Cheap Flights to Kalibo
Bustling and colourful, this city is the capital of the Aklan region. It is also the starting point for visits to the beautiful island of Boracay that lies a short distance off the mainland. The city's history goes back to the early 13th century, when it was first settled by Malay settlers from Borneo. The Spanish arrived two centuries later and conquered the town making it part of Capiz. The 20th century saw Kalibo suffering badly during the Second World War, while more recently it broke away from Capiz in 1956 to become one of the Philippine's youngest provinces. Today, it is a vibrant town that is looking confidently towards the future.
Things to do
Kalibo centre is dominated by the St John the Baptist Cathedral in Plaza Pastrana, a good place to start your explorations before you take a stroll to Tigayon Hill: the highest point of the town and a good viewpoint. As well as making the most of the local attractions and enjoying the restaurant culture and street food, be sure to make the boat journey to the tropical island of Boracay.
- Worship through the centuries
St John the Baptist Cathedral was originally constructed in 1581 and is the province's oldest place of worship. Today's beautiful exterior and interior were revitalised in the 1990s under the direction of the famous Philippine artist Leandro V Locsin.
- A showcase of local history
The Museo It Akean is housed in a charming building from the Spanish colonial era and showcases the history of the province from prehistoric days, through Spanish occupation and up to the present day. The collections include sculpture, paintings and local memorabilia.
- A tranquil break from the city
Just five minutes or so walk from the town takes you to the Bakhawan EcoPark, a project of mangrove reforestation that started in the late 1980s. Follow the boardwalk with its information signs while you enjoy this green escape from the city.
Calendar of Events
Kalibo's calendar is full of events that honour early settlers and martyrs or celebrate religious dates and local cuisine. They even have an occasion where towering and lifelike figures are made from papier-mache or bamboo and paraded through the streets.
The Ati-Atihan Festival. Held throughout the country in January, this Mardi Gras-type occasion dates back to the days of Borneo settlers. It is a colourful week-long party that starts at sunrise and continues until well after sunset.
The Aklan Piña and Fibre Festival. This takes place over a week in April and showcases the skilled production of luxury fabrics using indigenous raw materials. Its aim is to promote and preserve the traditional loom-weaving industries of the town and province.
Iwag It Kalibonhon. December sees a festival designed to promote peace around the world and has become a gentle tradition where trees around the town are decorated with colourful lights over the Advent and Christmas period. It also brings Kalibo's community together as it admires the decorations.