Kalibo is the capital town of Aklan but other than the Ati-atihan, it is just known for as another entry/exit point for Boracay. But a look around the municipality, there are some interesting places as well as food for the adventurer willing to discover what she has to offer. This list is a compilation of such things and food to see, experience and eat in Kalibo.
1 Ati-atihan Festival
The mother of all Philippine Festivals, the Ati-atihan of Kalibo is full of great vibe, color and pomp as revelers colored in black don elaborate costumes that is specifically identified with this festival. Although the route is generally around the plaza, its a very exhilarating event with an authentic spirit. Less choreographed unlike those in Dinagyang and Sinulog but better.
The Ati-atihan Festival happens every 3rd Sunday of January
2 Museo it Akean
Housed in a building built during the Spanish colonial era in 1882, the Museo it Akean is a good place to start and get to know more about the province. It showcases its history, from prehistoric, Spanish colonial, American, political to the present. There are different artifacts that highlight the different periods. It also features the culture, food as well as art exhibits and memorabilia.
The museum is just beside the cathedral, across the church
3 Aklan Freedom Shrine
The Freedom Shrine of Aklan honors the 19 martyrs during the revolution against Spain and serves as a World War II memorial as well. Especially interesting are the 19 steps found below the statue atop the monument with each step bearing the name of a martyr.
The Aklan Freedom Shrine is at the intersection of D. Maagma and Veterans’s Avenues
4 Kalibo Cathedral
The Kalibo Cathedral was originally constructed and finished in 1826 but after several distasters, a fire in 1885, World War II and an earthquake in 1990, led to the renovation and reconstruction of the present church. However, there are still original parts within the edifice. The cathedral is where the popular image of the Sto. Nino, different from that of Cebu is enshrined.
The Kalibo Cathedral is built infront of Plaza Pastrana, the center of celebrations during the Ati-atihan Festival
5 Bakhawan Eco Park
Bakhawan Eco Park in Barangay New Buswang is a showcase of environmental efforts. Formerly just empty mud flats, it was reforested by the Kalibo Save the Mangroves (KASAMA) NGO and has been recognized and awarded, local and international, community based forest management project that the UN’s FAO considered as exemplary, in the whole Asia and the Pacific.
READ MORE: Lush mangroves at Kalibo’s Bakhawan Eco Park
6 Tigayon Hill
Located at the outskirts of Kalibo town, Tigayon Hill is an interesting spot filled with history. National Museum diggings found prehistoric artifacts within its grounds. It has a huge balete (banyan) tree that easily dwarfs visitors. Being primarily a hill of limestone, there are several caves and cavities, for such a small land area. During Holy Week, Catholics flock to the hill for the Stations of the Cross as part of their Lenten observance.
READ MORE: The creepy balete in Tigayon Hill
Tigayon Hill is a bit far from the main town but has a good road leading to it.
7 Beautiful and colorful handmade paper at Papierus
Papierus Arts and Crafts not only provide interesting and beautiful hand made paper for different use and occasions, from decors to notepads and specialty cards and other products. What I really liked about this place is the demo. One is shown the different steps in making hand made paper, from materials to techniques like coloring, imprinting motifs till drying. It’s very educational.
Papierus Arts and Crafts
647 Osmena Ave, Capitol Site
8 Dela Cruz House of Piña
Aklan is probably the center of piña (pineapple) fiber weaving in the Philippines with the queen of fibers grown and cultivated, prepared, woven and made into different use. The Dela Cruz House of Piña showcases the different, high quality fabrics that they produce and export. Their showroom also includes nito basketry. They have a network of weavers around the town and in the province which you might want to visit.
Dela Cruz House of Pina
81 New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan
9 Try Aklanon cuisine
Aklan has not only a distinct language but it has interesting cuisine as well. There’s the binakoe, a version of the binakol which is stewed native chicken cooked inside bamboo tubes. Inubarang manok is chicken cooked with minced banana stalks (ubad) and is delicious. Linapay/Tinamuk is the province’s version of the popular Bicolano pinangat. There are delicacies like inday-inday, latik and eangkuga
READ MORE: Going local: 6 Aklanon food you should try
The best place to try these different Aklanon food is in Saylo Cuisine in Kalibo
10 Eat tamilok
It can be gross for some people but woodworms, found in decaying mangrove wood, are not really worms but are molluscs without a shell. In Kalibo, you can try this delicacy at the Bakhawan Eco Park that includes a demonstration (P200). It’s really very good and I found it better tasting than oysters especially if dipped in sinamak, spicy vinegar. Yum!
READ MORE: Tamilok (woodworm) actually tastes good!