Friday, August 7, 2015

Discover Aklan Philippines

Have you ever been to Aklan? Maybe yes, when you visited Boracay Island. But do you know that there are other beautiful places to visit in Aklan? Let me enumerate them for you. Let's start from A to Z.


Noted for its 'puto tostado' (dried rice cake), be enthralled by Tinagong Dagat, one of the province's rich fising ground, fringed with mangroves, thick undergrowth and rocky beach and for it's unique Ati-atihan Festival celebrated every 4th week of January.


Rolling hills, verdant fields, meandering streams and lush forest outline Balete's landscape. Agtawagon Hill, gawking at the Poblacion like an ever-reliable defender used to fortify Aklan's resistance against invaders during World War II. 

Visit the town's outstanding assets, the Kabuhian Livelihood and Training Center, showcasing creative native products of the entire province and the Basura Garden featuring a collection of artifacts, antiques and recyclable materials transformed into works of art.

Behold Balete's own festival dubbed 'Enchanting Balete' highlighting the rich culture and traditions of Baleten-ons.


Go religious. Every Lenten Week, witness the re-enactment of Christ's crucifixion at Manduyog Hill where fourteen life-size Stations of the Cross wind up the hillside. Nestled at its foot is the Aklan State University, an attraction by itself and host to national conferences and seminars.


Home to Datu Bendahara Kalantiaw, reputed as the country's first lawgiver. At the eastern side of the poblacion is Ob-ob Hill standing like a lighthouse, bestows a sweeping view of the Sibuyan Sea. The beach at its foot is ideal for beachcombers and water sports enthusiast. Witness Batan's Malakara Ati-atihan Festival with it's choreographed dances to the jarring sounds of drums every 3rd Sunday of January.


Experience the rustic and rugged atmosphere at Buruanga, the farthest yet potentially rich town of Aklan. Go spelunking in its caves and venture into it's excellent diving sites at Ariel's Point, Tuburan Baybay or Hinugtan White Beach. Find spiritual solace with nature at Ashram Balay Pagduaw, a perfect place for meditation, relaxation and retreat. Another must see attraction is Hacienda Maria, this 14 hectare of unspoiled beauty of nature has three caves, refreshing waterfalls, soothing hot pot Jacuzzi and lambanog making demonstration for visitors. Pagatpat Mangrove offers a relaxing respite to visitors with its lush mangroves, clear waters.


Take a breather at Campo Verde bordering Tangalan and Ibajay towns. Mahogany, acacia and butterfly treesdraw visitors deep into its lush underbrush. Ibajay waterfront is ideal for swimming and picnics. Experience the magical mangroves at Katunggan it Ibajay as you take a stroll on the 800-meter footwalk. Here the Ati-atihan Festival is celebrated at its ethnic best every fourth Sunday of January.


Home to world famous Santo Niño Ati-atihan Festival celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January and hub to the Queen of Philippine fibers - the piña cloth. Behold Aklan's natural affluence from atop Tigayon Hill. From there, explore the cavernous Tigayon Cave underneath. Treat yourself with a walk with nature at the Bakhawan Eco-Park, a multi awarded for excellence in Environment Preservation. Discover Aklan's rich cultural heritage at the Museo it Akean or pay homage to the nineteen Aklan martyrs at the Aklan Freedom Shrine.


The best 'ampao' (pop rice) in town is made in Lezo from where the rest of Aklan draw its electric power.The abundance of clay deposits along its river banks has made Lezo the primary manufacturer of clay potteries. The town is also famous for its best abaca weavers producing creative bags, cushions, curtains, table runners, shawls and elegant gowns.


Tryst with the forceful cascades at Mayubay or nearby Pampangon Falls some thirty kilometers away from Kalibo. Upstream of Aklan river is considered the longest 'wild river' in the Philippines. It is known for its clean and clear waters great for extreme adventure activities like bamboo rafting, kayaking and other water-based sports.


A place of untouched rainforest, rolling hills and verdant fields ideal for a sojourn with the bounties of nature. Liktinon white rocks in Ma. Cristina boast a huge white stones and pristine waters. Marvel at the virginal beauty of Agtughangin Falls with the lush forest as its backdrop. A potential source of hydroelectric power which can supply 29 MV for Aklan and portions of Panay is the Timbahan River also in Brgy. Ma. Cristina.


Invigorate the gentle sea breeze of Sibuyan Sea or laze your time away at its rows of fishponds accentuating the richness of this town. Those yearning for idyllic retreats with nature can visit Salimono Falls with its mountain-cool water. Come visit January 15, and get a feel of the Ati-atihan Festival celebrated in its unique way.


Other than Boracay Island which is acclaimed as one of the world's best beach for its powdery-fine white sand, Malay has much more to offer. Brace your legs to trek down the woods into Agnaga Falls and be captivated its enchanting charm. Explore the Pangihan Cave with its magnificent chambers. Malay Ecological Park located at Brgy. Argao is a scenic place over viewing Boracay, planted with fruit bearing trees, has a butterfly garden and tree houses with view decks. Sail on paraw to Naasog Point, a limestone forest beside the sea where one can swim, snorkel, scuba dive, well-climbed and trek the limestone trail and experience the Fiesta de Obreros celebrated every 1st of May.


Hike upstream to Manomong Falls at Brgy. Tigpalas or consider a religious sojourn to Fatima Hill. This historic town which is the hometown of Candido Iban, a famous local Katipunero hero, also celebrates the Ati-atihan Festival every third Friday of January.


Discover the mystery of Basang Cave, believed as the country's longest cave whose other and extends to as far as Libertad in nearby province of Antique. Be comforted to the energizing coolness of Laserna Cold Springs. Immerse into its numerous waterfalls cradling several soothing therapeutic cool dipping basins. Experince the Bariw Festival celebrated every May 12 to 15 showcasing the craftsmanship and ingenuity of Nabasnon in weaving bags, mats and hats made of bariw leaves highlighted by continuous street dancing of folks dressed in indigenous bariw costumes accompanied by bamboo instruments - a must see!


Marvel at the breathtaking sunrise and savor the mouthwatering sea foods served fresh along Tambak Sea Wall. From there, stride along the residence of the late Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, former Catholic Archbishop of Manila. Visit the Pink Sisters Convent and Chapel, the only contemporary nunnery in the whole region. See the Christmas-themed Sampaguita Gardens Resort and Spa, a resort hotel famous for its unique attractions and facilities such as the Thai inspired Mansion showcasing Asian arts and crafts, Convention Center, swimming pool, precious moments gallery of dolls and decors, Meditation chapel and a lot more.


Approximately situated at the doorstep of Kalibo is the town of Numancia famous for their mouthwatering and best tasing lechon or roated pig. The lechon industry has grown over the years in fact the Local Government of Numancia conceptualized the Lechon Parade Festival, and annual contest among the different barangay and lechonan operators in the municipality. Another worthwhile stopover is a visit to the oldest Aeta Village in Aklan located at barangay Bulwang near the Aklan River bank. Discover the 'Shades of Albasan' and get enchanted while being surrounded by century-old giant acacia trees planted in clusters and still standing tall and proud after over 119 years with in the Albasan Elementary School.


Jawili beckons not just for the mystic lure of the seven basins in Jawili Falls but the invigorating whiff of fresh air at white sand Jawili Beach. The Agfa Wave Rock Formation is a unique environmental phenomenon resulting from a wave and rock action on the shore. Other attractions are the century-old St. John Nepomucene Church, Campo Verde, Marine Sanctuary and Coral Garden and the Bugna it Tangalan Festival during the month of May.

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