Brief Description

Aklan is a province in the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is Kalibo. The province is situated in the northwest portion of Panay Island, bordering Antique to the southwest, and Capiz to the east. Aklan faces the Sibuyan Sea and Romblon province to the north.

Aklan is believed to have been settled in the 12th century by settlers from Borneo, ruled by the chieftain Datu Dinagandan which traded with its neighbouring islands. Aklan then became a part of the Kedatuan of Madja-as.

Aklan became an independent province through Republic Act No. 1414 signed by Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay on April 25, 1956, separating Aklan from Capiz. The original towns were Altavas, Balete, Batan, Banga, Buruanga, Ibajay, Kalibo, Lezo, Libacao, Madalag, Malay, Makato, Malinao, Nabas, New Washington, Numancia, and Tangalan, then all part of the province of Capiz. The province was inaugurated on November 8, 1956. José Raz Menez was appointed the first governor of Aklan by President Magsaysay and he served until December 30, 1959. In 1960, Godofredo P. Ramos became the first elected governor but upon resigning to run for Congress he was succeeded by the vice governor, Virgilio S. Patricio. In 1964, José B. Legaspi succeeded Patricio and he held office for two consecutive terms from 1964 to 1971.

Geography

Aklan occupies the northern third of the island of Panay and is bordered by the provinces of Capiz from the southeast and Antique from the southwest. It also faces the Sibuyan Sea from the north. The province covers a total area of 1,821.42 square kilometres (703.25 sq mi), and includes the island of Boracay which is located at its northwestern tip. Mount Nausang, is the highest point in the province, standing at 5,410 ft. ( 1,650 m ) above sea level. Aklan River, is the longest river in the province with 71 km ( 44 mi ) long.

The province features high geographic diversity, ranging from white sandy beaches, mangroves and mountainous landscapes. Situated within the province is the river Akean, which appears unique due to its “boiling or frothing” appearance.

Administrative Divisions

  • Altavas
  • Balete
  • Banga
  • Batan
  • Buruanga
  • Ibajay
  • Kalibo
  • Lezo
  • Libacao
  • Madalag
  • Makato
  • Malay
  • Malinao
  • Nabas
  • New Washington
  • Numancia
  • Tangalan

Demographics

The population of Aklan in the 2015 census was 574,823 people, with a density of 320 inhabitants per square kilometre or 830 inhabitants per square mile.

The main inhabitants of the province are the Aklanon, who are part of the Visayan ethnic group. Other inhabitants include the Negrito, locally known as the Ati and the Sulod, a lesser known tribal group living in the hinterlands of Panay. Other Visayans also present are the Hiligaynon, Karay-a, and Capiznon.