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Province of Aklan
Provincial seal of Aklan
Map of the Philippines with Aklan highlighted RegionWestern Visayas(Region VI) Capital KaliboDivisions    - Highly urbanized cities0  - Component cities0  - Municipalities17  - Barangays327  - Congressional districts1 Population 24th smallest  - Total (2007) 451,314  - Density 248/km² (29th highest) Area 18th smallest  - Total 1,817.9 km² Founded — Spoken languages Aklanon, Malaynon, Ati, Ilonggo, Kinaray-a, TagalogGovernor Carlito S. Marquez (Lakas-CMD)

Aklan is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas. Its capital is Kalibo and is located at the northwest portion of Panay, bordering Antique to the southwest, Iloilo to the south, and Capiz to the east. Aklan faces the Sibuyan Sea and the province of Romblon to the north.



See also: Datu

Aklan, originally known as "Minuro it Akean", is considered as the oldest province in the country and is believed to have been established as early as 1213 by settlers from Borneo ruled by Datu Dinagandan.

Towards the end of the 14th century, Datu Dinagandan moved the capital from the present Batan. This was after it was captured by Chinese adventurers under Kalantiaw, allowing him to grab the throne. In 1433, Kalantiaw's grandson and successor, Kalantiaw III, formulated a set of laws that is known today as the Code of Kalantiaw. the historian, William Henry Scott, considered these laws as fake.[1][2] In 1437, the short-lived dynasty of Kalantiaw ended when Kalantiaw III was slain in a duel with Datu Manduyog, the legitimate successor of Datu Dinagandan. When Manduyog became the new ruler, he moved the capital to Bakan (now known as Banga).

Several datus succeeded Manduyog until Miguel Lopez de Legaspi landed in Batan in 1565. Datu Kabanyag was the current ruler at the time and had his capital in Libacao.

From the time of the Spanish colonial administration until Pilipino was instituted as the Philippine national language, Aklan was spelled "Acean", and its chief town Kalibo was spelled "Calivo".

In 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces landed in Aklan,

In 1945, landed by the Filipino and American troops with the Filipino guerrillas liberated in Aklan attack from the Japanese troops during the Second World War.

Aklan finally became a separate province through Republic Act 1414 signed by President Magsaysay on April 25, 1956, separating Aklan from Capiz. The province was inaugurated on November 8, 1956.

Administrative divisions

Aklan is subdivided into 17 municipalities.



Philippine Spotted Deer

Aklan occupies the northern third of the island of Panay and is bordered by the provinces of Iloilo from the south, Capiz from the east, and Antique from the southwest. It also faces the Sibuyan Sea from the north. The province includes the island of Boracay which is located at its northwestern tip.

The province boasts high geographic diversity, ranging from white sandy beaches, mangroves, and mountainous lanscapes. It also boasts the river Akean, which appears unique due to its "boiling or frothing" appearance.


Several endemic species in the Philippines are located in the province. Examples include endangered animals such the Philippine Spotted Deer (Cervus alfredi), the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons), and the Tarictic Hornbill (Penelopides panini). As of 2007, conservation efforts are being made by the Aklan State University and the DENR with varying success.


A view of the Grotto in Boracay at Dusk

Aklan is famous for Boracay, a resort island one kilometer north from the tip of Panay. It is known for its white sandy beaches and is considered as one of the more prominent destinations in the country. Because of this, there is frequent air travel to the province's airports in Kalibo and Caticlan.

Farming is the basic livelihood in the interior while fishing is the basic livelihood in the coasts. Poorer inhabitants also migrate seasonly to other provinces and islands, particularly Negros, to work mostly in plantations. Some of these migrants include minors.

Despite its vibrant tourism industry and substantial agriculture, the province is still considered as one of the poorer provinces in the country with more than 30% of the population living below the national poverty line.[3]


Ethnic groups

The main inhabitants of the province are the Aklanon, who fall under the Visayan ethnic group. Other inhabitants include the Negrito, locally known as the Ati, and the Sulod, a lesser known tribal group located at the hinterlands of Panay. Other Visayans are also present such as the Karay-a, the Hiligaynon, and the Capiznon.


The most prominent languages in the province are the Aklan languages, which includes Aklanon and Malaynon. Aklanon is spoken by a majority of the people, while Malaynon is spoken in Malay. Other languages include the language of the Ati; Hiligaynon, the regional language; Kinaray-a; and Capiznon.


Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion of the people and Christian festivals such as Christmas and Lent are regarded with high importance. Meanwhile, Christian icons such as the Santo Niño are regarded as cultural symbols of the people. A prominent example of the importance given by Aklanons to their faith is Jaime Cardinal Sin.

Animism, however, is still practised by the Ati.


Despite the prevalence of Christianity, native beliefs about the aswang and the babaylan are still prevalent among the people. Kulam, or Philippine witchcraft, locally known as "amulit" is still feared by many.


A known icon of the province is the annual Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo. Originally, The festivity was to celebrate the coexistence between the Ati [ local name for the Aetas]and the Malays who were newcomers to the Island. The Ati lives in the mountain or elevated regions and the Malays in the flatlands or close to the water. The Festivity starts at the onset of the dry season, at which time the Ati comes down from the mountains to trade and celebrate with the Malays. When the Spaniards came and established their own Government and converted the Malays to their Christian Relegion, They asked or possibly coerced the Malays to celebrate this Festivity to coincide with the Feast of "Santo Nino" which is usually held during the third week of January. Accordingly, because of this change [ Ati uses the Moon to tell Seasonal changes]the Ati could not be available to participate in the celebration. The Malays have to paint their faces with soot to simulate the appearance of the Ati.


Aklanons are known for their literature, which includes the epic of Kalantiao. Certain Aklanons, such as Melchor F. Cichon, Niezel Rondario Fernando, have tried to further enrich the literature of the province.

Educational Institutions

  • Aklan Academy
  • Aklan Catholic College
  • Aklan National College of Fisheries
  • Aklan Polytechnic Institute
  • Aklan Science Development High School (RSHS for Region VI)
  • Aklan State University
  • Brent International School (Boracay)
  • Garcia College of Technology
  • Irao Institute
  • Jose Borromeo Legaspi Memorial National High School
  • Kalibo Elementary School
  • Kalibo Pilot Elementary School
  • Northwestern Visayan Colleges
  • Roxas Memorial College of Arts and Trades
  • Saint Anne Montessori School
  • Saint Gabriel School of Nursing
  • STI College Kalibo
  • STO. Niño Seminary
  • Western Aklan Polytechnic College


  1. ^ The Fraudulent Code of Kalantiáw. Retrieved on 2007-07-09.
  2. ^ Augusto V. de Viana (2006-09-17). The Order of Kalantiaw? Haosiao!. The Sunday Times. Retrieved on 2007-07-09.
  3. ^ Philippine Poverty Statistics National Statistical Coordination Board (Philippines). Accessed March 7, 2007

External links

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Coordinates: 11°40′N, 122°20′E

Categories: Aklan | Provinces of the Philippines

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