Total land Area: 11, 204.68 hectares
Location: Carles is the northern most town of Iloilo. It is located in the northern tip of the triangular shaped of Panay island. It is bordered on the North by Jintotolo Channel, on the North West by the Visayan Sea, on the West by the Municipality of Pilar, Capiz, on the South by the Municipality of Balasan, and on the East by Guimaras Strait. It is 146 km away from Iloilo and 13 km away from Balasan.
Municipal Water Area: 154, 738 hectares
Sometime in 1846, Francisco Arriola, son of the datu from Jolo, together with his men found themselves in the shores of Carles. He immediately organized the early settlers who later intermingled with his men at Punta Bulucawe, a plateau just 300 meters north of Poblacion. They settled in the clearings of the jungles and virgin lands for development. The provincial Governor of Capiz commisioned Arriola to facilitate the transportation of the families recruited from Aklan and Antique. Soon more settlers came. The Punta Bulucawe settlement was included in the Pueblo de Pilar, Capiz.
Towards 1856, as the general clearing progressed, Francisco Arriola transfered Bulucawe to the lowland south of the first settlement. The new settlement was named Badiang ( wild gabi,variety) because of its abundance in the vicinity of the new site. As streets were laid out, Arriola cause the equal distributions of the homelots to settlers alongside of the new created streets. Some settlers, however, built their homes near their farms. This later led to the formation of the other barrio settlement.
On January 1860, the Badiang barrio leaders led by Francisco Arriola went to Capiz to petition the provincial government to change the barrio Badiang into a municipality. The governor denied the petition on the ground that the barrio Badiang was newly created and was not capable of becoming a pueblo.
Not discouraged by their first failure, the petitioners traveled for days to Iloilo city where they were welcomed by Governor Jose Maria Carles, a Spanish governor. After studying the cases, Governor Carles approved the petition and thus the barrio Badiang was changed to a pueblo.
The jubiliant people of Badiang, out of their gratitude to Governor Carles for his benevolence, approved and presented another petition to change the name of Badiang to Carles in honor of the governor. This petition was also approved and thus Carles became a town of Iloilo.
On July 1, 1862, Carles was inagurated as a new Pueblo with Alejandro Buaya as a the first gobernadorcillo del Pueblo de Carles which extended its jurisdiction to Batad, Estancia, and Balasan.
The recorded chonological list of historical events begun in 1846.
1846 - Francisco Arriola from Jolo founded Punta Bolokawe and organized the early settles known as Bolokawe settlement.
October -15, 1850 Francisco Arriola and settlers celerated their first Thanksgiving Day. Arriola was chosen as the first Teniente del Barrio.
1855 - Barrio Bolokawe settlers transferred to Barrio Badiang ( Barangay Badiang is a flat lowland where wild giant gabi variety of plant was abundant)now Barangay Poblacion.
January 1860 - Arriola and settlers petitioned the change of status of Barrio Badiang into a municipality from the Spanish Governor of Iloilo, Jose Maria Dominguez Carles.
Carles was turned to pueblo or municipality by virtue of an executive proclaimation of the the Governor General in Manila. The people of Barrio Badiang out of their gratitude to Governor for his benevolence approved and presented another petition to change the name Badiang to Carles in honor of the Governor. This petition was approved, thus Carles became a town of Iloilo.
July 1, 1886 - Carles was inaugurated as a new Pueblo and Alejandro Buaya was the first Gobernadorcillo del Pueblo.
1892 - By operation of Maura Law, Pueblo de Carles was changed into Municipio de Carles. The first elected Municipal Captain was Luceno Golingan.
November 1898 The title of Capitan Municipal was changed to Presidente Local.
1901 - 1903 - First Presidente Local was ex-Capitan Municipal Luceno Golingan. He was the last executive of Carles before Carles was transferred to Balasan on January 1, 1904.
1904 - 191 - Demotion of Carles to a status of a barrio of Balasan municipality. Carlesanons abandoned their town and migrated to other places. Carles then became a "ghost" town for 16 years.
January 1, 1920 - Carles was finally restored to its Municipal status. Federico Ramos was appointed as the first Municipal Preseident in Carles.
One of the 11 towns of the 5th district of Iloilo, Carles is 146 kilometers away from Iloilo City and has jurisdiction over 33 barangays, 15 of which are in the mainland and 18 are scattered in different islands. It has a total land area of 11,204.68 hectares spread out in both the mainland and scattered islands of Calagana-an, Sicogon, Binuluangan, Gigante Norte, Gigante Sur, Talunan-an, Naborot, Balbagon, Cabugao, Himamaylan, Manlot, Linandlaran, Tomakin, Manigonigo. As of 2008, the total population of Carles is 66,386.
Of the total population, 33,856 are male and 32530 are female. With an annual growth rate of 1.4% it has a density of 5.35 persons per hectare. The total number of household is 11,325 with an average size of 5.54 persons per family. Carles is now a third (3rd) class municipality with an annual income from local revenue of Php 9,687,836.00 and Internal Revenue Allotment of Php 44,636,899.00 for Fiscal Year 2008. The labor force Population is 56.32% of the total population or 34,035 with an unemployment rate of .58.14%. The main source of income is fishing with an average annual per capita income of Php 900.00
The agricultural land comprises 49.94 percent area of the total land of Carles or 5,595.61 hectares and only 1871.36 hectares is being cultivated for the production of rice by 1449 farmers. In a rain fed municipality like Carles where only seven (7) hectares of rice land is irrigated, there is barely two cropping per year.
This in turn yielded an average annual rice production of 3.207 metric tons per hectare or 285,783.4 cavans Other leading agricultural products of the municipality are as follows, coconut (1871 hectares) with annual production of 6081.92 metric tons; mango (40.64 hectares); Banana (452.92 hectares); and Sugarcane (254.60 hectares). Accounted livestock and poultry population in the municipality as of January 2007 are: 55,006 chickens; 6,523 swine; 2,747 cattle; 2,180 carabao and 1,052 goats.
The archipelagic nature of Carles explains why the principal source of livelihood of the people is the fishing industry which extends not only within the territorial waters of the municipality that is teeming with different kinds of fish and other marine products, but also with the 2,086.24 hectares of fishponds.As of January 2008, 18% of the total population or 11,291 is engaged in capture fisheries.
With a total of 3,626 municipal fishing and small scale commercial fishing boats, the ratio of one (1) out of three (3) fisher folks owns a fishing boat. For period of a month, only 15 days is set up for fishing bringing about an approximate fish production of 5kg per day or a total 86,295,260 kilograms for the 15 day duration of operation. In addition to the municipal and commercial fish produce, an average annual fishpond production is 0.625 metric ton per hectare.
The major products of Carles are: fishes, mollusks, rice, coconut, sugarcane and seaweed wherein most of the sea foods are now being processed locally and exported to Japan and neighboring countries like the crabmeat, squid, seaweed, sea horses and sea cucumbers.
Existing major business establishment in the mainland and island barangays in the municipality are: fish port; beach resorts; rice mills; public markets, grocery stores, sari-sari stores, crab meat processing plants, machine shops, gasoline stations, hardware stores, funeral homes, fresh and dried fish brokerages; bakeries; machines shops and welding shops.