The Municipality of Oton, a first class municipality was founded on May 3, 1572, which makes it the oldest town in Panay. It has 37 barangays spread along a 8,644 hectare area of flat to slightly rolling hills. Because of its proximity to the city, subdivisions have mushroomed, providing homes to the nearby Iloilo City’s workforce. at present , Oton has registered a population of about 100,000 which is the highest in the Province of Iloilo.
Traveling from the airport takes only 45 minutes with the presence of the Circumferential I Road and the Oton-Mambog-San Miguel Road.
Fishing and farming remains the main livelihood of the Ogtonganons. Watermelon planting used to be popular in Oton which earned it the title “Watermelon Capital in Western Visayas”. The Sandiya (Watermelon) Festival features the biggest watermelon, watermelon-carving contest and watermelon-eating contest.
Oton’s rich historical and cultural heritage spanning 446 years is celebrated during the Katagman Festival. The highlight of the festival, the Musical, Dance and Theater Competition, held every May 3 – Oton’s Foundation Day, revolves around a storyline that highlight the most significant events in town’s history. The mural in the Oton Plaza provides a constant reminder of the Ogtonganon historical heritage.
Many people come to Oton for its beach resorts, inland resorts and function halls for seminars and other occasions. Souvenir items include shawls, handkerchiefs and table runners made of hablon, and fashion accessories made of shell and terra cotta. For delicacies and baked products, there is House of Lengua de Gato and Nang Palang’s Pies.