San Joaquin is a second class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 51,645 people. It is the southernmost municipality in the province of Iloilo and is 53 kilometres (33 mi) from the provincial capital, Iloilo City.
The history of San Joaquin according to Maragtas legend begin when ten (10) Malayan Chieftains or "Datus" together with their families, warriors and slaves on board ten "binidays" (boat for sea travel) landed at a place called Andona, near the mouth of the Siwaragan (Suagan or Sugan) River. This took place in the latter part of the 12th century. The chieftains heded by Datu Puti fled from the tyranny of Sultan Makatunao in Borneo in search of and to establish a new land for the free.
At that time, Panay Island was inhabited by the "Atis" or Negritoes under the rule of King Marikudo and Queen Maniwangtiwang, Datu Puti and his men, instead of subduing chieftain Marikudo and the lowly "Atis", made negotiations of all the lowlands of Panay at the price of one golden hat called "Saduk", a long gold necklace called "Managyad" and various gifts. Said negotiations successfully took place at Imbidayan Rock, Sinogbuhan, San Joaquin, Iloilo, now a historical site. After the transaction was sealed, the "Atis" retired to the mountains and the Malays took complete control of the lowland.
Datu Puti continued his travel and the settlement was left to the able leadership of one of the chieftains, Datu Sumakwel whose wife was Kapinangan. Later Datu Sumakwel divided Panay Island into three districts – Irong-irong, Hamtic and Aklan. Irong-irong was given to Datu Paiburong as his territorial domain. It was Datu Sumakwel who decreed the Code of Kalantiaw and Panay Island lived in peace and prosperity for three hundred years until the Spaniards came.
What freedom our ancestors gained from this "Purchase of Panay" was lost when Magellan discovered the Philippines in 1521. Spanish colonization of the island and gradually under Spanish dominion, devfeloped this settlement into a "Pueblo" that also contributed to a large degree to our town’s cultural heritage. As a legacy from this period, the San Joaquin Roman Catholic Church was finished in 1869 and was a national shrine on September, 1977.
About 700 years later, the Treaty of Paris of 1898 ended the Spanish-American War. As a result, San Joaquin was annexed to the Municipality of Miag-ao in 1904 for purposes of efficient administration under American rule. But the annexation was shortlived because when the late Eliseo J. Sanglap, a native of San Joaquin became the Municipal President (now Municipal Mayor) of Miga-ao by popular vote in 1908, he fought for the return of San Joaquin to her former status. And by virtue of Executive Order No. 21, Series of 1910 issued by the American Military Governor General, San Joaquin became a municipality on December 10, 1910.