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Aklan
Province
Island Group Visayas
Region Western Visayas
Capital Kalibo
Area 1,821.42 km²
Cities 0
Municipalities 17
Population
- Total 495,122
- Density/km² 271.83
Income class 2
Location in the Philippines:

Aklan

Aklan is a province of the Philippines located in Western Visayas. It occupies the northwest portion of Panay Island. It is bounded by the province of Iloilo in the south, Capiz in the east and Antique in the southwest. Aklan faces the Sibuyan Sea and Romblon Province to the north. The province includes the island of Boracay which is located at its northwestern tip. Kalibo is the provincial capital of Aklan.

Aklan is considered to be the oldest province in the country and is believed to have been established in the 12th century by settlers from Borneo. In 1565, Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi landed in Batan and claimed the island for Spain. During the World War II, Japanese invaded Aklan but combined American army and Filipino guerillas liberated the province. Aklan finally became a separate province through Republic Act 1414 signed by President Ramon Magsaysay on April 25, 1956, separating it from Capiz.

The main inhabitants of the province are the Aklanon, who are part of the Visayan ethnic group. Other inhabitants are the Negrito, locally known as the Ati, the Karay-a, the Ilonggos and the Capiznon. The major languages in the province are Akeanon and Malaynon. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion of the people. Christian icons such as the Santo Niño are regarded as cultural symbols of the people. Native beliefs about the aswang and the babaylan are still prevalent among the people. Kulam or witchcraft, locally known as “amulit” is still feared by many residents.

The basic livelihood of the people in the province are farming and fishing. Poorer residents also migrate seasonly to other provinces and islands, particularly Negros, to work mostly in plantations. Aklan is famous for Boracay, a white sand island resort located about one kilometer north from the tip of Panay. It is considered as one of the more prominent destinations in the Philippines. Because of this, there is frequent air travel to the province’s airports in Kalibo and Caticlan.

Aklan is known for its festivities which includes the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo. Originally, the festival was to celebrate the treaty between the Ati and Malayan tribes who settled in the island. When the Spaniards settled in the region and converted the Malays to Christian religion, the festivity was celebrated in honor of the Holy Child. It is usually held during the third week of January.

The most populous cities and municipalities in Aklan are:

City/Municipality City class Area
in km²
Income
class
Urbanisation Population
Total Density/km²
Kalibo Municipality 50.75 1 urban 69,700 1,373.40
Ibajay Municipality 158.90 3 partly urban 42,742 268.99
New Washington Municipality 66.69 3 partly urban 39,656 594.63
Banga Municipality 84.53 3 partly urban 34,276 405.49
Malay Municipality 66.01 1 partly urban 32,110 486.44
Batan Municipality 79.22 0 partly urban 29,243 369.14
Nabas Municipality 96.82 4 partly urban 28,345 292.76
Numancia Municipality 28.84 4 partly urban 27,570 955.96
Libacao Municipality 254.98 3 partly urban 26,610 104.36
Balete Municipality 118.93 4 partly urban 26,360 221.64



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