Iloilo City Proper is one of the six districts also known as the center or heart of Iloilo City. It received its present name from the province’s original Irong-Irong reference. Originally founded as La Punta, it was only inhabited in 1602 when Spanish and Chinese residents from Jaro and Molo expanded their territorial area
The town was once invaded by the Dutch in the 17th Century, who were later driven away, and later emerged as a trading port in the 19th century. Its geographical and economic significance eventually evolved when China, Norway and the United Kingdom opened up their consulates to conduct trade and commerce in the town, especially during its foundation as an international port in the 1850s.
Plaza Libertad, the city’s historical square, was the site where the Philippine flag was raised for the first time in the island of Panay on December 25, 1898 during the Philippine Revolution when local troops led by Gen. Martin Delgado defeated the Spanish army.
In the 20th century, all economic activities shifted from Jaro and Molo to the town of Iloilo when businesses aggressively flourished here. It was later transformed into a chartered city and absorbed the old towns of Molo, Arevalo, Mandurriao and La Paz as well the city of Jaro.
The district is the home to the main government building of the Province of Iloilo, the Iloilo Provincial Capitol and the seat of the City Government, the Iloilo City Hall. Other main agencies of the government is also located at the City Proper. Its main thoroughfares are J.M. Basa St. (Calle Real), Iznart St., Gen. Luna St. and Ledesma St. It has the most service and commercial establishments among all districts.