Ok let me start by saying that I have never been to famous Boracay nor have I ever attended the famous Ati-atihan festival in Kalibo. My wife Yvnil has been to Boracay and here is her photo with my in-laws in April 2015. This is very memorable coz this is the last trip of my mother-in-law Mama Ising before she passed away in early 2016.
I visited Aklan Province in August 2016 in a different manner going off the beaten path and hanging around and sharing a few drinks with the locals. Aklan has 17 municipalities and I got to visit 5 of them quite well for a variety of reasons.
First of all, Rommel, my travel companion around Panay Island, is from Makato, Aklan and we got to visit his relatives and childhood friends there. The only thing left of his old home is the small red gate. His Mom’s Tita (his Lola) was so surprised and happy to see him as we visited the graves of two of his Lolo’s.
I also had a really great time chatting and sharing a couple of flasks of Tanduay Rum with his uncle Boy while Rommel and his friends drank San Miguel Pale Pilsen. This was over two nights purely because we had to come back the next night coz they cooked a special delicacy called ‘binakol’ – native chicken cooked in bamboo. It was so yummy but I did not get to take a photo so thanks to the Internet for the image below.
We also got to have a few beers at Kubo – an open air bar and restaurant in Kalibo with a live band. You can see me here in the background a little bit tipsy after all those drinks as well as singing along with the band. Thanks to Butch and Rene for taking us around in Butch’s special tricycle.
The next day, we were off to the province of Capiz but on our way, we visited the hidden municipality of Batan where the decommissioned Kalantiaw Shrine can be found. It is unfortunate that the shrine has been unmaintained ever since the once important historical figure has been proven to be an urban legend.
We also saw this beautiful white Immaculate Concepcion Church with blue linings, around the corner from the Kalantiaw Shrine. Here is Rommel deep in prayer in front of our saviour Jesus Christ.
Straight after the triathlon event in Cebu, I came back to Aklan with another friend, Lloyds, whose family this time comes from Ibajay, Aklan. We had a few drinks again at Kubo restaurant in Kalibo that night.
…then off to Caticlan with a stopover at Lloyds’s ancestral home. I was impressed how his surname is still clearly affixed on the gate. Como esta Señor Martirez?
The next day in Caticlan was a big adventure. Instead of going to see the beautiful beaches of nearby Boracay island, we insisted on getting across to the islands of Romblon Province to visit our friend Beth as promised.
The rain and wind were quite bad and all the ferries across to Romblon were cancelled. So we waited patiently at Tabon Port in Caticlan sharing a couple of bottles of Empi light (Can you see the bottle?) and random tinned snacks with others who were also going across.
At around 3 pm, we were finally able to book a charter boat across to Tablas Island in Romblon Province.
My foray into Aklan province was indeed memorable and remarkable.
CoachConto – Athlete, Warrior, Statesman, Spirit