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Kalibo Town Proper
|Nickname(s): Ati-Atihan Town|
Map of Aklan showing the location of Kalibo
|Region||Western Visayas (Region VI)|
|• Mayor||William S. Lachica (Bigkis Pinoy)|
|• Total||50.75 km2 (19.59 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,500/km2 (3,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
|Income class||1st class; urban|
Kalibo is the capital of the province of Aklan, in the northwest of Panay Island, Philippines. It is a First Class Municipality and the "International Gateway" of the Western Visayas Region, practically located at the center of all coastal municipalities of Aklan province.
As per the 2010 census, its population is 74,619 persons. As the commercial and educational center, it caters not only to the people of Aklan but also to transients coming from other nearby provinces, cities and countries. As a major tourism gateway, the influx of tourists to Boracay Island catalyzes rapid economic expansion and municipal landscape development. Tourism activity peaks in the heart of Kalibo every January as the yearly celebration of the world-famous Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Economy
- 6 Local government
- 7 Barangays
- 8 Ati-Atihan Festival
- 9 Education
- 10 Health
- 11 Landmarks
- 12 Media
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The term Kalibo comes from the Aklanon word "sangkâ líbo", ("one thousand"), reputedly the number of native Aeta people who attended the first Catholic Mass there. After this very first Mass, a celebration was held that is continued annually as the Ati-atihan festival.
From the time of the Spanish colonial administration until the institution of Pilipino as the national language in 1946, Kalibo was spelled as "Calivo".
According to Roman A. de la Cruz, the town Kalibo was originally called Akean by the inhabitants, the same as the name of the river in the place. The word akean itself connotes the warbling of running waters, from the root word akae, meaning "to boil". Akae-akae means to bubble or to boil or make the sound of bubbling or boiling. It could be the same sound of current murmuring in the shallows of a river during dry summer, when the rains and floods are far away off.
From the time of arrival of the Spaniards to Aklan to the early 1600s, the names Aklan and Calivo were used interchangeably to refer to the town. Aside from these, however, several other names and/or spellings, such as Calibo, Daclan, Adan, and Calibog have been used.
In the middle of Spanish rule, Aklan together with other towns, were fused to comprise the province of Capiz. On May 31, 1837, Capiz was declared to be a political-military province.4 In 1956, Aklan was itself proclaimed by the Republic of the Philippines by virtue of Republic Act No. 1414, signed by President Ramon Magsaysay on April 25, 1956.5 Seven months later, on November 8, 1956, the province was officially inaugurated6 and the municipality of Kalibo was made its capital.
From the time of arrival of the Spaniards to Aklan in 1569 to the early 1600s, the names Aklan and Calivo were used interchangeably to refer to the town. Aside from these, however, several other names and/or spellings, such as Calibo, Daclan, Adan, and Calibog have been used.
Aklan as a Prehispanic Barangay
Unlike other settlements in ancient Philippines, there must have already been a good number of people residing along the river of Aclán prior to the coming of the Spaniards organized in communities. For it can be remembered that in 1569, when Legazpi arrived in Pan-ay, the Aclánons and Ibahainons fought against the Moro pirates who frequently devastated these two towns.29 If Aclán has no organized barangay government, they could not have helped the Spaniards who have sought their help crush the enemies 30 with its 500 Aclánon volunteers.31 Also on this year (1569) until 1571 (where Legazpi assigned encomiendas to his officers), the people of Aclán resided by the river. Aclán, having 2,000 Indios, is believed to be one of the bigger and organized barangays in ancient times.
From Encomienda to Pueblo
On 17 November 1526, [the then King] Chares V issued instructions that all future expeditions be accompanied by at least two priests to make sure that the conquistadores did not imperil the "immortal soul" of the king [of Spain] in the process of extending his earthly dominions. Priest had actually regularly accompanied Spanish expeditions overseas even before 1526. They were needed to attend to the spiritual life of the members of the expedition; and if the task of evangelization in the newly discovered lands was the responsibility of the crown, then the priests presence were essential.
It is already known that the King ordered Legazpi to assign and allot as encomiendas the villages of the islands to the soldiers who were with him in the voyage, to which Legazpi complied. Later on, however, the encomienda system was abolished by the King because of the abuses of some encomienderos to the natives. This was in the year 1574.32 But it was not until half a century later that the encomienda system was wholly abolished.33 The missionaries, in the meantime, being the ones responsible in reporting to the King of Spain the abuses of the encomienderos, tried to find means to protect, and at the same time, to forward their aim to convert the natives. From Agoncillo, the following passages have been taken:
One of the first tasks imposed on the missionaries and the encomienderos was to collect all the scattered Filipinos together in a reduccion (resettlement) bajo el son de la campana (under the sound of the bell) or bajo el toque de la campana (under the peal of the bell).
As early as 1580, the Franciscans proceeded to establish pueblos where the church and convent would be constructed. All the new Christian converts were required to construct their houses around the church and the unbaptized were invited to do the same. This was approved by the then Governor General of the Philippines himself. The reduccion plan presented by Franciscan Fr. Juan de la Plasencia to the Synod of Manila (1582) was approved unanimously by missionaries of the religious orders.
With the reduccion, the Spaniards attempted to tame the Filipinos through Christian indoctrination in a quite novel settlement pattern using the convento/casa real/plaza complex as a focal point
With the reduccion, the pre-colonial barangays metamorphosed externally and internally.
With the reduccion, the encomiendas were re-laid out to accommodate a pueblo where a church and convent would be constructed. As how the barangay transformed to become the encomienda, the same people in the same place under a different label.
With the reduccion, Aclán was accepted by the Augustinians to become one of its parishes on April 22, 1581.35 It could not, however, be Aclán's acceptance as a parish which signaled its development as a town. It was not hard for the Spaniards to impose the reduccion in Aclán; there was, no need for the Spaniards to gather the residents of Aclán in one place. Aclán was, in the very first place, already a large settlement prior to the coming of the Spaniards. It should not be taken that the founding of Aclán was after or based on the reduccion concept. If it should thus be asked when Aclán was founded as a town in the concept of the Spaniards, it was when it was assigned as an encomienda on November 3, 1571. The moment Aclán became an encomienda to the Spaniards, it fostered the development of the place to gradually become a town as people conceive of it now.
Conversion to Cityhood
After the Supreme Court reversed its decision junking the conversion of 16 municipalities into cities, Aklan Rep. Florencio Miraflores is hopeful that the capital town of Aklan will soon achieved its cityhood status. The High Court, in an en banc decision, granted last month the second motion for reconsideration filed by the municipalities declaring the cityhood laws valid and constitutional. Miraflores, who is unopposed in the upcoming local elections, said he will pursue the cityhood of Kalibo in the 15th Congress, citing the 35-page decision of Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco. The solon has filed House Bill No. 3065 seeking for the conversion of the municipality of Kalibo into a component city to be known as city of Kalibo in the 14th Congress. Kalibo, a first-class municipality, is the commercial and trade center of the province. According to the 2007 census, the town has 67,700 population in 16 barangays and a land area of 5,075 hectares. Its strategic location, Miraflores said, contributes to Aklan’s rapid growth and development in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, health and education. "With this pending Kalibo cityhood, the local government unit will be entitled to receive an annual Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) as much as P200-million once Kalibo becomes a city," he added. Mayor Raymar Rebaldo has envisioned this town "to be a city, center of agro-trade and industry and eco-tourism with empowered citizenry conscious of ecological soundness and social equality with people living in peace and harmony with one another." Kalibo Senior Sangguniang Bayan member Mark Quimpo also welcomed the decision of the High Court, saying, he favors the proposal of Miraflores for Kalibo cityhood that could bring vital progress and services to their constituents. Quimpo stressed, the IRA of Kalibo of P72-million a year they used to receive as first-class municipality would substantially increase when this town famous for its Ati-Atihan festival would become a city. On November 18, 2008, the Court granted the petition of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) seeking the annulment of the cityhood status of the 16 towns whose cityhood bills were passed by Congress during the 11th Congress.,m,m The LCP said the 16 cities did not meet the minimum income requirement of P100 million for cityhood under Section 450 of the Local Government Code. A municipality or cluster of barangays can be converted into a city if it has an average annual income of at least P20 million, a population of at least 150,000 inhabitants and a contiguous territory of at least 100 square kilometers, according to Section 450 of Republic Act No. 9009, which took effect on June 30, 2001. It was amended in the 12th Congress by increasing the minimum income requirement for conversion of a municipality into a city from P20-million to P100-million. The SC, however, stressed the cityhood laws of the 16 cities do not violate Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and the equal protection clause under Section 1, Article III of the Constitution.
|Population census of Kalibo|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
Air travel to Kalibo from Manila is about 45 minutes on a daily schedule with four airline companies flying: the Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia Zest and PAL Express. These airlines increase their flights daily during the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival in January. PAL Express is also flying daily to Cebu with code share to Philippine Airlines and soon will fly to Clark starting March 29, 2012. AirAsia Philippines has started flight from Clark to Kalibo since March 15, 2012 and SeaAir has resumed its flights to Clark on May 4, 2012. AirAsia just commenced with a daily flight to Kuala Lumpur, Mandarin Airlines, TransAsia Airways, China Southern, China Airlines have weekly flights to and from Taipei, Taiwan and Philippine Airlines and Shanghai Airlines have chartered flights to and from Shanghai, China; Jin Air with code share to Korean Air is doing chartered flights from Incheon, Korea. Spirit of Manila has its chartered flight to kalibo from its regional destinations. Zest Air being its hub for domestic and regional have twice daily flights to Seoul-Incheon Korea, twice weekly to Busan four times weekly to Shanghai China, twice a week Taipei Taiwan, Beijing and Chengdu Korea. Philippine Airlines has launched direct flights to Regional destinations in Hong Kong two times weekly and Seoul ICN (starting May 5, 2012) with four times weekly service. Kalibo is also the jumping off point for many international travelers heading to Boracay.
Kalibo International Airport is about ten minutes from the main plaza.
Kalibo at the moment does not have any major port or wharf, but the four ports throughout the province are accessible. Three shipping companies (MBRS, Moreta Shipping Lines and Negros Navigation) service Aklan passengers going to and from Manila, Capiz and Romblon. The New Washington port is 20 minutes away from Kalibo, while the port of Dumaguit, also in New Washington can be reached in an hour. Batan port is accessible via Dumaguit and Altavas while travel time to Malay port is approximately two hours. Travel time from Manila to Aklan is 14 to 18 hours through sea travel. The Caticlan Jetty Port is now part of the Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) Strong Republic Nautical Highway which connects Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and it traverses the municipality of Kalibo going to Capiz and Romblon.
A jetty port however will be constructed in Barangay Pook and will be operational by 2014.
Public transportation around the city is by tricycle, taxi, multicab and jeepneys.
Kalibo is 158 kilometers from Iloilo City, 86 kilometers from Roxas City, and 182 kilometers from San Jose, Antique. Land travel from Iloilo City to Kalibo takes approximately two and a half to three hours, one and a half hours from Roxas City, and three to five hours from San Jose, Antique. All are accessible by bus and minivans. Trips to Caticlan range from 50 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the mode of transportation.
Being the most popular means of transportation in the Philippines, tricycle is also dominating the major thoroughfares and streets in Kalibo. The town has its own version of the design of its tricycle that can accommodate up to 8 passengers. The design was also adopted in of the rest of Aklan and some parts of Northern Antique. At present, there are about 3,500 tricycles that are registered for public transportation and they are distributed in the following routes:
|Route No.||Color Code||Coverage||Terminal|
|1||Green||Osmena Avenue, Estancia, Tinigao, Tigayon, Linabuan Norte||Kalibo Public Market|
|2||Blue||Andagao, New Buswang, Old Buswang, Bakhaw Sur, Bakhawan Eco-Park||RC Supermart; Gaisano( to Andagao)|
|3||Orange||Cardinal Sin Avenue, Pook, Kalibo International Airport, Nalook, Mabilo, Briones||Allen's Mart|
|4||White & Purple||Poblacion, Capitol Site, BLISS Site, ASU, Roxas Ave.Extension||None|
Note: All the terminals are along Toting Reyes Street (Except that of Going to Andagao)
The Piña and Abaca cloths are exported to various parts of the world, most particularly North America and Europe. Kalibo is known for other native products such as handbags made of buri leaves which is a favorite for Caucasian females visiting the town. Pineapple silk is considered the queen of Philippine fabrics and is the fabric of choice of the Philippine elite. During the 1996 edition of APEC in the Philippines, world leaders donned a pineapple silk Barong Tagalog from Kalibo during the obligatory class photo.
Kalibo also has a burgeoning meat-processing cottage industry and is beginning to be noticed in the processing of locally made chorizo, tocino and other meat products, particularly with Rosa Foods in the Linabuan Norte district. Remy Nadal Duck Meat is also a well-known processor in the province, located at Magdalena in Kalibo.
Kalibo has tourist boomtown character and is famous not only as a jump-off point to Boracay but as the home of the Philippines original, most popular, most colorful and spontaneous Ati-Atihan Festival. The festival is celebrated during the second week of January culminating on the third Sunday of every year, and despite little government support to promote the festival, word of mouth amongst tourists swelled attendees coming from all over the world, leading to a shortage of hotels.
Aside from Ati-atihan, other places of interest in Kalibo is the Bakhawan Eco-Park, dubbed as the Philippines most successful mangrove reforestation project and the Aklan Museum (Museo it Akean) which serves as a repository of the town's history and heritage.
Aside from above, there's a municipality named Ibajay which has the beautiful river in the province and the beautiful forest. Malay has one of the cleanest river in the region.
Being the business center of the province including the neighboring provinces, both small- and large-scale establishments sprouted like mushroom in the municipality.
Kalibo being the center of trade and business of the province, several banking institutions are presently serving in the municipality and the whole northern Panay. Here is the List of Banks in Kalibo.
Being the provincial capital of Aklan, Kalibo serves as the major shopping destination in the Province. Several department stores and shopping centers are located in Kalibo, such as Gaisano, so far the biggest shopping mall in Aklan, and Royal Supermart, a pioneering grocery and shopping arcade. But despite the presence of those shopping centers, their numbers still continues to grow as Kalibo is getting bigger as an urban area.
Kalibo is a first class Philippine municipality. As of 2010, it has been administered by Mayor William S. Lachica.
The Kalibo Municipal Hall is located inside the Magsaysay Park, which also serves as the venue for Ati-atihan Nights Activities and other community-related events and gatherings.
Ati-Atihan is making one's self like the Ati or Aeta or pretending to be one. Kalibo's "frenzied and raucous" historical and religious festivity observed every second week and culminating on the 3rd Sunday of January came from that intent. Citizens, tourist and pilgrims in this town smear themselves with soot or any blackening substance to look like an Aeta.
Ati-Atihan is believed to have started in the year 1212 when Borneans led by the ten Datus packed themselves in several boats or "baeangays," (barangay) and crossed the seas to escape the unpopular regime of Sultan Makatunaw. They landed in Panay Island and established the first community of the brown race in this country and the first union of states in Southeast Asia — the Confederation of Madyaas.
Few have the knowledge that the first Ati-Atihan was celebrated to seal a peace pact that united two races and peoples — the Aetas and the Malays with totally different cultures and spiritual creeds — to embrace each other and give way to an enduring legacy of reconciliation that gave birth to the Philippine nation. The commemoration of the Ati-Atihan festivals in essence has become significant when the entire nation is being swept with social, economic and political crises.
The saga of this great migration told and related for generation started in the Court of Brunei under the regime of Sultan Makatunaw whose insecurity and greed for power transformed him into tyrant after the collapse of the Sri-Visayan empire and the remnants of its vast territory were at the mercy of the conquering hordes of Madjapahit warriors. The widespread discontent under Makatunaw's rule reached the point of a popular uprising and Datu Puti, his chief minister, with his followers decided to leave and seek peace in a new land.
One night the rebels under the leadership of Datu Puti, stealthily left their "baeangays" and faced the seas for distant unknown destiny. Guided by the stars and favored by tropical winds, they reached the islands of Sugbu (Cebu), Parawan (Palawan) and Buglas (Negros). The topography and the nearness of this islands to the island where they came from discouraged their settling down. They were already bound in their direction of the islands of Romren (Romblon) when they were attracted by a silhouette of a mountain summit shaped like a salakot ("mangkusarok") in the horizon. The group that was already plagued by big waves, strong current, diseases, hunger and thirst in the high seas and whose most valued treasure in their possession they brought in their escape was a "saruk nga bug-os nga bueawan" (golden salakot), interpreted the sighting as a good omen. They changed course and headed toward the beacon of the mountain and landed at the sunrise of the first "Tigueak" in 1212 A.D. in the island of Panay then called Aninipay (named after a plant that abound in the place and whose fine unwashable bristles causes skin eruption and irritation which could not be easily cured). They named the island Madyaas or paradise in contrast to the land they left behind.
With the party of Datu Puti and wife Pinangpangan were Datus Sumakwel with wife Kapinangan, Lubay, Balkasua, Bangkaya with wife Katurung, Paiburong, Dumagsol, Dumalugdug and Paduhinog with wife Ribungsapaw and their selected loyal subjects.
After the landing, they sought audience with Ati Chieftain Marikudo and offered to buy the entire island. After several weeks of negotiation, the plains of Panay was offered for peaceful settling of the Malays in exchange for a golden salakot, brass basins, bales of cloth along with a trinket for Maniwangtiwang (wife of Marikudo) the link of which reached her feet and a harvest for one summer of the produce of the sea, while the hinterlands remained for the Aetas.
A glorious celebration to seal the negotiation followed. The unending flow of native wine (tuba) and the sumptuous meal motivated the start of merry-making. The Malays in their effort to show appreciation and sincerity and to further befriend their host smeared themselves with soot from their cooking utensils to look like Aetas. The uninhibited spontaneous dancing of the two races lasted till the wee hours of the morning to the bet and music of native songs, "bagtoes" and drums of the Aetas and the Malays.
Thus started the first Ati-Atihan which was commemorated by Datu Bangkaya when he first established Madyanos or little paradise (later renamed Aclan which was also changed to Kalibo) at the bank of the Aklan River on the second Tagbueukad (Saturday) of Dagangkahoy (February).
When the ten datus founded their own settlements, Datu Bangkaya, the intellectual among the ten and the chief advisor of Datu Puti, established the town of Madyanos (little paradise) i the west bank of the Aklan river and there he commemorated the purchase of every harvest.
On how the Ati-Atihan became a religious feast, Aklanon historian Beato dela Cruz recounts:
"In 1750, one Fray Andres de Aguirre, a Basque companion priest of Fray Andres Urdaneta and explorer Miguel Lopez de Legaspi baptized in one day 1,000 inhabitants of the town and surrounding settlements in the place. To celebrate the eventful day, the drums of Aklan were sounded for this beneficial event and coincided with the existing Ati-Atihan feast. Thus, the present Ati-Atihan is tinged with religious fervor is now associated with miracles. Devotees nowadays participate in the street dancing, novena and masses or fall in line at the century-old Kalibo Cathedral just to let their bodies be massaged or rubbed with the image of the Sto. Niño" (de Kalibo).
Some of the young may have abandoned the old culture and religious significance in their street revelry and have adopted the modern stance of the computer age. Most of them may no longer smear their faces and bodies with soot but instead wear grotesque make-ups (or none at all) and outstanding costumes of their age. Other prefer mere T-shirts or ponchos rather than the tribal garments of the 12th and the 13th centuries.
But the religious belief, the fervor, warmth, fun and gaiety, the pomp and the fun fare, historically and culturally identified with the Ati-Atihan — an expansion of proud customs and traditions and enduring legacy of peace and reconciliation have remained untarnished through the passing of time from the celebration of the purchase of Panay in the year 1212 from chief Punuan Datu Bangkaya to Aklan Encomiendero Antonio Flores, from Cabeza Juan Matanga to the present elected Mayor. For culturally, only Kalibonhons throughout the centuries have consistently given significance to this historical legacy as they possess the natural love for festivities. Every Kalibonhon's soul and soaring spirit "has the gift of rhythm and passion for music."
A schedule of activities for the Ati-Atihan Festival is available.
Kalibo, being the educational center of the Province of Aklan, has establishments in all levels of education. The services offered range from pre-school learning centers to technical and tertiary schools, two of which offer post-graduate courses including Bachelor of Laws.
The town is the home of the major colleges in northern Panay such as Aklan Catholic College, Aklan Polytechnic College, Aklan State University, Garcia College of Technology, Northwestern Visayan Colleges,Panay Technological College, Saint Gabriel College,and STI College of Kalibo.
Kalibo, Aklan is a home of achievers with Regional Science High School for Western Visayas, it is a center and spring board for excellence in science, English, and mathematics oriented education with competent graduates who contributes to the country's progress and development.
The municipality of Kalibo in its goal to have a healthy environment and thereby realized a healthy community has intensified its health programs and activities. Consequently, it has improved the health situation of the entire populace and had encouraged some investors to improved the medical facilities around the town. At present there are five (5) hospitals in Kalibo and these are Dr. Rafael S. Tumbukon Memorial Hospital, Saint Gabriel Medical Center, Saint Jude Hospital of Kalibo, Aklan Cooperative Mission Hospital, and PHCMPC Hospital(to be known as Aklan Medical Center by 2014). Clinics that provide comprehensive diagnostic and laboratory services are also available in Kalibo such as Panay Health Care Center, Medway Poly-Clinic, MMG-Aklan Specialty Clinic and Caritas Health Shield Clinic.
Located within the town proper of Kalibo and accessible by private cars, tricycles and motorcycles. The town's famous landmark where fierce battles ensued between the combined Filipino and American troops together with the Aklanon guerrillas during World War II. A Monument was built to signify the heroic stand of Aklanons. Mortar and other fragments of armaments can be found at the vicinity.
FM Radio Stations: DYRU-FM RGMA Barangay 92.9, DYYM-FM (CBIS) Hot FM 98.5, DYSM-FM 100.1 MBC Love Radio, Bay Radio DYKY-99.3 FM, Radyo Todo 88.5FM, Energy FM,Brigada News FM Kalibo
AM Radio Stations: DYIN Bombo Radyo, Radio Mindanao Network DYKR, IBC Radyo Budyong DYRG
TV Stations: ABS-CBN TV-9 Kalibo, GMA TV-2 Kalibo, TV5-Ch.25 Kalibo, CNN Philippines-Ch. 11 Kalibo, ETC-TV 21 Kalibo, ABS-CBN Sports+Action 23 Kalibo, UNTV 37 Aklan, GMA News TV 27 Kalibo, MYX Channel 55 Kalibo
Cable Networks: Aklan Cable TV, Kalibo Cable Television Network
- "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "Province: Aklan". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "An Act Changing the Name of the Barrio Tinigao Bongoe, Municipality of Kalibo, Province of Capiz, to Mobo". LawPH.com. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kalibo, Aklan.|
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- Balancing Paradise and Pandemonium: Philippine Encounters with the rest of the World - History of Panay, Capiz, Aklan and Boracay
- Philippine Census Information