Madridejos is a 4th municipal income class municipality on Bantayan Island in the province of Cebu, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 36,429. In the 2016 electoral roll, it had 23,134 registered voters. It is one of the three municipalities that make up the island of Bantayan, which lies to the west of the northern tip of Cebu. It is bounded to the south by the municipality of Bantayan, and on all other sides by the Visayan Sea.
Lawis was the old name of Madridejos. Even today people still use the name “Lawis”, meaning “promontory”, the portion carved out to constitute the municipality of Madridejos being the peninsula located on the northern side of Bantayan island facing the Visayan Sea.
During the time of governor Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera (1635–1644), the Visayas were continually harassed by the Moros, who wreaked dreadful havoc, capturing, massacring, robbing, sacking churches, and burning everything there was.
The kota (cota or cuta = fort) was built in 1630 by Lázaro Mangubat. Blowing of the budyong served as signal of the coming of the Moros. A watch tower was built in Kaongkod, a barrio about (4 kilometres (2.5 mi)) from the fort. It is the place from where the approach of the Moros could easily be seen, to give a timely warning to the townsfolk of their coming. All watchtowers on Bantayan where built by Fr. Doroteo Andrada del Rosario, parish priest of Bantayan in the 19th century (Moro attacks were worst around 1840s).
The general scenery of Lawis was that of a quiet place, of virgin grounds covered by small shrubs and lantana. When more people discovered Lawis and flocked to it, the place became a visita.
In 1917 barrio Lawis became a town named Madridejos. This was the name given to the third town of Bantayan island in honour of Benito Romero de Madridejos the former archbishop of Cebu. The town’s feast day is celebrated annually on 8 December.
Madridejos can be reached by boat from Cebu City via Santa Fe with 75-minutes ferry service to San Remigio (Hagnaya) via Island Shipping or SuperShuttle Ferry. Bus (jeepney) travel to Madridejos via the municipality of Bantayan takes about one hour.
There are currently NO overnight boats from Cebu City to Bantayan Island, nor are there any scheduled commercial air flights. Private air companies occasionally fly smaller Cessna and Piper aircraft into Bantayan Airport.