The “Lin-ay sang Iloilo” or the beautiful Lady of Iloilo is a symbolic statue standing right at the top of Iloilo City Hall. It is commissioned by the previous mayor of the city in the year 2011. The icon was originally a piece of art that is meant to be a symbol of Iloilo City, however, after its completion, it is then viewed a symbol of not just the City of Iloilo but as well as the whole Province of Iloilo.
The statue is made of hollow bronze and is eighteen feet tall. It is a figure of an Ilongga peasant standing proud while cradling a bundle of harvested rice on her right arm while the left-hand holds a scythe, both as a symbol of prosperity and Iloilo’s great contribution to the rice-farming industry. The Lin-ay’s clothing and accessory also exhibits the rich culture of Iloilo, on her head is a traditional banda worn by farm ladies to protect them from the sun’s heat and on her neck is a necklace which is prominent in the mythic past of our ancestors. She wears a detailed blouse with a “sablay” of “hablon”, a textile that has contributed to the rising of Iloilo’s economic status in the 19th century. Her waist is wrapped with “patadyong”, an Ilonggo native handwoven wrap-around skirt.
While the whole figure of the Lin-ay is abundant in the symbolism of the Iloilo’s culture and heritage, the pedestal where she is standing is also packed with meanings at each side. The front part of the pedestal shows rice- farming industry, at the right, is the sugarcane industry, the left is the fishing industry and the back depicts education. The four pillars of Iloilo’s continuing development.
The icon was designed by an Ilonggo artist and UP Visayas professor Edward “Ed” Defensor and is funded by an Ilongga philanthropist who chose to leave her identity unknown.
Let us all make ourselves as a symbol of the boundless Ilonggo culture and heritage.
Featured Image Source: http://www.eddefensor.com