What can KALIBO offer?
Festivals and Events
KALIBO STO. NIÑO ATI-ATIHAN FESTIVAL – This festival dates back when the peace agreement between early Negrito settlers and the Maraynons that came over from Borneo was being commemorated. Therefore, participants willingly blacken themselves with soot and put on colorful tribal costumes. Nowadays, it is one of the most vibrant celebrations honoring the Holy Child Jesus, Sto. Niño. Hence, it is considered as the Filipino Mardis Gras. Known to be “The Mother of all Philippine Festivals,” there are many activities and events that people are looking forward to during the week-long celebration. Some activities include the Search for Mutya ag Lakan it Kalibo Ati-atihan, Aklan Festivals Parade, Higante Contest and concluded every 3rd Sunday of January with a High Mass to kick off the final day of merrymaking and procession. The key activity and one of the main reasons tourist travel many miles to Kalibo is the native dance competitions of participating tribes in full gear accompanied by primitive rhythm of drumbeats. More so, what makes this festival more exciting is that everyone, not only the competing groups, is allowed to crowd the principal streets of Kalibo to dance nonstop for several days rejoicing zealously to their religious vows.
XIX MARTYRS OF AKLAN – It is commemoration of the 19 martyrs of Aklan who consecrated their lives in the cause of freedom from their colonizers. This is held every 23rd of March.
AKLAN DAY CELEBRATION – An annual celebration held in the Provincial Capitol Grounds commemorating the province’s Founding Anniversary on April 25th, formally declaring independence from its mother province of Capiz in 1956.
AKLAN PIÑA AND FIBER FESTIVAL – A week-long festival simultaneously held during the province’s founding anniversary celebration on the 25th of April each year. It is a product showcase of world class craftsmanship and ingenuity using indigenous raw materials such as abaca, piña fiber, raffia. The festival aims to promote, preserve and develop the loom-weaving industry in the province, hoping to establish Aklan as the handloom-weaving destination in the country.
KALIBO FOOD FESTIVAL – A yearly event commemorating the Feast of St. John the Baptist from June 12 to 23 under one venue and various kiosks offer a variety of either local or foreign dishes in the manner of local tradition of the town’s local constituents and usually accompanied by live musical bands to entertain guests and visitors and the locals alike.
HIGANTE CONTEST – This event is one of the highlights in the celebration of Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-atihan wherein locals display their ingenuity in making colorful towering figures made of paper mache, bamboos or other indigenous materials.
FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST – A celebration of the Feast of St.John the Baptist done on June 24 every year wherein people usually go out for the beaches and have fun with picnics. Sports activities like boat racing at the beaches and parlor games at the Pastrana Park are also carried out.
KALIBO DAY – This is done year by year on November 3 in remembrance of Kalibo’s Foundation Day. Among the highlights are activities like a commemorative program at the Magsaysay Park and a Kalibohian night market.
IWAG IT KALIBONHON – An light-a-tree program is done every year in as early as December 15. This symbolizes a bright and peaceful world for all mankind. It is also intended to draw people to go out, see and enjoy the outdoor Christmas atmosphere or scene at night.
Spots and Attractions
AKLAN FREEDOM SHRINE – It is dedicated to the 19 martyrs of Aklan who initiated the revolt against Spain. Hence, the street where the shrine stands is named X1X Martyrs Street.
TIGAYON HILL & CAVES – Considered as the highest geographical location in the municipality, Tigayon hill is the former secret sanctuary of the province’s freedom fighters which anyone can hike or trek at present. It has been developed to provide visitors a more convenient tread and see through its lush flora towards the top.
MUSEO IT AKEAN – It houses age-old artifacts of preserved Aklanon culture, and presently considered one of the most beautiful museums in the country.
PIÑA VILLAGE – Witness the long, tedious process of transforming a native pineapple leaf into an intricately woven piña cloth. This village is situated in Brgy. New Buswang.
ATI-ATIHAN VILLAGE – Wear an authentic Ati-Atihan costume, darken your face and body by covering your skin with soot or paint it with colors, then dance like an Ati. The Ati-Atihan experience happens only every 3rd week of January which culminates on a Sunday, the last day of the religious festivity.
KALIBO CATHEDRAL – Originally built in 1581, to this day it stands as the oldest edifice of worship in the province. It was renovated in 1993 with the spiritual and financial support of the Aklanons themselves. The church’s edifice was subsequently renovated immediately after it was slightly wrecked by the 1990 earthquake. Its architectural design was beautifully crafted by the renowned national artist Leandro V. Locsin.
BAKHAWAN ECO-PARK – this 200 hectares mangrove forest is a multi-awarded destination and a recipient of the Golden Eagle Award in the Asia Pacific for the mangrove reforestation project that boasts of an exceptional nature thrill for eco-tourists and visitors. The eco-park has a small mini park and a recreation area, 1 kilometer eco-walk pathway bridge that wind up into the wide stretch of thick mangrove plantation and ends up unto the beach where one could enjoy a breathtaking grasp of nature, try on kayaking water adventure, or have a picnic to unwind into. At Bakhawan Eco-Park, you can try raw tamilok (shipworms), a kind of mollusk that lives in mangrove roots. The park staff can give tips on where to get cooked tamilok dishes such as grilled tamilok, Kalibo Express (Aklan version of the spicy Bicol Express) or the saucy “Tinuom na Tamilok.”
Products and Produce
Piña; fiber made from the leaves of a pineapple plant was a textile unique to the Philippines and is deemed as “The Queen of Philippine Fabrics.” Consequently, Aklan has become the prime producer of piña cloth in the country. The piña cloth and other piña products could cost a fortune when exported abroad and are considered works of art and could count for one’s collector’s items. Nowadays, international designers use pineapple fabric for their fashion line as well.
Kalibo’s sweet longganisa has made its mark to people from nearby cities and provinces. Province visitors considers their trip incomplete not having to bring home such food products. Other processed meat products that Kalibo is famous for are Chorizo, Tocino and Embutido.
Barbecue stalls on several streets in town offer wide varieties of Barbecue products. Compared to other cities and provinces however, one that is noticeably different in these stalls in Kalibo would be “bread” to be barbecued as well.