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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

ILOILO - THE RISING DRAGON OF THE SOUTH

ILOILO - THE RISING DRAGON OF THE SOUTH


Iloilo's Double Dragon Economy Consists of Iloilo City and the Towns Of:


Oton-Pavia-Sta Barbara-San Miguel-Leganes-Passi City-Pototan-Miag-ao-Cabatuan-Alimodian-Leon-Estancia-Lambunao-Tigbauan-Barotac Nuevo-Zarraga-Sara-Concepcion-Ajuy-Dumangas

1. Ajuy
2. Alimodian
3. Barotac Nuevo
4. Cabatuan
5. Concepcion
6. Dumangas
7. Estancia
8. Lambunao
9. Leganes
10.Leon
11.Miag-ao
12.Oton
13.Passi City
14.Pavia
15.Pototan
16.San Miguel
17.Santa Barbara
18.Sara
19.Tigbauan
20.Zarraga

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

All About AKLAN

                                   Aklan Recaptured Paradise



Ati-atihan held every third Saturday and Sunday of January in Kalibo, Aklan




        

          Aklan, the youngest of the four provinces of Panay Island following its separation from the mother province of Capiz on April 25, 1956 by virtue of Republic Act No. 1414, is actually, in point of history, the oldest province in the Philippines organized in 1213 by the Bornean settlers.
        The province is constituted by seventeen (17) municipalities comprising a total of 327 barangays with a projected total population of  in its 1,821.42 sq. kilometers land area (703.25 sq. mi).
        Aklanon have always believed that their forbears came over from Borneo. They are basically industrious, hardworking, independent and peace-loving people, with their own dialect, distinct customs and traditions and local culture. It has come to pass that the Aklanon possess a deep rooted pride and loyalty to their own locality, setting them apart from Capiz.
       There is further validity to the Aklanon's dream as a separate province. As early as 1433, according to Panayan historical records, there was a well-organized government on Aklan soil, under the rule of Datu Bendahara Kalantiaw, the third (3rd) chief of Panay. This Aklan ruler wrote the famous "Kalantiaw Code," regarded as the first and oldest laws in the Philippines, containing eighteen (18) "sugo" (order) which reveals the high degree of civilization the people of Aklan have.


Geography

   The province of Aklan is one of the provinces of Western Visayas constituting 7.14% of land area in the region. It is bounded on the north by the Sibuyan Sea, on the south and east by Capiz and on west by Antique.


Climate

    According to Pag-asa (Philippine Atmospheric Geographical and Astronomical Services Administration), the province of Aklan is characterized by two areas of somewhat different climate. The difference lies mainly in the amount and schedule of rainfall, while temperature differences is very slight.
    The municipality of Buruanga, Malay, Nabas, Madalag and Libacao has a first type climate, meaning two pronounced season which is dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year. While the municipalities of Ibajay, Tangalan, Makato, Lezo, Numancia, Kalibo, Banga, Batan, Malinao, Balete, Altavas and New Washington belong to third type climate. Season in this area is not very pronouced. It is relatively dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year.

Population

    The population of the province taken from 2010 Statistics is 535, 725.


History
Early Settlers and Permanent Settlements
          The written history of Aklan may be traced as far back as the middle of the 13th century of the Christian era (A.D.). According to Maragtas, the lowlands of Panay were colonized by the Malayan Datus from Borneo led by Datu Puti.
          According to the written records, the settlers fled their homes to escape the oppressive rule of Makatunaw, Sultan of Brunei. The ten (10) datus together with their families and followers then set sail until they reached the Siwaragan River in what is now a part of the town of San Joaquin, Iloilo. Datu Puti who leads the Malayan settlers, bought the island of Panay from Datu Marikudo, the chieftain of the Atis or the aborigines which are the original settlers of the island, with a golden hat called Salakot and they also give Marikudo's wife, Maniwangtiwan a gift which was a floor length necklace called Manangyad and also other gifts like bolts of cloth and some golden trinkets. The Atis then moved to the mountains for settlement while the Malay settlers made the lowlands their permanent settlement. The datus divided the Panay island among themselves in which Antique went to Datu Sumakwel, Iloilo went to Datu Paiburong and Aklan was given to Datu Bangkaya who was the first ruler of the Aklan province. The Bornean settlers of Aklan carved out a settlement and reaped harvests from the fertile plains, the rich forests and abudant seas. They gave the new land the name AKEAN, meaning PARADISE. Magyanos, which is the present Barangay Marianos of the town of Numancia in Aklan, became its first capital.
         History tells of how Datu Puti purchased the vast valleys and lowlands from the Ati king, Marikudo. A feast was held in celebration of the transaction, with the Borneans and the Atis (aborigines of the Panay Island) having a grand time eating and drinking, dancing and singing. The celebration continued to be held each year during the blooming season of mangoes, which was about the time of the year when the purchase was consumated. Later, after the Atis had withdrawn to the mountains, the settlers choose to perpetuate the celebration, and in the absence of the Atis, some smeared themselves with soot to simulate the darker skinned original residents. This practice has continued during the celebration which, standing the tests of centuries, has come to be known as the present popular "Ati-atihan Festival," a tribal dance festival resembling the Ati or Panay aborigines, the original residents of Panay Island. The famous Ati-atihan Festival is also called "The Grandmother Of All Philippine Festival" because it is the first and oldest Philippine Festival which was started in 1213.

Boracay Island
 

          The world famous Boracay Island which was located at Barangay Caticlan in Malay town, Aklan was named as the world's best beach in 1990 by BMW Tropical Beach Handbook as published by the Fourth Estate of London. Boracay was considered as such for having everything one can possibly desires in tropical beach life. This was made so in a research conducted by Nick Hanna and two researchers to over 200 tropical beaches and islands all over the world.
          It was also declared as the world's best beach by the Travel and Leisure Magazine in 2012.
 Aklan's pride is 67 kilometers northwest of Kalibo, the capital town of the "Hala Bira" country. The island is approximately seven (7) kilometers long, the northwest half of Barangay Yapak facing Carabao Island and Mindoro, is about one (1) kilometer wide; the southeastern half of Barangay Balabag, facing towards Caluya Island and Palawan is about one half (1/2) kilometer wide.
         Once rounded a headland, you'll have a view of the almost 4 kms. long crescent powdered white sand beach on four (4) feet sand covering solid rocks and transparent blue green waters, a masterpiece of nature. Puka shells litter the beaches, coral reefs and a network of caves await exploration. There are hundreds of hotels and resorts there ranging from luxury and 1st class accomodations to mid range and de luxe accomodations as well as dozens of restaurants and shops to dine and be entertained as well as dozens of worthwhile beach and outdoor activities to engaged with.


Ati-atihan Festival

          The popular festival which is the oldest festival in the Philippines which started in 1213 is being held simultaneously annually every January in different towns of Aklan but the biggest one participated in by different tribes wearing colorful indigenous costumes which attracted thousands of local and foreign tourists who party all throughout the whole two day of festivities is in Kalibo which is held every 3rd Sunday of January; Ibajay - last Sunday of January; Batan - simultaneous with Kalibo; Makato - every 14th and 15th of January; Altavas - two days after Kalibo.



                 Points Of Interest In Different Towns Of Aklan
               (Towns are typed in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS)


BALETE


Agtawagon Hill
     The Agtawagon Hill is Balete's pride. It is located at the southeastern part of Morales, about seven (7) kilometers away from the heart of the town. The hill was the last line of defense of the Filipino patriot's during the Spanish-Filipino conflict. The same hill had served as Camp of the Filipino soldiers and guerillas during the second World War. Foxholes had been built on the summit of the hill seeing the approaching enemies.


BANGA


Manduyog Hill and Aklan Agricultural College
     In Banga nine kilometers southeast of Kalibo stands fair Manduyog. From its base snakes up a feeder road and on the hillside are the fourteen ways of the cross. At its summit is a chapel and from there, one could see in all his eyes the scenery of the countrysides below. Beneath the hill is the Aklan Agricultural College, an Agricultural Institution spread in a verdant plain of 63 hectares. Within the school grounds are many tropical trees such as the durian, rambutan, mangosteen and lanzones, a pasture and ricefields. The school has been, many times, a venue for regional and national conferences, workshops and seminars.


BATAN

Ob-ob Hill
     On the east is Ob-ob Hill, standing like a lighthouse facing the Sibuyan Sea with an altitude of 200 meters. At the foot of this rocky hill is the fine beach of Ob-ob. Thrill going here is incomplete without scaling up a hill just a stone's throw away. Once on top, an admirable scenery awaits adventures, vast seas on one side and towering mountains the other interspersed by green fields.


Tinagong Dagat
    This hidden sea approximately 8 kms. long and 4 kms. wide, is between Altavas and Batan, partly hidden from Batan Bay by two islands. It is fringed with mangroves, thick undergrowth and rock beach elevations. It is a rich fishing ground during the northeast monsoon season when Sibuyan Sea is rough. Ideal for swimming, speedboating and waterskiing.
    Mode of transportation from Kalibo to Dumaguit are jeepneys, private cars, buses, then pumpboat to Batan.


 

Kalantiaw Shrine
    Seat of government of Rajah Bendahura Kalantiaw III, the third chief of Panay Island and promulgator of the famous Code of Kalantiaw, the oldest laws in the Philippines. The marker was erected by the Philippines Historical and Cultural Society. To prove the existence of the province's famous "Code of Kalantiaw" which has been believed to be smuggled out of the province, a replica taken in its original form is on display. A former manuscript of the Code, historical accounts and pictures of great national heroes.


BURUANGA


Tigis Falls
     Three kilometers from Buruanga town proper. Approximately ten minutes ride by means of buses, jeepneys or private cars. A good hideout during summer for its inhibitive location.


Wasak-wasak Falls
     Four kilometers from Buruanga town proper. Its cascading waters and location reminds one in a paradise where nothing is heard except the chirping of birds. Can be reached by buses, jeepneys or private cars.


Ingus-ingus Hill
     Ingus-ingus hill is elevated mass of rocks, bordering the exit of Buruanga River, separating the Poblacion from Barrio Alegria. This hill overviews the sea at three sides. During the Spanish regime, this hill was made a watchtower to guard or spy the approaching vintas of Moro pirates that used to maraud the coastal places.
     Underneath the hill is a cave. According to old tales, this cave was used as a waiting place of English sea pirates, buccaneers, hijackers of Spanish galleons carrying precious cargoes from Mexico.


IBAJAY

Campo Verde
    It is a Natural Park and ideal place for quite retreats, trekking, and relaxation. The rest of its natural resources are yet to be discovered, developed and promoted.


KALIBO

 

Tigayon Hill
    A solitary mountain of solid rocks standing amidst stretches of flatlands by the Aklan river. At its base is a cave as wide and airy as a dome and on its flat floor are unassorted piles of stalagmites. On one side of the hill inside a cave-like structure with an arched entrance is a rock resembling a table used by priest during mass and on its side are two bench-like structures.


Freedom Shrine
     The town's famous landmark. The place where fierce battle ensued during World War II. A monument was built to typify the heroic stand of Aklanons and on the grass lies a mortar and other fragments of armaments used by them. 


Museo it Akean
     A repository of antiques all digged up in Aklan. Famous works of arts are likewise displayed. This traces the province rich cultural and historical past.


Lambingan Beach
     A fine palm-fringed beach. Some meters along the shoreline spread any cottages of varying sizes where frolickers can take shade after a refreshing swim on its cool water


Bougainvilla Beach
     four kilometers northeast of Kalibo. Its cool water is perfect for swimming.  At sundown the place abounds with promenaders. Can be reached by means of public jeepneys, tricycles, motorcycles, and private cars.


Fatima Hill
     noted for its way of the cross on the hillside.  On top of the hill is a chapel made of marble. Located nine kilometers southwest of Kalibo. Jeepneys, tricycles and private cars are the mode of transportation.


Nineteen Martyrs Marker, Kalibo
     Engraved along the street named so, which enumerate the name of the nineteen Aklanons who gave their lives to free the Filipino from further degradation from the hands of the Spaniards.


LEZO

   The least populated town in Aklan but it is the only municipality that has a man-sized bronze statue of the Filipino national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Lezo is also known for its pot making industry.


LIBACAO


Manimpa Falls
    A fifty feet waterfalls with several basins located in Can-awan is ideal for swimming. Buses, jeepneys, private cars are modes of transportation from Kalibo to Libacao. The falls is accessible by foot from Libacao town proper.


MADALAG


Tindog Falls
     Unique is the word that best describe Tindog Falls. It is unique among other falls for its basin is on top instead of having it below the falls. Stair-like stones are carved where the water cascade down. Can be reached by foot from Madalag.



MALAY


Boracay Island
     Paradise Island of the Philippines. Sixty eight (68) kilometers from northwest of Kalibo, Aklan's capital and 25 minutes pumpboat across a channel from the northwestern tip of Panay. It is famous for its world's finest and loveliest palm fringed white sand beaches, azure waters, coral reefs and rare shells. Its area is 967 hectares consisting of three barangay namely Balabag, Manok-Manok and Yapak.
     The widest and longest white beach stretching about three and a half (3 1/2) kilometers from Sitio Diniwid  to Sitio Angol is between Balabag and Manok-Manok. Water is crystal clear and in fine weather one can see the sea floor. The beach at Manok-Manok is somewhat rocky with occasional patches of white sand. Ocean floor slopes steeply. White peebles of varying sizes are numerous at Yapak and Puka beach. Here, too is the source of puka shells that can be made into elegant necklaces and bracelets.
     Modes of transportation from Kalibo to Caticlan, Malay are buses, L-300 vans and private cars. Approximate travel time is about two hours. Pumpboats, fast crafts, and boats owned by different hotels and establishments in the island transports people from Caticlan port to Boracay Island.
    
    
Agnaga Falls
     Two (2) kilometers away from the town proper of Malay, Aklan. A scenic view awaits the visitors as they can freely swim on its clear waters. It's a perfect hideout especially during summer as its cool water beats the intense heat summer months. Modes of transportation were buses, vans, motorcycles and private cars.


Tigwati-an Island
     Lies northeast of Sitio Tabon, Caticlan, Malay. About five (5) minutes by boat from the mainland and twenty (20) minutes from Boracay Island through the same modes of transportation. Shells of varying sizes and kinds lie on its predominantly white sand beach. On its side is a small cave with nature carved stone at its walls where fresh and salty waters forms a small pool. Another cave can be seen from the top of the hill.



MALINAO

Fatima Hill
    Noted for its way of the cross on the hillside. Atop of the hill is a chapel made of marble.



Mampahon Falls
    A falls with an all year round clear and cool waters. It is about twenty (20) kilometers southwest of Kalibo. The falls a major source of Malinao River has two basins, one is 8 feet deep and the other is six (6) feet deep both good for swimming.



 

NABAS


Basang Cave
     One of the sources of Gibon River is inside Basang Cave with two (2) basins of clear, cool water for swimming. Located at Barangay Laserna, Nabas, Aklan noted for hats and mats made from baliw or pandan.


Tulingon Cave
     Believed to be one of the longest caves in the Philippines. It stretches twenty (20) kilometers from Barangay Libertad, Nabas, Aklan to Barangay Patria, Pandan, Antique. A survey indicated an enormous deposit of guano. Cave entrance is at Barangay Libertad, Nabas, fifty five (55) kilometers northwest of Kalibo. The cave location is fifteen (15) kilometers from the town proper. It is accessible by buses, jeepneys, private cars and tricycles.



NEW WASHINGTON


Floripon Point Beach
    At the eastern tip of New Washington, about twenty (20) kilometers east of Kalibo. Its wide beach fringed coconut trees beckons the visitors to this resort.


New Washington Beach
    A fourteen (14) kilometers beach with the poblacion at midpoint fronting Sibuyan Sea. The place serves as fishing village of the town. Fresh fish, crabs, shrimps and lobsters are sold here. Accessible by public jeepneys, tricycles and private cars.


Old House of Jaime Cardinal Sin
   Contains memorabilias and antique wares that were used in the birthplace of the Philippine cardinal


Pink Sisters Convent
    Everything here is pink from the convent facade, corridors and nuns' habits.


Sampaguita Gardens
    Botanical garden resorts facing the Sibuyan Sea. The resort has an extensive collections of plants, butterflies and fishes, lots of playgrounds and massive collection of dolls and other novelty items for sale.



NUMANCIA


Navitas and Camanci Beach
    Both beaches border the Sibuyan Sea. Its waters are excellent for water skiing and coconut trees are fringed along the shores. Located at Numancia about 4.5 kilometers northwest of Kalibo. Buses, tricycles, and private cars are the mode of transportation.



TANGALAN


Afga Beach
    Twenty two (22) kilometers northwest of Kalibo. Located in Barrio Afga, Tangalan, Aklan. White beach stretches two (2) kilometers. Visitors may either go swimming or boating. Colorful fishing nets are dried at daytime on the shore. Its powdery white sand rivals that of Boracay. Accessible by buses, tricycles, jeepneys and private cars. 


Jawili Falls
     Tops of the list of Aklan's many cascades and is the most beautiful cascades in Western Visayas region. It has seven (7) basins, the highest basin is about 100 feet high arranged in tiers from about 20 feet high. Its seven basins arranged by nature in a series, one basin cascading water down the next. The first basin which is oval-shaped is 40 feet by 60 feet, holding 12 feet deep clear water. The other basins are of similar shapes from 130 square feet to 240 square feet in area and 8-10 feet deep except the sixth basins with a swimming area of 540 square feet. It is 28 kilometers northwest of Kalibo and three (3) kilometers from the poblacion of Tangalan. Travel time is one (1) hour ride from Kalibo and is accessible by jeepneys, buses, private cars and tricycles from the town proper to the site.


Crystal Cove Island (formerly Tigwati-an Island) just few minutes ferry boat ride from the famed Boracay Island





Ingus-ingus Hill in Buruanga




Jawili Falls in Tangalan





Pink Sisters Convent in New Washington





Puka Beach, Boracay Island





Sampaguita Gardens in New Washington 



Photo Source: 

crystalcoveisland.blogspot.com 
Our Awesome Planet 
boyetstour.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Places Of Interest In Iloilo and Guimaras

                         Other Places Of Interest In Iloilo and Guimaras



Guisi Beach, Guimaras




Iloilo Fort San Pedro




Iloilo Golf and Country Club, Santa Barbara, Iloilo



Sacred and Historical Places

Plaza Libertad - located right at the center of Iloilo City
 - originally called Plaza Alfonso XII
 - where the flag of the First Philippine Republic was raised in triumph after Spain surrendered Iloilo, her last capital in the islands, to the revolutionaries led by General Martin Delgado on December 25, 1898.

La Villa De Arevalo - a district of Iloilo City which is six (6) kilometers southwest of city proper; seat of the Alcaldia of Panay 
 - first Spanish settlement in Panay to be attacked in 1588 by the English privateer Sir Thomas Cavendish, third circumnavigator of the world

Jaro - another district of Iloilo City which is three (3) kilometers from the city proper

- old colonial houses of sugar barons and Hispano-Filipino houses of the elite still stand, antique shops

- the birthplace of the greatest Filipino propagandist and orator, Graciano Lopez-Jaena and Ilongga poetess, Magdalena Jalandoni

- seat of Catholicism in Western Visayas

Jaro Belfry - ruined by the earthquake named Lady Kaykay in 1948

- one of the few belltowers in the Philippines which stands apart from the church

Guimbal Watchtowers - twenty nine (29) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City;

- five (5) stone watchtowers called Bantayan by the natives during the Spanish era to warn the townspeople of marauding pirates

Miag-ao Church - Forty (40) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City
 - a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 1786
 - its native facade is a unique explosion of botanical motiff reminiscent of Aztec art
- the church was declared a national landmark in 1973 by Presidential Decree 260.

Santa Barbara Church - sixteen (16) kilometers north of Iloilo City; a neo classical church where General Martin Delgado of the Visayan revolutionary government convened the junta that raised the first cry of revolution against Spain in Iloilo.

Santa Barbara Golf and Country Club - 18-hole, 37 hectages of golf course

- the oldest golf and country club in the Philippines and the entire Southeast Asia

- built in 1907 and opened to the public in 1913

San Joaquin Church - Fifty-three (53) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City

- the only church in the Philippines sporting bas relief of historic battle between Christians of Spain and Moors of Morocco in Tetuan in 1859.

Tigbauan Church - Twenty-two (22) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City with Baroque facade

- behind the rectory was the first Jesuit school for boys in the Philippines established in 1592.

Panay Liberation Marker - located in Tigbauan, Iloilo

- commemorates the American liberation of Panay from the Japanese in 1945

Buenavista Wharf - Twenty (20) minutes by pumpboat from Iloilo City; built by the young Lieutenant Douglas MacArthur in 1903 while on duty with the United States Corps of Engineers

Heritage Buildings at the Calle Real - Downtown Iloilo City or J.M. Basa St. (Jose Maria Basa St.) formerly called Calle Real boasts of buildings that dates back during the Spanish and American colonial period.

Hoskyn's Department Store or Hoskyn's Compound - located in downtown Iloilo City or Calle Real is the first and oldest existing department store in the Philippines established in 1877 by the British, Henry Hoskyns of Hoskyns and Company. Henry Hoskyns is the nephew of Nicholas Loney, the first British vice-consul in Iloilo. Hoskyn's Department Store predates the first department store in the United States which

Muelle Loney - Port of Iloilo named after the first British vice-consul of Iloilo, Nicholas Loney, Father of the Sugar Industry of Panay and Negros. Considered one of the safest harbors because of Guimaras Island that protect it from drastic winds. It was first opened to world trade in 1855. The iconic Iloilo Customs House is situated here.

Molo - one of the districts of Iloilo called Parian during the colonial period. It was the Chinese quarters of La Villa de Arevalo. It is also called the Athens of the Philippines not just because of the plaza that resembles the old temples, domes and architecture of Athens with Greek goddesses but more so of well preserved old buildings and architecture in the area. The place also produced many intellectual and political leaders.

Spanish Bailiwick, Brgy. Carmelo - Three hundred (300) meters from Banate town proper; a historical landmark known as the hiding place of the Spanish authorities from the Moros.

Balaan Bukid (Holy Mountain) in Guimaras Province - 30 minute walk from Jordan Wharf, Guimaras; it sits atop Bundulan Point; with a giant cross and chapel; pilgrimage site of the Catholics especially during the Holy Week, offers a commanding view of Iloilo City across Iloilo Strait.

Japanese Fortification, Cabatuan - Concrete structure during the Japanese occupation. Built on a hill twenty (20) feet high with a diameter of nine (9) feet. Used as a lookout by the Japanese soldiers guarding the road and the path to the airfield in Tiring, Cabatuan.

Agony Hill - a long winding hill in the town of Alimodian, approximately twenty-four (24) kilometers from the city proper. The very popular Agony Hill among pilgrims during the Holy Week, was established in 1970s to relive and reflect the last few hours of the sufferings and passion of Christ before his crucifixion and death through Way of the Cross. All Fourteen (14) Stations of the Cross consists of life-size statues and small altars depicting the important scenes in the Stations of the Cross. The famous Agony Hill serves as a Mount Calvary on Golgotha for pilgrims and devotees in their act of penance and reflection. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists flock on this hill every year mostly during the Holy Week.

Guimbal Church - Yellow sandstone church built by Father Campos; Spanish-Filipino vintage towers and stone walled cemetery built by Father Agustin Llorente.

Janiuay Church - Ruins of the beautiful church at the town's plaza where it had been built. Bells of JD Reyna foundry in Iloilo in 1871 and 1898 are still in use.

Janiuay Cemetery - famous Hispano-Filipino cemetery built in 1875 of cut stone and fossil rock sprawling on a hilltop with three (3) imposing stairways and two (2) Gothic doors;  thirty-two (32) kilometers from Iloilo City

Concrete Pillboxes, Janiuay - built by the Japanese forces during the war rise on both ends of Janiuay bridge on the way to Lambunao. One is about twenty-five (25) feet tall with a diameter of nine (9) feet. Both pillboxes are still intact.

Siwaragan River, San Joaquin - According to a popular legend, the ten (10) Bornean datus landed here in the middle of the thirteenth (13th) century and bought the island of Panay with a beaten gold hat called Salakot and a very long necklace that touches the ground called Manangyad from the Negrito chieftain, Marikudo long before the Indians sold Manhattan to European settlers. With the barter of Panay, the Negritos decided to live in the mountains while the Malays occupied the lowlands.

Cabatuan Church - Neo-classical built in the early 1880s; everyside is a facade in itself; walls are overlaid with brick.

Fort San Pedro -  built by the Spaniards in the early 1600s; attacked by Dutch, British, American and Japanese forces; birthplace of the first Filipino commercial air transportation, the Iloilo-Negros Air Express CO., founded by the Lopez brothers on February 3, 1933.

- this is also the original place of the first Iloilo airstrip built in 1938 and considered one of the first airports in the Philippines

Molo Church - three (3) kilometers from the city proper; Gothic Renaissance church of coral rock; completed in the 1800s, it was a unique female church because of the two rows of female saints line both sides of the church. The church was visited by the national hero, Jose Rizal in 1886 on his visit to Iloilo.

Jaro Cathedral - seat of Jaro Archbishopric embracing Western Visayas; it is also home of the  miraculous Nuestra Señora De La Candelaria (Our Lady Of Candles), patroness of Western Visayas region.

Nuestra Señora De La Candelaria (Our Lady Of Candles - the miraculous Marian image was crowned and declared Patroness of Western Visayas region by Pope John Paul II on his visit to Iloilo in 1981.

- was said to be miraculous because it grows by at least a few centimeters every year and sometimes found to be bathing her child near a fountain inside the Jaro plaza

Asilo De Molo - Three point five (3.5) kilometers south of Iloilo City proper; an orphanage where princely vestments worn by church dignitaries are made, designed and hand embroidered by little orphan girls under the tutelage of the nuns.

Pavia Church - Thirteen (13) kilometers northwest of Iloilo City; red brick church of Byzantine style built by Spanish Augustinians  and used as garrison by the Japanese who drew guerilla raids that pockmarked the walls.

San Joaquin Cemetery - 53 kms, southwest of Iloilo City; built in 1892 of coral rock; a hexagonal chapel crowns a 20 step staircase flanked by stone balustrades; rose windows at the main entrance.

Alimodian Church - built in 1851 and made from corals and limestones. It was first built in 1787 from simple nipa hut and cogon grass but was destroyed by a fire. The church was partly destroyed during the earthquake of 1948 which buried half of its belfry and toppled down all of the churchbells. Only one of the original seven (7) church bells exists today which was said to be one of the loudest church bells in Iloilo.


Cultural

Museo Iloilo - a repository of Iloilo's cultural heritage: exhibits include scientifically dated fossils, shells and rocks indicating the age of Panay Island. Stone age flake tools; native pottery; ornamented teeth; jewelry excavated from pre-Spanish burial sites and trade pottery from China, Annam and Siam; secondary burial coffins found in forbidden cave; rare pictures, memorabilias and relics of wars: relics from a British sunken ship; Spanish period Filipino sculpture: and modern art by Ilonggo artists.

Magdalena Jalandoni Heritage House - the birthplace of the popular Ilongga poetess, Magdalena Jalandoni which houses vast collections of her work and mediums, antique collections of the things or tools her family used during the colonial Spanish and American period.


Antique Collections - collection of Philippine colonial sculpture, wood, stone and ivory saints. Chinese porcelain wares  and other artifacts.

Lourdes Dellota
E. Lopez St.
Jaro, Iloilo City
Tel. Nos. 320-6686

Letecia Jesena
59 Commission Civil St.
Jaro, Iloilo City


Art Galleries:

Museo Iloilo
Bonifacio Drive
Iloilo City


Natural

Sicogon Island - a 1.104 hectare white sand palm-fringed island gradually sloping down to some 350 feet beyond the shoreline; five (5) kms. from the town proper of Estancia and one hundred thirty-seven (137) northeast of Iloilo City. It was where the film "Pinakamagandang Hayop Sa Balat Lupa" (The Most Beautiful Animal In The Land) was taped which was starred by Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz.

Isla De Gigantes - the iconic island paradise which was featured in several pictures and medium was where the 15th century burial caves have been found.  One cave has a stone elephant and a giant natural swimming pool which shapes like a giant cauldron covered or encircled by giant rock formations. It is twelve (12) kilometers east of Estancia.

Nadsadjan Falls - In Igbaras, thirty-nine (39) kilometers southwest of Iloilo City; a 50 foot high falls dropping on  a giant cauldron-like natural swimming pool



Iloilo Plaza Libertad




Molo Plaza



Museo Iloilo 




Sicogon Island, Carles 



Photo Sources:

agboi.blogspot.com 
Simply Iloilo 
www.backpackboy.com 
Pinoy Travel Freak.com

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gorgeous Negros



The famed Masskara Festival of Bacolod City, capital of Negros Occidental is held every third Sunday of October


 


The dormant Mount Kanlaon is the only known volcano in Western Visayas 





Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol


 


Punta Bulata Beach Resort and Spa


 


Bacolod City Plaza


 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pristine Guimaras


Raymen Beach Resort, Alubihod Beach, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras 



 
 
Guimaras Island Hopping Locations







Guimaras Island Guide



 

Siete Pecados or Seven Isles of Sin in Buenavista, Guimaras





Tatlong Pulo or Three Isles in Barangay Sinapsapan, Jordan, Guimaras





Guimaras Guisi Lighthouse Guisi Point in Barangay Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras





Guisi Beach, Barangay Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras





Nagarao Island, Barangay San Isidro, Sibunag, Guimaras




           
          Daliran Cave, Old Poblacion, Buenavista, Guimaras    


       
          The island province of Guimaras is an exotic place blessed with the unspoiled beauty of nature so pristine that is rarely found in other places. This natural beauty is mostly made up of picturesque beaches, springs, falls and offshore islets which attract both foreign and local tourists. Guimaras, formerly known as Himal-us, was a sub-province of Iloilo until it was made an independent province on May 22, 1992. It has a total land area of approximately 604.57 sq. km. comprising five municipalities, namely: Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo and Sibunag. Jordan, its capital town, has 14 barangays, Buenavista has 36 barangays, Nueva Valencia has 22, San Lorenzo has 12 and Sibunag has 14. Regarding population based on the 2010 census, Buenavista is the most thickly populated with a total population of 46, 703, followed by Nueva Valencia with 37, 852, Jordan with 34, 791, San Lorenzo with 24, 032 and lastly, Sibunag with 19, 565. The total population for the whole island is 162, 943.
          The most prominent structure atop the mountain in the island signals the people that they are approaching Guimaras is a giant cross that rest atop the famous Balaan Bukid (Holy Mountain), the center of pilgrimage during the Holy Week and the First of May. It is situated atop Bondulan Point at Barangay Hoskyn, Jordan which offer pilgrims a commanding, scenic view of Iloilo City across Iloilo Strait.
           First stop is the capital Jordan and Macopo Falls will be passed by before reaching the provincial capitol. Macopo Falls is just one kilometer from the provincial capitol.  It is also called "Bather's Paradise" because people who shied away from the crowded beach resorts during weekends, Sundays and holidays could go there and find that place is really suited for them and one can feel the piercing coolness of the place. The water in Macopo Falls is so clear and cool since its source came from the mountain springs. It contains two pools which are ideal for swimming. There is also an ancient burial cave in the town of Jordan intruded only by the persistent guano collectors. This place is a favorite site of the Boy Scouts for camping and bivouac. It's natural beauty has been unspoiled by men instead maintained its pristine environment.
            Standing on the summit of the famed Balaan Bukid (Holy Mountain), we can see the panoramic view of the whole city of Iloilo since this is situated on a high terrain. Traveling ocean vessels always keep distance while approaching this place called Bondulan Point in order to avert accident. Balaan Bukid is famous for being a pilgrimage sites for devotees, faithfuls and other tourists during the Lenten Season. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Panay Island. Another reason that Balaan Bukid attracts a lot of tourists is because of its Pagtaltal sa Guimaras (Crucifixion In Guimaras) held every Good Friday in Balaan Bukid. Pagtaltal sa Guimaras is an actual reenactment of the last hour of Jesus Christ until his crucifixion and death on the cross. The organizers choose a devotee to act as Jesus Christ - someone who has a made a deep pledge of reform and penance of crucifying himself on the cross if his wish or wants will be fulfilled. The actor will be crucified to the cross using real nails piercing his hands and feet for a specific time period under excruciating and scorching heat of the sun. Balaan Bukid is also home to the Trappist Monk Monastery, the only Trappist monk monastery in the Philippines. Naburot Island is considered to be a refuge of people from pollution and hustles of city life.
            Naburot Island is just a few minutes away from Tatlong Pulo (Three Isles). It's clear and calm waters are inviting for swimmers, boaters and scuba divers. Buringot Beach which is ten minutes boat ride from Naburot Island is suited for writers, poets and lovers. The waters of this place is so calm that it is ideal for windsurfing and sailing. The famed Alubihod Beach is very popular among beach goers, tourists and travelers who frequented Guimaras Island. It is a white sand beach named because of its white sand looking like a "bihod" or  fish eggs. This beach boasts of white sand, varied-shape corals and nature carved rocks. The water here is crystal clear fitted to be an ideal place for scuba diving.Nagarao Islands is also one of the islets in Guimaras and there is a cave called Catillaran cave there. It is situated in a half hidden forest clearing thickly encircled by the verdant forest trees and shrubs. One can find hardened, weird looking stalactites there as well as pointed piles of stalagmites rising in rows on the damp ground of the cave.
           Trappist Monastery is also another attraction. It has a spacious praying hall so tranquil and serene that it is really suited for reflection and meditation. At the simple altar stood a huge lighted candle which is kept perpetually lighted throughout the days of the year and from year to year. The area enclosed by the compound is quite extensive enough for the monks to have their citrus plantation on it. 
           Good Shepherd's Fold Orphanage in Buenavista is an institution built in 1946 by Philip Trabon which offers a high school course with a vocational training on the practical arts and the science. One can see the vast area which encloses the facilities of a laboratory and workshop rooms for young orphans.
            Daliran Springs and Cave in Buenavista is a mountain spring that has a fresh, cold water that comes from a crevice of a natural rock formation which flows freely to the densely forested nook down below. Tributaries from several mountain springs met together to form a wide pool which is as large and enjoyable as an ordinary swimming pool. Below the pool are some granite rocks similar to what can found in the ceilings and walls of the adjoining cave. Next stop is the Tinadtaran Buenavista Target Range at Barangay Tinadtaran, Buenavista.
            Tinadtaran Buenavista Target Range at Barangay Tinadtaran, Buenavista is the place where the young Douglas MacArthur  developed his shooting skills during the period from 1903 - 1904. He was 23 years old then and a Second Lieutenant fresh from the West Point Academy in the United States, when he was assigned in Iloilo as a Company Commander of an Army Corps of Engineers. In fact, the roads from Arroyo Street to Compania Maritima Building and the wharf along Muelle Loney were constructed by his Army Engineers. The Tinadtaran Target Range is among the enduring proofs of General Douglas MacArthur's stay in the island.
            Barangay Supang still in the town of Buenavista is also full of history. Camp Jossman in Barangay Supang in Buenavista town is the place where a military installation was put up  by the United States Army in 1903. The road in the area which is still visible up to this day is also one of the evidences of General MacArthur's stay there.  p. 254
            Roca Encantada is famous for its mansion perched on top of the island. This mansion perched on top of a small rocky island was built in 1910 by a lady who at the age of 22 became a widow. Because of loneliness, she decided to leave the elegant city life in Iloilo and stayed there in the mansion by the rock for the remaining years of her life. Before she died, she left word to her sons never to sell the place for anything in this world. The lady was no other than the late Doña Presentacion Hofileña Lopez, the mother of the illustrious Lopez brothers - Don Eugenio H. Lopez and former Vice President of the Philippines, Fernando H. Lopez. The place is occasionally used as a venue for seminars and retreats and a favorite stopover for some excursions and field trips. To reach the top, one must ascend the rocky steps toward the island mansion. Once you reach the top, you will have a breath taking view of the surrounding areas while being refreshed by the flurry of the cold, fresh sea breeze. One can delightfully discover that the place offers a panoramic view of the whole northern portion of Guimaras Island and upon turning the gaze towards the middle portion of the sea, one can see a clearer view of the seven islets known as the "Siete Pecados" or the "Isles of Seven Sins." Known literally as the "Enchanted Rocks," Roca Encantada portrays an atmosphere of complete serenity and tranquility which reflects the owner's desire and personality. It is really an ideal place for one who wants seclusion and reflection. Many people believed that the place serves as a lasting symbol of the late landlady's love of nature.
          Guimaras is only a small province but it is endowed with a natural beauty exemplified by its numerous white sand beaches, spotless roaring cascades and significant historical sites, very few of which were man-made. Most of those natural beauty attractions remained pristine and unspoiled which made them so attractive and tempting to local and foreign tourists. 



 

Roca Encantada, Buenavista



  

Roca Encantada, Buenavista



  

Roca Encantada, Buenavista



  

Roca Encantada, Buenavista



  

Balaan Bukid or Sacred Mountain in Hoskyn, Jordan, Guimaras



  

Balaan Bukid or Sacred Mountain in Hoskyn, Jordan, Guimaras



 

Isla Naburot or Naburot Island in Barangay Sinapsapan, Jordan, Guimaras 



 

Isla Naburot or Naburot Island in Barangay Sinapsapan, Jordan, Guimaras 



 

Isla Naburot or Naburot Island in Barangay Sinapsapan, Jordan, Guimaras 




 

The smallest plaza in the Philippines can be found in Jordan, Guimaras 


Photo Source: 

www.vigattintourism.com 
www.ceajan.com 
www.alienscream.wordpress.com 
www.morefuninpinas.com 
http://theislandexplorer.blogspot.com 
http://neilshots.wordpress.com 
http://ilonggos.net 
http://flavoursofiloilo.blogspot.com 
www.iloilo-travel-guide.blogspot.com 
www.escapemanila.com
www.pinoytravelfreak.com

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Amazing Antique


          First stop is Libertad, the farthest and the last town located in the northernmost part of Antique. One attraction in that town is the Liberty Park in Mt. Agongon. There is a rough, winding road going uphill but on the halfway to the top of Mt. Agongon is a wide, playground-sized plateau where at the center of the scenic park stood a concrete marker indicating the name of the park and its significance to the town of Libertad. Aside from being a historical place, Liberty Park is also used as a camping area by the boy and girl scouts in this municipality. At the edge plateau, one will stand in awe at the breathtaking view below it. The town of Libertad seemed dwarfed by the vast expanse of the blue waters of Cuyo Sea. The soothing highland breeze refresh someone while feasting their eyes on the marvelous scenery.
           Sunken Garden in Punta Pucio, which is about 9 kilometers away from the town proper of Libertad, is another attraction from that town. This man-made wonder is made up of coral rocks and reefs submerged in a lagoon of fresh water covering an area of about 500 square meters. Clinging to the rocks and reefs were greenish moss and seaweeds which served as food to the various species of fish swimming around the tranquil water. 
          Another attraction, the Libertad Reforestation Area in Barangay Inyawan is about eight (8) kilometers away from the town proper. Maanghit Cave is also in Libertad town. Maanghit (foul odor) got its name  from the foul smell of the guano. There is a bush-lined trail leading to the entrance of the cave. There is a huge deposit of guano or bat's waste on cavern floor. The semi-darkness on the cave can give someone an eerie feeling as you go through the damp and humid interior. Since it is not big, it will take just a few minutes for someone to explore around Maanghit Cave.
          Kaniang Resort in Barangay Cubay has several wide, nature-carved basins filled to their stone-lined brims with clear, cool water. The fresh water flowed from a stream up above a nearby hill. . Each crystal-clear basin revealed its clean and hazard-free depth.
          There is a Marble Quarries in Barangay San Roque still in Libertad town. The marbles of 24 colors are quarried from cavernous tunnels. Idiayan Resort is a beach of silken sands where it has clear blue waters, rolling waves and cloudless seascape. Yonder through the horizon, hazy images and shapes of distant islands and islets can be seen.
           There is an old watchtower located at the Osmeña Street of the town. The old watchtower was constructed during the Spanish regime. It used to be crenelated as fortification against invaders. The main purpose of the watchtower was to warn people of the approaching pirates who kept marauding their town. The town plaza has a historical marker with the following inscription: "On this beach, at 02:00 hours, April 30, 1943, were received army supplies and materials brought in by the first U.S. submarine, the USS Cudgeon, thus, establishing contact between the Panay guerillas and General MacArthur's Headquarters in Australia." The plaza was once a beach of Libertad. This place is historically significant because the liberation of Panay really started on this place through the contact stated in this marker.
            The majestic, white-speckled Marble Mountain of the town of Pandan has a large deposit of marble that could last for a thousand years. The marble someone can see is actually multi-colored. There are marbles colored white, gold, gray, black, pink, light gray, red and blue. There is an interplay of colors shown by those multi-colored surface as struck by the shaft of light from the sun. 
            Malumpati Health Spring still in Pandan is another attraction for those who are health conscious. It has a chilling cold water that anyone can enjoy. It is called Health Spring because some people believe it has some therapeutic benefits which could cure some certain ailments.  It is also the site of the Scouting Jamboree sometimes. According to a legend, a Spaniard one time was about to ask a native regarding the name of the place when, all of a sudden, an Aeta (Negrito) scampered from a bush nearby at the sight of a white-skinned Spaniard and bolted out into the open to jump over the river bank possibly out of fright. At such a sight, the native exclaimed in surprise, "Ay, malumpat ang Ati" ( Look, the Aeta will jump!). Since then the place was called "Malumpati"
            Next is the town of Sebaste where the very famous Kamalasag Falls in Barangay Abiera can be found. One can be dumbfounded looking at the jet of water cascading from a height of 100 feet with a booming sound to create an incessant foam below. The towering granite rocks and the lush vegetation around the waterfall added to the aesthetic quality of the environment. Kamalasag Falls is considered to be the most beautiful waterfall in Panay. The fall is also considered as a rich source of hydroelectric power. In fact, if the power of this falls is harnessed for hydroelectricity, it could supply the whole province of Antique with enough electricity without depending on the costly imported oil for fuel. Viewing the Igpasungaw Falls still in Sebaste, at a close range is another exhilarating experience. This waterfall which has a natural basin with crystal clear water is splendid as a natural swimming pool.
            Bugtong Bukid (Only Mountain) is also in Sebaste where the massive towering mountain looming majestically amidst the verdant hills and plains around it. It is so called Bugtong Bukid because it is the only mountain standing aloft and alone in  the midst of the vast plains and hills surrounding the town of Sebaste. The church of Saint Blaise in Sebaste is another place of interest. Every year, countless devotees flocked  in pilgrimage to this church because of reported miracles which were attributed to Saint Blaise, the patron saint of the town. 
            The town of Culasi has something to be proud of - the colossal and imposing Mount Madia-as, the highest mountain peak in Panay. With its towering peak and the verdant virgin forest surrounding it bathed in the golden rays of the mid-afternoon sun, the magnificent mountain looked resplendent in such array.
            Mount Madia-as is a natural landmark where anyone can be enthralled with its beautiful scenery, various and rare flora and fauna, a lagoon, a bonsai forest looking neatly trimmed and a rain forest that provides Madia-as  a weather of its own. 
            Kipot Falls in Barangay Buenavista in Culasi is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Antique. From top to bottom, you can find its seven natural basins similar to the Jawili Falls of Aklan. Look at the seemingly dancing cascades that leap from one basin to another and see how they sparkle at the strike of the sun's rays. Look at the frothing basin with its mass of bubbles formed by the tremendous pressure of the pouring cascades. 
             Lipata Bay of Culasi is considered the deepest in Antique. It also has a significant mark in history because it was where the American submarine, the USS Marshall, surfaced in 1944 to unload war cargoes of arms, ammunition, medicine, radio equipment and other supplies needed by the Panay guerrillas. This bay is also strategically located as to be an excellent natural harbor. 
            Mararison (or sometimes Malalison) Island is a beautiful island with white beach is also part of Culasi town. The white sand beach is ideal for picnics, excursions and for tourist visits. This beach is not suitable for swimming because of the presence of sharp coral rocks and reefs which are abound on its seabed. This island has two caves, each with a length of around 100 feet. The waters around this island is suitable for spear fishing while the white sand beach is suited not only for excursion but also for beach combing.
             The nearby island of Batbatan is a unique island shaped into a huge green mound composed mostly of verdant hills and slopes together with the plains covered with lush vegetation. This island boasts of a numerous natural coves and anchorages suitable for shelter and docking of ships which are incidentally caught by typhoon at sea. This island is suitable for the Caribbean island category.  The Tangay tribe is a cultural minority who inhabits the place. They have their own culture, way of life and language different from the main Antique natives. This place is still untainted with the style of living in the modern civilization. Maniguin Island lies farther east of Batbatan. Near the shore are rocks, grasses, shrubs and stunted trees. Following the rocky trail, one can reach a sloping granite promontory located northeast of the island. At the edge of the promontory, is a two-storey, tapering, white washed lighthouse bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun. The island is a Naval Reservation Area. This serves as a Naval Station for Coast Guards guarding the western coast of Panay from any possible intrusion or invasion, piracy, smuggling activities and illegal fishing. There is also the island of Caluya and farther towards the island of Semirara which is a part of group of islands of the same name. There is a variety species of birds flying above these group of islands and is a bird sanctuary for it is remote for hunters to harass or exterminate these birds.  
          The nearby island of Sibay is bordered by fine beaches, covered on top by grassy hills and interspersed with thickly grown trees and tall reeds. This island is where the Spanish conquistador Martin de Goite dropped by on his way to conquer Manila in 1570. It was also here that one of the first radar stations in Panay was installed. The neighbor island of Caluya has a white sand beach with various species of rare seashells. The waters around this island of Caluya are considered ideal for scuba diving and deep sea fishing for its depths are full of various coral reefs which are the favorite habitat of various kinds of fish. Robber  or coconut crab clambering on the coconut trees in the island is locally known as Tatus. It is a kind of crab which feeds on the bud of young coconut trees. Its flesh is exceedingly delicious compared to ordinary crabs and is rarely found anywhere in the country such that it commands a very high price in some five-star hotels in the country.
          Next is the town of Tibiao where the Manglamon Cave of Sitio Tiguis can be found. Inside this cave, a bountiful stocks of stalagmites and stalactites could be found. The rim of the cave's gaping mouth was moss-covered while the rocky surface around it was also nearly covered by thick cogon grasses making the cave seems hideous and horrid looking. It is named Manglamon because the cave looks like it will swallow everything that goes into it. The Manglamon beach has a fine, sift shiny sands sparkle like precious gems at the strike of the mid-morning sun. The remarkable calmness of the clear aquamarine blue waters of the beach is occasionally broken only by the soft splashing sound of waves dashing laps against the sloping shore. There is also a famous Bugtong Bato in Tibiao with special feature about cauldron sauna, kawa bath spa and the exciting whitewater kayaking for those who wants adrenaline rush.
          Barbaza is the next town after Tibiao where there is a mountain spring oozing with an abundant flow of crystal clear water in Sitio Hatay-hatay of Barangay Palma. Barbaza is also proud of its Batabat Coral Reef.
It has a one and a half hectare island which has an appraising look of the whole island. It is made up of entirely corals of different colors. Barbaza church is considered as one of the most beautiful churches in Antique because of its modern architectural style.The architect who built the church also designed the Museo Iloilo.
          Estaca Hill is a popular hill in Bugasong town with an elevation of 200 ft. above sea level. The rugged winding path uphill, mostly strewn with gravels bulging rocks was a painstaking experience for the travelers whose clothes were drenched with perspiration when they reached the peak.  Upon reaching the summit, a picturesque scenery will unfold. The sea and the surrounding hills made an analogous combination of blue and green with the white and multi-colored houses and buildings providing the necessary accents to it. It was further lighted by the glinting reflections of the galvanized iron  sheet roof of the houses and buildings. The sea loomed so clearly calm and serene except for the crisscrossing of the multi-colored pumpboats and the occasional disruptive diving and soaring of the sea gulls as they dip their wings at the crest of the surging waves. The hill is historically significant for it was used as a watchtower during the Spanish times to warn the people of the approaching Muslim pirates. The town of Bugasong is also proud of its locally woven "patadyong" or old women's skirt.
         Patnongon is the next town where it is proud of it San Agustin High School that was remodeled from an old Spanish convent located near the site of the ruins of the century-old Spanish church. The next town is Belison then Sibalom. Sibalom has a beautiful Santa Rita church where there is a supine statue of St. Rita. This regal statue was allegedly given as a gift to the people of Sibalom by the Augustinian Sisters in Cascia, Italy according to the sacristan of the church. Sibalom also has the Sibalom Dam as a source of water supply for irrigation.
          San Remegio is next with the famous Bato Cueva and there is a panoramic view of the surrounding areas uphill, the towns of Sibalom, San Jose and the majestic Mount Madia-as, the highest peak in Panay. They also have the Pula waterfalls where its blood-tinted water could not easily be found anywhere else in the country.  
           The next town is San Jose, the capital city Antique. There is a concrete monument erected at the center of the town plaza. The monument is inscribed in bold, engraved letters with the name EVELIO B. JAVIER FREEDOM PARK. On its base is a historical marker stating that it is the spot where the late Governor, Evelio B. Javier was shot on February 11, 1986 by the Marcos regime. He was one of the political victims of Martial Law. The bronze marker states:
            "As a fitting tribute to a man who has done so much not only for the people of Antique but for the entire Filipino nation, in pursuit of justice, freedom, dignity, democracy and peace."
           Standing on an elevated concrete platform above this marker is a statue of the late Governor Evelio B. Javier. 
           La Granja Hill still in San Jose has a vast plateau at the top of the hill  where one can see an extensive sports complex with its vast playing field for track and field events and ball games. This hill serves as the venue of provincial and regional athletic meets as well as the Binirayan Festival which is being held yearly here in Antique. The playing field also serves as a venue for cultural presentations during the festival."
           On the coastal side of San Jose, there is a secluded beach concealed by a mini-forest of tall narra, mahogany, and different fruit trees. This place is called Camp Autajay but local people sometimes called it Piña Beach because the orchard of this camp produce pineapples abundantly. This 10 hectare lot is located along the fine sandy beach which serves both as rest camp and a beach suitable for excursions and picnics.
            Next town is Hamtic where the historically significant Malandog Elementary School. On its front lawn stands at its center a concrete monument with a bronze historical marker on it. It was on this place that the first Malayan settlement was established in the Philippines The inscription on the marker reads: "Landing site of the first Malayan settlers 1200 A.D." The marker also marks the landing site of the earliest Malayan settlers. Next to San Jose are the southern towns of Tobias Fornier and Anini-y where the famous Nogas Island can be found. Nogas Island is a twenty-six hectare island full of white smooth shells and corals. The island is actually a government naval reservation used as supply and docking station for our Coast Guards and naval ships patrolling the southern coast of Panay for foreign intrusion, piracy or smuggling activities. Few meters into the beach shore stands a tapered shape of a white washed concrete lighthouse. It has 72 spiral stairway going up the tower. Reaching the balcony of the tower, one can have a sweepingly-look at the seascape below which fully revealed its naked beauty to the sightseers. Many uttered a sigh of admiration as they viewed the serene waters of the vast sea which distinctly outlined the misty shape of the islands ahead and clearly marked the shoreline of the mainland behind them. The colorful sailboats sailing to and from in the middle of the sea gave colors to the dominantly bluish background.
            Anini-y is also famous for its Hispano-Filipino church which is made up of white corals carefully selected, expertly fitted and securely fastened together which made it possible to survive many earthquakes and ravages of time. As the only existing Spanish church in Antique, this was constructed by the Augustinian friars sometime in 1875-1880. As such, it is one of the oldest landmarks in Antique. Sira-an Hot Spring is just few kilometers away from the poblacion, which it reached through a narrow, sandy, access road just a few meters away from the national highway. There is a jet of streaming water squirting out of a crevice on its top and flowing down freely below into the natural receptacle which formed into a pool. Sira-an Hot Springs is flocked by people who were mostly ill and believed that the sulphur water of the spring could cure their illness. The natural basin which collects the spring water can accommodate a maximum of two persons who like to take a dip into its mineral water. But the water coming out of the fissure from the basin is flammable; hence, it is dangerous  for the smoking visitors to stand near it. Though this spring is situated in Sitio Dapog, yet, Barangay Sira-an was most benefited by the economic development brought about by the flock of local and foreign tourists who frequented this place. Hurao-hurao Island in Anini-y town is also another popular island beach resort where a popular hill with a good vantage point view of the rocky mountain Cresta de Gallo can be found. Cresta de Gallo is a mountain made up of solid rock and has been denuded and depressed in two points forming two deep gulleys between three peaks which, at a distance, looks like a cock's comb. It is so called Cresta de Gallo because of its shape that resembles a cock's comb. It is believed that within the area of this mountain a rich reserve of mineral deposits could be found. This place is called as "Punta Nasog" by the natives and is one of the famous tourist attractions of Anini-y.

   


Whitewater Kayaking in Tibiao, Antique 





Kawa Bath Spa, Tibiao, Antique 





Bugtong Bato Falls, Tibiao, Antique 






Kamalasag Falls in Sebaste, Antique 




Mount Madia-as, the highest mountain in Panay Island 



    


Rafflesia, the smelliest and the biggest flower in the world can also be found in Antique 



Photo Source: 

Antique North: Visayas Extreme Adventure Getaway - http://metropolitanculasi.webs.com 

www.ironwulf.net            

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