SANTA BARBARA, ILOILO
REVOLUTION & EVOLUTION
Through the efforts of Mayor Dennis Superficial, his
team, and their inspired citizenry, the ‘Cry of Santa
Barbara’ can still be heard to this day, shaping a future
that befits their proud history.
BY KAYDEE DELA BUENA
In 1898, as one of the most important turning points in the Revolution for Philippine Independence, Santa Barbara, Iloilo became the historic site where the Philippine flag was first raised outside
Under the leadership of General Martin Delgado, Filipinos took the municipal building from the Spanish
authorities, formed and inaugurated the Revolutionary Government of the Visayas, and flew the country’s
colors for all to see. With the eventual surrender of Iloilo City by Governor- General de los Rios on Christmas Eve in 1898, Gen. Delgado completed his campaign to liberate the whole province
from Spanish rule.
Today, Santa Barbara honors its rich legacy with yet another proud recognition. The town was named
No. 1 in Government Efficiency by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), besting 978 other municipalities in the country last 2016. The NCC developed the Cities and Municipalities
Competitiveness Index, with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to assess the competitiveness of a city/ municipality and identify areas for improvement and collaboration.
“We are very proud of the recognition as it was achieved through hard work. But there’s more to be done,” shares Mayor Dennis Superficial. “Currently, our focus is to maintain the quality of service and
standards of excellence that we have been delivering to our constituents. After establishing ourselves as a
competitive and transparent local government, our overall mission and vision now is to make Santa Barbara an economically developed municipality—and eventually a city.”
A surgeon by profession, Mayor Superficial has made the successful transition from the operating room
to the municipal hall, using his keen problem-solving skills and meticulous attention to detail to his advantage. For him, the orientation of a doctor has always been to “not sleep on a problem,” but “identify the problem and find the solution.” And this same principle he applies when developing resolutions for his city.