10 interesting things to do in Kalibo

10 interesting things to do in Kalibo

An ati-atihan dancer rests after their performance

An ati-atihan dancer rests after their performance

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.

READ MORE: Color & frenzy at Kalibo’s Ati-atihan festival

The Ati-atihan Festival happens every 3rd Sunday of January

The Museo it Akean is the province's repository of its historical and cultural heritage

The Museo it Akean is the province’s repository of its historical and cultural heritage

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

The Aklan Freedom Shrine immortalizes the 19 martyrs of the province

The Aklan Freedom Shrine immortalizes the 19 martyrs of the province

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

The neoclassic facade of Kalibo Cathedral with neo-gothic touches

The neoclassic facade of Kalibo Cathedral with neo-gothic touches

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

The Bakhawan Ecop Park is lush and beckons

The Bakhawan Eco Park is lush and beckons

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

The giant banyan tree at Tigayon Hill has some interesting surprises as well

The giant banyan tree at Tigayon Hill has some interesting surprises as well

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.

Hand made paper at Papierus

Hand made paper at Papierus

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
Kalibo, Aklan
https://www.facebook.com/PapierusArtsCrafts

Pina fiber weavers abound in Kalibo being its top product

Pina fiber weavers abound in Kalibo being its top product

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
Philippines
+6336 2623267
[email protected]

If you love the pinangat, you'll also love the linapay

If you love the pinangat, you’ll also love the linapay

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

Tamilok or wood worm is not actually a worm but a shelless mollusc and way better than oysters!

Tamilok or wood worm is not actually a worm but a shelless mollusc and way better than oysters!

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!

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

4 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    January 18, 2015 @ 13:21

    10 interesting things to do and visit in Kalibo: An ati-atihan dancer rests after their performance
    Kalibo is … http://t.co/aS7bYY0I1P

  2. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    January 20, 2015 @ 11:18

    10 interesting things to do in #Kalibo http://t.co/dYUmmC5WaQ http://t.co/OKF0drIH7T

  3. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    January 22, 2015 @ 6:40

    #2: visit Bakhawan Eco Park, 10 Interesting Things to Do in #Kalibo #aklan

    More in http://t.co/ffR0oM2dRI http://t.co/y7OeZPDphZ

  4. Akeanon
    April 28, 2016 @ 19:36

    its really hard to do the “tour” in aklan(exluding boracay) because of the limited places to visit unlike antique but thanks to this awesome blog, you’ve spared me from time consuming and head breaking thinking. kudos kimu. 😀

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