>> Saturday, December 12, 2009
There are various legends about how Barili got its name. During the Spanish times, the town was alternately called Barili and Barilis, a variety of fish common in the nearby waters from which the place probably derived its name.
Another legend became the officially accepted story in a resolution passed in 1908 by the Barili Municipal Council which goes like this... A long time ago, in a tiny hut resting on a small plateau, there lived a poor couple. Near their home was a tree entwined with a vine locally known as "balili". One summer day, as the couple was taking a break from work under the shade of a tree, a group of Spaniards on an exploration trip of the island came upon them. After greeting the couple in sign language, one of the Spaniards began toying with the leaves of the vine. He had never seen such a plant in his homeland. The Spaniards, however, were more curious about the place they had wandered into, and so one of them asked: 'Como se llama este lugar'? (What is the name of this place?). Not understanding the strange tongue in which they were being spoken to, and assuming that they were being asked for the name of the plant in the Spaniards hand, the couple answered 'Balili'.
The name struck and in time became BARILI which was easier for the Spanish tongue to pronounce.