Wonderful Work of Iloilo Council

A recent photo of Carpenter’s Bridge showing the restoration by  Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council.

Needless to say I have been interested in how the bridge initially came to be built.  I understand that the Center for West Visayan Studies thinks the Carpenter Bridge was part of the infrastructure projects that came during the sugar industry. Iloilo City is on a estuarine flood plain so rivers snake through the city. Iloilo River and the city proper area are actually part of the sea and have freshwater outlets running through from the Panay central mountains. The wharf or Muelle Loney was built around the 1910s and the Custom House or Aduana was done a few years later. The old Spanish iron bridge that connected the Iloilo City proper to La Paz District was widened and renamed General Forbes Bridge. The Carpenter Bridge connected the Molo District to Jaro District. Most of these districts were separate towns that were eventually absorbed by the city. The old Spanish bridges were draw bridges at some point in time so the Iloilo River was navigable for trade many years before the Panay railway which connected the northern Panay province of Capiz to Iloilo in the south was opened in 1910. Along the way in the town of Santa Barbara the British engineers of the Panay Railways found the rolling hills to be ideal for golf reminding them of St. Andrews in Scotland. The golf club has been in existence since 1907. To Carpenter Bridge might have been built around the 1910s as part of the infrastructure projects. It connects Molo District to Jaro District both important trading towns in the past via Mandurriao District. The area where the carpenter brdige is at is called Tabucan which literally means a river crossing.

In 1931 Conrado Benitez wrote a review of Forbes’ THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, (Boston 1928), entitled “A FILIPINOS POINT OF VIEW.” Benitez  remarks that in the Philippines he was not known as W. Cameron Forbes but as W. “Caminero” Forbes.  “This was because he did so much for the construction of roads and means of communication.”

Benitez began the review, that he “always considered myself a good friend of both Governor Forbes and Governor Frank W. Carpenter.” As a good friend of both he would have known of the close working relationship between the two Americans, and understood that THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS was the work of both.  My Mother and Father met while working on these two volumes at Forbes’ estate in Massachusetts.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Eugene Jamerlan on February 17, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Hello, Frank and thank you for the entry! I would however like to give credit to some institutions as well: SM City Mall for taking up the project through the Zonta Club II of Iloilo, the Museo Iloilo and the Center for West Visayan Studies at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas and of course the Iloilo City government for helping out on the research work. This is really a multi-sectoral effort


  2. Posted by Frank on February 17, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    This is important information! As we approach the dedication day, I want to have a complete description of the event, honoring all those who have made it possible. Thanks so much!


  3. […] a discussion of the Carpenter Bridge’s history, you may visit Frank W. Carpenter’s Nonlinearhistorynut Blog. #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; […]


  4. thank you for your detailed explanation of the carpenter bridge’s history. we ilonggos are proud of this heritage and how it contributed to the development of the city.


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