Aklan

Do you plan of visiting Aklan? Read more and discover the beauty of Aklan.

I was watching a Taiwanese drama where the lead couple met, fell in love and married in an island with picturesque scenery. Imagine my surprise when I realized based from the subtitles that it was taken in Boracay Island. I felt proud knowing that a place in my country land was featured in a movie drama shown internationally.

Serene and blue water of Boracay

Boracay Island or mostly known as Paradise Island, is part of the province of Aklan which is located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines Archipelago.

It is bordered by the provinces of Iloilo from the southern area, Capiz from the west and Antique from the Southwest. The place has a geographic diversity of white sandy beaches, mountains and mangroves making it a first class province.

How to get there

Travel time from Kalibo to Manila is 45 minutes while from Cebu is 30 minutes by air, and 15 hours from Manila and 18 hours from Cebu by sea.

More than a paradise to see

If you plan for a long vacation, do yourself a favor and see other parts of the province, too. Be awed with the seven basin-tiered falls called Jawili Falls in Tangalan or the partly hidden body of water called Tinagong Dagat or Hidden Sea in Batan. The latter is partly hidden from Batan Bay by two islands and is fringed with mangroves and has a rocky beach with clear waters ideal for swimming.

There is also the Tigwatil-an Island or Crystal Cove in Sitio Caticlan, Malay where shells or varying shapes and sizes are on the white beach and it has nearby caves where you can see crystalline formations when you go inside.

You will be transported to another world when you visit the Elephant Cave or Ignito Cave in Brgy. Tigum, Buruanga. This cave boasts of beautiful formation of stalagmites, stalactites and other crystalline structures. It is best to enter at noontime for it will have a skylight effects on one of its chambers as a result of the light reflecting from the outside.

Experience the long walk into Tulingon Cave in Nabas, which is believed to be one of the longest caves in the Philippines. The cave stretches 20 km from Nabas to Pandan, Antique. Finally, feel refreshed with clean air and greenery if you will visit Nabaoy Reforestration in Tangalan.

Aklan also has a significance to Filipino history. This is where the Borneo settlers started to live during the 12th century. The settlers were ruled by Datus before the island was claimed by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi for Spain in 1565. There’s the Freedom Shrine in Kalibo for the 19 martyrs who started the revolt against Spain, and the Kalantiaw Shrine in Batan.

Home of fabrics and pottery

Other than tourism, the main products in the province are piña and abaca. These products can be made out into fabrics like place mats, bags, wall decors, fans etc. Piña is a fine fabric to make into clothes, making it the Queen of Philippine Fabrics. Aklan has vast amount of red clay from Lezo that are used to make pots, vases and various novelty items.

Ati-atihan festival

Ati-atihan is an annual street dancing festival in Aklan.

Make sure to include the third week of January in your vacation schedule. You wouldn’t want to miss the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo. A frenzied event to celebrate the feast of Sto. Niño. Participants don colorful costumes while their bodies and faces are painted black with grotesque designs to dance in synch with the drumbeats in the streets.

For any travel inquiry or issues encountered, you can contact the local tourism office.

PROVINCIAL TOURISM & CULTURAL AFFAIRS OFFICE
Provincial Capitol Building, Kalibo, Aklan
Phone: (036) 268-5338
Telefax (036) 262-3132
Email Address: aklanpgo@yahoo.com