Estancia is a second class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 42,666 people.
Estancia was originally a ranch for a wealthy Spaniard named Rodrigo who intermarried with a local woman. Estancia is not known for its agricultural products nor livestock but rather for its impressive marine resources. Estancia has a fishport and a pier – these being one of the most developed in northern visayas, a banking industry, cable television, a hospital, and resorts.
Estancia is known around the country as a center for commercial fishing, so much so that it carries the name “Alaska of the Philippines” as a testament to its bountiful marine resources. The reason for this is that Estancia lies in the Visayan Sea triangle, an imaginary triangle extending from the provinces of Iloilo, Negros, Cebu, Samar, and Masbate. This triangle is a part of the “Sulu-Sulaweisi Triangle” of the Sulu Sea and neighboring Indonesia where a large concentration of marine organisms coupled with climate conditions support a massive marine ecosystem. Various commercial species are harvested along Estancia’s waters, namely mackerel, barracuda, sardines, shad, pompano, grouper, squid, cuttlefish, shrimp, prawns, shells, seaweed and others.
The method predominantly used is purse seining, trawling and gill netting as these are suited for the relatively shallow waters (up to 60 fathoms) of the Visayan Sea.
However, as of recent years, pollution, heavy overfishing, and irresponsible fishing practices have slowly diminished the once abundant fish stocks of Estancia, and now problems like diminishing catches and unpredictable weather are beginning to surface. These factors have raised awareness in the government as well as the private sector and currently an artificial reef is off the shore of Brgy Paon in an attempt to provide juvenile fish with shelter in hopes of restocking these once populous waters.
Estancia is located in the northern part of the Iloilo Province approximately 135 kilometres (84 mi) from the provincial capital of Iloilo City.
Estancia is politically subdivided into 25 barangays.
- Lumbia (Ana Cuenca)
- Bayas (Bayas Island)
- Daan Banua
- Loguingot (Loguingot Island)
- Poblacion Zone 1
- Lonoy (Roman Mosqueda)
- San Roque
- Santa Ana
- Poblacion Zone II
- Poblacion Zone III