Kalibo lures tourists through "Manggad"
Kalibo (28 February) -- "Manggad" means wealth in the Aklanon and Hiligaynon dialect, and Kalibo, the capital town of Aklan, is counting much on this to lure tourists, both foreign and local to discover the "Manggad It Kalibo".
By counting on its "manggad" to lure tourists, Kalibo not only focuses its tourism programs and activities on the yearly Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival but on other attractions the municipality has to offer to people who want to discover more of Kalibo – its people, its culture and its place in history
In the words of Kalibo mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo, "the Ati-atihan town of Kalibo, a fast-becoming first rate urbanized municipality, showcases prime attractions like the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival – the Mother of all Philippine Festivals, the intricate weaving of Pina cloth – the Queen of Philippine Fabrics, and the Manggad it Kalibo for the distinct pleasures and adventure of our visitors."
The Manggad It Kalibo offers three components: the Bakhawan Eco Park, the Pina Village and the Ati-atihan Village in New Buswang.
The Bakhawan Eco Park was conceptualized by the municipality of Kalibo for people who fancy a walk with nature. The multi-awarded and recipient of the Golden Eagle Award mangrove reforestation project boasts of an exceptional nature thrill for eco-tourists and visitors. The 80+hectare eco-park, according to a visitors' brochure furnished by the Office of the Mayor, features a small park and recreation area and a 15-minute eco-walk built from bamboos stretching through the mangroves and out to a beach where one can enjoy a picnic with nature.
With the Pina Village, one can witness the painstaking process of transforming a native pineapple leaf into an intricately woven pina cloth – the Queen of Philippine Fabrics. Costing a fortune abroad, the Pina Cloth and other Pina products are actually works of art.
At the Ati-atihan Village, one can experience the unique Kalibo Ati-atihan Festival year-round, as there is a ready group to showcase the "sadsad' complete with painted faces, costumes and drums anytime of the year. At the village, one can also witness the transformation of an Ati from costume design to its creation. One can also get to wear the costume, dance like an Ati and have a souvenir photo taken.
Other tourist attractions in Kalibo include the Museo It Akean which serves as a repository of the province' cultural heritage and exhibits artifacts that attests to the rich history of Aklan and the masterpieces of Aklanon artists; the Kalibo Cathedral, originally built in 1581 and stands as the oldest edifice of the province; the Aklan Freedom Shrine – a tribute to Aklanon forebears, the first Katipunan movement outside Luzon with its 19 steps adorning the monument containing the mortal remains of the l9 Martyrs of Aklan and atop the statue of Gen. Francisco del Castillo, the leader of Katipunan revolutionaries in Aklan; the Tigayon Hill and Caves, the highest point of Kalibo and the former secret sanctuary of the province's freedom fighters; and the Kalibo Food Festival Sa Kalye, a delectable celebration in commemoration of the Feast of St. John the Baptist every June where a street at the town plaza is closed and various kiosks serve a variety of local and foreign dishes in the true tradition of a fiesta, Kalibonhon style.
Kalibo now home to 69,700 residents as of 2007 National Statistics Office (NSO) Census of Population, has 16 barangays.
It is the center of political, social, economic and religious activities and is linked to the region and the country as a whole. It is classified as a first class municipality by the Department of Finance (DOF). (PIA) [top]