Kalibo has many attractions besides the Santo Niño Ati-Atihan Festival. There are religious, cultural and eco-tourist aspects as well.

Kalibo Church

Foremost is the Cathedral Parish of Saint John the Baptist, the center of faith of Kalibonhons, formerly known as the Kalibo Parish Church with Saint John the Baptist as its Patron Saint.

Created on September 18, 1581 with Padre Fray Andres de Ibarra, OSA as the First Friar, this Parish Church and in 1804 constructed at its new, bigger, spacious and sturdy church; second, in 1947-1948 by His Grace Gabriel Martelino Reyes, D.D., and Archbishop of Cebu and of Manila, it was remodeled and reconstructed due to earthquake.

From 1993-1997, the Kalibo Cathedral and the Diocesan Shrine of the Holy Child underwent a final reconstruction, due to earthquake in Aklan in June 1991 under the leadership of Most Reverend Gabriel Villaruz Reyes, D.D., Bishop of Kalibo with the help of His Eminence Jaime Lachica Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila and a devoted son of Aklan and other generous Aklanon and non-Aklanon benefactors.

Today, it is the beacon of Hope and Trust to the Señor Santo Niño and stands the oldest edifice of worship in Kalibo.

museo it akean

The Museo it Akean, established in 1980, is a major cultural aspect of the Archbishop Gabriel M. Reyes Memorial Foundation, Inc. (AGMRMFI) in partnership with the municipality of Kalibo. It housed in the historic 1882 Eskuelahan it Hari (King’s School) building named in honor of King Philip of Spain which evokes the old glory and legacy of the past.

It is the oldest remaining building in Kalibo, situated at the very heart of the town and stands near the two other historic buildings; the Cathedral Parish of Saint John the Baptist and the old Tribunal, now the Captain Gil M. Mijares building which houses the Kalibo Police Station, the Municipal Library, and Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (KASAFI) and the Pastrana Park.

The Museum has a treasure trove of Aklanon artifacts, including the talibong swords, wood and metal crafts, paintings of Aklanon artists, the piña cloth collections of Aklanons of yesteryears and showcases of the memorabilia of Aklan’s famous sons: Gabriel Martelino Reyes, Archbishop of Cebu and Manila; Jaime Cardinal Sin, the Archbishop of Manila and Godofredo Peralta Ramos, known as the “Father of Aklan”.

bakhawan eco park

The Mangrove Reforestation Project, known as “Green Pearl of the Orient”, covers an extensive area of 790 hectares where Bakhawan Eco Park is situated, and teems with marine life such as a plethora of wild ducks, sea shells, crabs and other swamp life.

It is located in Barangay New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan. It was a recipient of the Golden Eagle Award (1996) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for being one of the bests in Asia.

aklan pina cloth

The Piña cloth, considered the “Queen of Philippine Fabrics” extracted from the piña fibers has been worn by Aklanons since 17th century.

Woven on hard-loom made from bamboo and palm trunks, the cloth has been designed and displayed abroad, to great success, by famous couturiers like Lanvin of Paris, Pitoy Moreno, Ben Farrales, Aureo Alonso, Christian Espiritu, Auggie Cordero and Patis Tesoro.

The well-known piña loom makers in Kalibo are Heritage, owned by India dela Cruz-Legaspi at L. Barrios Street and the Dela Cruz House of Piña, owned by Rhodora dela Cruz-Sulañgi, in Barangay New Buswang. Another is the abaca fabric weaving with its pinukpok of silk thread. This has added a new scope to the cloth weaving industry.

Tigayon Hills lies in cozy seclusion in Barangay Tigayon, three kilometers away from Kalibo proper; it once served as the secret sanctuary for the Province’s freedom fighters against Spain.

Local folklore claims it was the enchanted kingdom of kind fairies. Today, it is the site of a small, concrete house of prayer, surrounded by the Municipal Tree Park, where spiritual retreats are sometimes held.

beach aklan

Kalibo boasts of scenic beaches on the northern part of the town, along Old Buswang and New Buswang, Bakhaw Norte, Caano, Pook and Mabilo, stretching out to the Sibuyan Sea and Aklan River, which separates the capital town from Numancia and the nine other towns.

shrine kalibo

Five National Historical Landmarks that Kalibo can be proud of are the martyrdom sites of the General Francisco del Castillo (March 17, 1897). Katipunan hero in Aklan at the corner side of the Pastrana Park between S. Martelino and Archbishop G.M. Reyes Streets; the Nineteen Martyrs (March 23, 1897) at the Acevedo Building at the 19 Martyrs Street; the Aklan Freedom Shrine where the 19 Martyrs and World War II martyred soldiers were buried, along the D. Maagma and Veterans’ Avenues; the birthplace of Victorino Mapa (February 25, 1855 – April 11, 1927), the 1st Filipino Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, at the site of the Glowmoon Hotel at S. Martelino Street; and the birthplace of Most Reverend Gabriel Martelino Reyes, D.D., (March 24,1892 – October 10, 1952) 1st Filipino Archbishop of Cebu and Manila, at the site of the CAP Building, at the Archbishop Gabriel M. Reyes Street.