What can NEW WASHINGTON offer?
Festivals and Events
“PACTO DE SANGRE” OR BLOOD COMPACT – New Washington is best known in the province for the Blood Compact Celebration or the Pacto de Sangre in Spanish. This annual tradition held every March 1 to 3 has been a significant part in the municipality’s history. The celebration is done in commemoration of the Aklanon heroes who have sacrificed their own lives just to liberate fellow Filipinos from the colonization of the Spanish forces. The Pacto De Sangre happened in Sitio Kuntang of Barangay Ochando in New Washington on March 23, 1897. The Aklanon Katipuneros, namely Romualdo Dalida, Isidro Jimenez, Cornelio Delfin, Valeriano Dalida, Benito Motus, Albino Rabaria, Teodorico Motus and Juan Dalida fought the Spanish regime to uphold the freedom and independence the Filipino people were battling for. Each of the Katipuneros voluntarily wound their wrists and used their blood in signing the document detailing their grievances as a symbol of their revolt against the then Spanish authorities. Furthermore, this blood compact has also been a considered as a symbolism of eternal friendship and brotherhood. The pact was then remembered as one of the most important events in Philippine history and inspired the annual ceremony of commemorating the Blood Compact in the small town that is New Washington.
Spots and Attractions
TAMBAK SEA WALL – Marvel at the breathtaking sunrise and savor the mouthwatering seafoods served fresh in nearby restaurants.
PINK SISTERS CONVENT – Located at Barangay Polo, 10 kms. away from Kalibo, this convent means a lot for the highly religious folks of New Washington. The name of the convent attributed to the color of the nun’s garments.
THE JAIME L. SIN MONUMENT – This bronze life-size representation of Jaime L. Sin is a present to the people of New Washington, Aklan from Ambassador Antonio L. Cabanguan Chua. He was one of the Cardinal’s dearest friends and supporters. The donor chose to mark the Cardinal’s 73rd birthday, August 30, 2007 with the solemn unveiling of his 22 feet high monument the next day that same year in recognition of his honor at his hometown. Throughout his lifetime, Cardinal Sin was a gift of God and at the same time, a hero to the Filipino people whom he served with love and devotion.
ISLA KAPISPISAN – Its name “Kapispisan” comes from the Visayan root word pispis, which means birds, and Kapispisan, meaning flock of birds. This bird sanctuary is a project initiated by the College of Fisheries & Marine Sciences in New Washington. It is a mangrove forest that provides habitats to different aquatic species, birds and other associated organisms.
LAGATIK RIVER CRUISE – Cruise around town through its pristine and scenic Lagatik River and Batan’s hidden sea. Cruises and tours of the Lagatik River are daily and its beautiful environment covering the coastal areas of Pinamuk-an Island in New Washington and Tinagong Dagat of Batan, including organized visits to the mangrove and bird sanctuary, fish fattening or oyster farms.
Products and Produce
New Washington also has a lot to offer when we talk about food. Among the regulars are seafood such as crabs and prawns at their best. Sea shell locally known as “hale-hale” is also available and is a legendary aphrodisiac. For the adventurous, eating a local delicacy called “tamiluk” would be a great experience. Tamiluk is a wood worm that feed on dead mangrove trees. There is also another worm locally called “sasing” which is a marine worm dug from the inter-tidal zone of the Lagatik river and is eaten raw. These worms are not for the squeamish and the faint hearted. Some consider them exotic and some taboo.
Among the common “kakanins” is the glutinous rice (malagkit) cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in coconut fronds locally called “ibos”. This is unique to the town as it can also be found in other towns and even in other parts of the country but some give it a twist of their own usually in the way it is wrapped. Other local snacks are the “suman” and “amboeong”.
There is an exotic drink popular in the Visayas called “tuba”. This is a form of coconut wine. Fresh “tuba” has wine like smell but milder (compared to red wine from fermented grapes) and taste like one but sweeter. The sweetness and sourness however would depend on some factors particularly the age of the coconut tree. “Tuba” does not keep long as it readily ferments to vinegar. One to two days old “tuba” already tastes sour. It should be enjoyed fresh from the coconut tree.