There’s more to the western part of Panay than Boracay. In fact, there are many interesting places in the provinces of Aklan, Antique and western Iloilo that just amazes without driving all the way to Caticlan. Ruins, churches, food and rowdy festivals are there waiting. My second visit to the province of Antique was another hurried trip. Blame it on my schedule but for this second time, I was targeting specific sites related to heritage churches, chapels and ruins of which the province, have some interesting examples.
Four of the most important are listed below.
1 Anini-y Church
It is one of Antique’s tourism sites and the only intact heritage church located at the tailend of the province. This two level church has interesting details like intricate bas relief, rose windows and decorative corinthian columns that will make you smile in awe.
Made from coral stones, it was almost finished in 1898 when the Philippine revolution against Spain broke out. Its old cemetery is also interesting for its fence that are just thick and with stout pillars.
Langyaw.com’s sister site, Simbahan.net, covers this church in more detail.
2 Ruins of Patnongon Church and convent
If it wasn’t destroyed during World War II, which were bombed by the Americans (as most old churches across the country were), the Patnongon Church would have been the biggest in Antique. Now, only the walls and first level of the facade still stand. The attached convent is now occupied by St. Augustine’s Academy.
Another casualty of the war is the town’s Casa Municipal, a few meters and perpendicular to the church ruins.
3 Ruins of San Pedro Church, San Jose
San Pedro, a barangay in the capital town of San Jose de Buenavista is the site of another church ruin. From the way it is constructed, of mamposteria (stones), it can be said as one of the oldest. Like Patnongon Church, only the first level of the facade and walls remain. There are interesting details at the top of two side portals.
Unlike most of the heritage sites listed here, it is far from the main highway.
4 Hamtic cemetery chapel
The first time I visited Hamtic last year, I really missed this chapel. I was just so close, about a hundred yards but really didn’t find it. With this second visit, I made sure that I see it and I did.
The chapel is charming, despite being amidst a cemetery. It’s thick stone walls add to its quiantness. A short narrow path lined with weeping atiocas make the walk pleasant.
Hamtic is also the site of the first Malay settlement in 1200 AD. How they knew about this, I don’t really have no idea, but it was one of the stops of the Balangay last year. A marker, right, marks the place.
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