The Municipality of Pilar first started as a settlement of refugees at the mouth of Sibala River. Away from the tyranny of Spanish colonial rule, the settlers were able to develop and progress independently due also to the rich resources surrounding them from both land and water.
The settlement remained undiscovered for several years; however, Spanish rule eventually came upon it. Residents were converted to Catholicism and the place itself gained a patron saint in the Nuestra Señora del Pilar. The Spanish named the place, Sibala, after the adjacent river, and it was used as both a military outpost and a missionary. Throughout Spanish rule, Sibala changed hands and jurisdiction multiple times before becoming an independent municipality.
In 1720 nearby Barrio Aranguel became a municipality and Sibala became a part of Aranguel. However, as Aranguel frequently suffered from Moro raids, it progressed slowly and poorly. After thirty years of being a municipality Aranguel, with Sibala, was reverted into a barrio of Pontevedra. In October 29, 1856 Sibala was again moved under the jurisdiction of a new and different municipality, Casanayan. This lasted less than a decade though.
On May 29, 1865, by decree of Governor-General Primo de Rivera, Sibala was instituted an independent municipality named Pilar, in honour of its patron saint.
The Municipality of Pilar is one of the 16 Municipalities in the Province of Capiz with 24 barangays, located in the north eastern portion of the Province of Capiz at 11° 30’ N and 123° E. It is bounded by Pilar Bay to the north and northwest, the Municipality of Carles, Iloilo to the northeast, the Municipality of Balasan, Iloilo to the southeast and the Municipality of President Roxas to the southwest. The municipality has a total land area of 11,560 hectares.
- Area: 11,754.6879 Ha (In Dispute)
- Mountainous but Coastal
- Coverage: Mostly Agricultural and Forest Lands
- Population (2010): 41, 572
- Growth Rate for 1990-2000: 8.3% – 2000-2010: 6.9%
- Major Sources of Livelihood: Farming and Fishing
Pilar is politically divided in 24 Barangays
- San Antonio
- San Blas
- San Esteban
- San Fernando
- San Nicolas
- San Pedro
- San Ramon
- San Silvestre
- Sta. Fe