gem known for its unique combination of pine trees dotting the shoreline against a backdrop of towering mountains. Visitors can enjoy swimming in its calm waters or camping under the starry night sky. For history enthusiasts, Iba offers fascinating insights into the country’s colonial past. The town is home to numerous historical landmarks such as St. Augustine Cathedral, Which dates back to 1709 and showcases Spanish-era architecture. Additionally, Nearby Botolan Church stands as a testament to resilience after surviving multiple eruptions from Mount Pinatubo.

Nature lovers will find themselves captivated by the diverse flora and fauna that abound in Iba’s surroundings. Mt. Tapulao provides an excellent opportunity for adventurous hikers to conquer its summit at over 2, 000 meters above sea level while enjoying breathtaking panoramic views along the way. The local cuisine also adds flavor to any visit to Iba. Seafood lovers will delight in fresh catches from nearby fishing villages such as Alaminos or Masinloc where mouthwatering dishes like grilled squid or shrimp sinigang (sour soup) are served alongside traditional Filipino fare like adobo (marinated meat) or kare-kare (peanut-based stew).

Iba’s cultural heritage shines through various festivals celebrated throughout the year that showcase local traditions and customs deeply rooted in Filipino identity. One such festival is Pangisdaan, A fisherfolk festival that highlights the importance of fishing in the community. During this event, Locals come together to showcase their skills in fishing and boat racing while also featuring traditional dances and music. Iba presents an enticing destination for travelers seeking a unique blend of natural wonders, Historical landmarks, And cultural experiences.

Whether it’s lounging on pristine beaches, Exploring centuries-old churches, Or immersing oneself in the local traditions and cuisine, Iba offers something for everyone. With its warm hospitality and captivating attractions, This coastal town is sure to leave visitors with unforgettable memories of their time spent in the Philippines.



Important Landmarks

  1. Iba Public Market: A bustling market where visitors can experience the local culture and find various goods, including fresh produce, seafood, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
  2. Zambales Provincial Capitol: A historic building that serves as the seat of government for the province of Zambales. It features neoclassical architecture and beautiful gardens.
  3. Saint Augustine Cathedral: The main Catholic church in Iba with an impressive facade and intricate interior design. It is a popular religious site for locals and tourists alike.
  4. Magalawa Island: Located off the coast of Palauig, near Iba, this small island offers pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters for swimming or snorkeling, and a peaceful atmosphere perfect for relaxation.
  5. Potipot Island: Another nearby island known for its stunning beaches with fine white sand and clear turquoise waters. It is a favorite destination among both locals and tourists looking to enjoy sunbathing or camping.
  6. Mt. Tapulao: A challenging hiking destination located near Iba that offers panoramic views of Zambales province from its summit at 2,037 meters above sea level.
  7. Anawangin Cove: Situated in San Antonio town near Iba, this picturesque cove is known for its unique landscape featuring pine trees growing along its shores against a backdrop of sandy beaches.
  8. Capones Island Lighthouse: Built during Spanish colonial times on Capones Island near Pundaquit Beach in San Antonio town; it offers stunning views of the surrounding ocean and coastline.
  9. Pamulaklakin Forest Trail (PFT): Located within Subic Bay Freeport Zone but accessible from Iba; it is an eco-tourism site offering nature trails through lush forests with diverse flora and fauna species.
  10. Liwa-Liwa Beach: A popular surfing spot located in San Felipe town near Iba; it offers consistent waves and a laid-back atmosphere for surfers of all levels.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Iba is predominantly an agricultural area, with farming being a major industry. Rice, corn, coconut, and sugarcane are some of the main crops grown in the region.
  2. Fishing: Located near the coast of Zambales province, Iba has a significant fishing industry. Fishermen engage in both traditional fishing methods as well as commercial operations.
  3. Tourism: Iba is home to several tourist attractions such as beaches, resorts, and historical sites like St. Augustine Parish Church and Capitol Park Plaza & People’s Park. The tourism industry plays a crucial role in the local economy.
  4. Education: Several educational institutions are located in Iba including Zambales National High School (ZNHS), Ramon Magsaysay Technological University (RMTU), and St. Augustine College of Nursing-Iba Campus.
  5. Retail and Trade: Various retail establishments cater to the needs of residents and tourists alike in Iba town proper.
  6. Government Services: Being the capital town of Zambales province, many government offices are located in Iba providing administrative services to residents.
  7. Small-scale Industries: There are also small-scale industries present in Iba such as handicrafts production (bamboo crafts) and food processing (e.g., vinegar making).

It is important to note that while these sectors contribute significantly to the local economy of Iba, there may be other smaller industries or businesses not mentioned here that also play a role within the community.


Noteable History

  1. Battle of Iba (1899): During the Philippine-American War, the town of Iba became a battleground between Filipino revolutionaries led by General Antonio Luna and American forces. The battle resulted in the capture of Iba by American troops.
  2. Gregorio Aglipay: Born in nearby Batac, Ilocos Norte, Gregorio Aglipay was a Roman Catholic priest who played a significant role in the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule. He later became one of the founders and leaders of the Philippine Independent Church or Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
  3. President Ramon Magsaysay: Although not born in Iba, Ramon Magsaysay was closely associated with the town as it served as his political base during his rise to power. Magsaysay served as the seventh President of the Philippines from 1953 until his death in 1957.
  4. Zambales Rebellion (1990): A major event that took place in nearby areas but had an impact on Iba was the Zambales Rebellion led by Commander Junie Laylo. This armed struggle sought to address grievances related to land rights and environmental issues caused by mining activities.
  5. Bishop Severino Pelayo: Bishop Severino Pelayo was appointed as Prelate-Bishop of Zambales on February 10, 1951, which included jurisdiction over Iba until his retirement in 1976.

These events and individuals have left their mark on Iba’s history and contributed to its cultural heritage over time.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Ramon Magsaysay Ancestral House – This house-turned-museum is dedicated to the memory of President Ramon Magsaysay, a native of Iba. Visitors can learn about his life and achievements through various exhibits.
  2. Zambales Museum – Located in the provincial capital of Iba, this museum showcases the rich history and culture of Zambales province. It houses artifacts, photographs, and displays that provide insights into the local heritage.
  3. St. Augustine Cathedral – This beautiful church is one of the oldest structures in Iba. Its stunning architecture and serene atmosphere make it a worthwhile place to visit for religious or historical purposes.
  4. Mt. Tapulao – For nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, hiking Mt. Tapulao is a must-do activity when visiting Iba. It offers breathtaking views from its summit and provides an opportunity to explore the lush surroundings.
  5. Casa San Miguel – Located in nearby San Antonio town (around 20 minutes from Iba), Casa San Miguel is an art center that promotes local talent through exhibits, workshops, concerts, and performances.
  6. Capones Island Lighthouse – Situated off the coast of Pundaquit Beach near Iba, this historic lighthouse stands on Capones Island and offers panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding islands.
  7. Potipot Island – Just a short boat ride away from Pundaquit Beach near Iba lies Potipot Island—a small but stunning white sand island with crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming or camping overnight.



Cultural Events

  1. Agten Tufi Festival: This festival is held every January 15th to honor the patron saint of Iba, St. Augustine. It features street dancing, parades, beauty pageants, and various cultural performances.
  2. Kannawidan Ylocos Festival: Although not specific to Iba alone, this festival takes place in January in nearby province Ilocos Sur. It showcases the culture and traditions of the Ilocano people through street dancing competitions, trade fairs, food exhibits, and other activities.
  3. Zambales Mango Festival: Celebrated every April or May (depending on the mango harvest), this festival highlights Zambales’ sweet mangoes through various activities such as mango picking contests, culinary competitions featuring mango dishes, street dances with colorful costumes depicting mangoes.
  4. Paskuhan sa San Antonio: Held during December in nearby San Antonio town (close to Iba), this Christmas celebration features a grand parade showcasing beautifully decorated floats depicting biblical scenes and Christmas themes.
  5. Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul Parish: Celebrated on June 29th each year at the Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Church in Iba town proper, this religious event includes processions honoring saints Peter and Paul along with masses attended by devotees from different parts of Zambales.

Cuisine

  1. Bistro 64 – This restaurant offers a variety of Filipino dishes such as sinigang, adobo, and crispy pata. They also serve international cuisine.
  2. Balay Comida – Known for its traditional Filipino dishes like kare-kare, sisig, and lechon kawali.
  3. Kusina ni Auring – A casual eatery that serves affordable Filipino comfort food like tapsilog (marinated beef with fried rice and egg), pancit canton (stir-fried noodles), and bulalo (beef bone marrow soup).
  4. Mar-Vic’s Restaurant – Famous for their seafood dishes like grilled squid, buttered shrimp, and kinilaw na tuna (ceviche).
  5. Mang Inasal – A popular fast-food chain that specializes in grilled chicken served with unlimited rice.
  6. Iba Public Market – The local market is a great place to experience authentic street food such as fishball skewers, kwek-kwek (deep-fried quail eggs), and taho (sweet tofu dessert).
  7. Gerry’s Grill – Offers a mix of Filipino favorites like crispy pata, sisig, and grilled seafood.
  8. Kainan sa Tabing Lawa – Located near the Iba Lake Park offers fresh seafood dishes including sinigang na hipon (shrimp sour soup) and steamed crabs.
  9. Sisihan sa Baybay – This beachfront restaurant is known for its boodle fight meals where you can enjoy various grilled seafood served on banana leaves.
  10. Jollibee – A well-known fast-food chain in the Philippines offering a range of local favorites such as Chickenjoy fried chicken meals or Jolly Spaghetti.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Zambales Sports Complex – This sports complex offers facilities for various sports like basketball, volleyball, tennis, and swimming.
  2. Capitol Park – Located near the provincial capitol building, this park is a popular spot for jogging and leisurely walks. It also has a playground for children.
  3. Plaza Magsaysay – This park is dedicated to former President Ramon Magsaysay and features a statue of him as well as benches for relaxation.
  4. Riverside Park – Situated along the Iba River, this park offers picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a meal amidst nature.
  5. Beaches – Iba is located near several beaches along the coast of Zambales province. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and beachside activities at places like Nagsasa Cove or Anawangin Cove.
  6. Water Sports – The nearby Subic Bay Freeport Zone offers various water sports activities such as jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing, and banana boat rides.
  7. Hiking – There are hiking trails in nearby mountains such as Mount Tapulao or Mount Balingkilat that offer scenic views of the surrounding landscape.
  8. Nature Trips – Visitors can explore natural attractions like Pamulaklakin Forest Trail or Magalawa Island for birdwatching or camping experiences.
  9. Fishing – Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at fishing spots along the riverside or join local fishermen on their boats to experience traditional fishing methods.
  10. Festivals and Events – Iba hosts annual festivals such as Kuraldal Festival which showcases local culture through street dancing performances and other cultural activities.

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