Map of the Philippines with Aklan highlighted
|Region||Western Visayas(Region VI)|
|Founded||April 25, 1956|
|• Type||Province of the Philippines|
|• Governor||Florencio Miraflores (Liberal)|
|• Vice Governor||Gabrielle Calizo-Quimpo (Nacionalista)|
|• Total||1,821.42 km2(703.25 sq mi)|
|Area rank||66th out of 80|
|• Rank||53rd out of 80|
|• Density||290/km2 (760/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||20th out of 80|
|• Independent cities||0|
|• Component cities||0|
|• Districts||Lone district of Aklan|
|Time zone||PHT (UTC+8)|
|ZIP Code||5600 - 5616|
|ISO 3166 code||PH-AKL|
|Spoken languages||Aklanon, Malaynon,Hiligaynon, Ati, Kinaray-a, Capiznon, Tagalog,English|
Aklan (Aklan: Akean, Aklan pronunciation: [ak'ɤan]) is a province of the Philippines in the Western Visayas Region. Its capital is Kalibo. It is in the northwest portion of Panay Island, bordering Antique Province to the southwest, and Capiz Province to the east. Aklan faces theSibuyan 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.
Towards the end of the 14th century,Datu Dinagandan moved the capital from what is now Batan. In 1433, Datu Kalantiaw's grandson and successor, Datu Kalantiaw III, was said by Jose Marcos to have formulated a set of laws known today as the Code of Kalantiaw. Well respected scholarly long-term Philippine resident historian William Henry Scott, proved these "laws" to be a total fabrication. In 1437, the short-lived dynasty of Datu Kalantiaw ended when Datu Kalantiaw III was killed in battle with the tribes of Datu Manduyog, the legitimate successor of Datu Dinagandan. When Datu Manduyog became the new chieftain, he moved the capital to Bakan (now known asBanga).
Several datus succeeded Datu Manduyog until the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi landed in Batan in 1565 and claimed the island for Spain, in early Spanish accounts it was called El Río de Aclán. Datu Kabanyag was the chieftain at that period and had his capital in Libacao.
In 1942, the Japanese invaded Aklan during World War II and in 1945, combined Filipino and American army along with Aklanon guerrillas liberated Aklan during the war in the Pacific.
Aklan finally became a separate 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.
Aklan occupies the northern third of the island of Panay and is bordered by the provinces of Iloilo from the south, Capiz from the east andAntique from the southwest. It also faces the Sibuyan Sea from the north. The province includes the island of Boracay which is located at its northwestern tip.
The province boasts high geographic diversity, ranging from white sandy beaches, mangroves and mountainous landscapes. It also boasts the river Akean, which appears unique due to its "boiling or frothing" appearance.
Aklan is subdivided into 17 municipalities.
|Municipality||Income Class||Provincial District||Population (2010)||Area (km²)|
|New Washington||3rd Class||1st||42,112||66.69|
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 are also present such as the Karay-a, the Hiligaynon and the Capiznon.
The most prominent languages in the province are Akeanon (Aklanon Proper), Malaynon and Buruanganon. Akeanon is spoken by a majority of the people, while Malaynon is spoken in Malay and Buruanganon is spoken in Buruanga, Aklan. Other regional languages used include:
Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion of the people and Christian festivals such as Christmas and Lent are regarded with high importance. Meanwhile, Christian icons such as the Santo Niño are regarded as cultural symbols of the people. Animism, however, is still practised by the Ati.
The province of Aklan is designated as a first class province.
Aklan depends greatly on agriculture. The massive and sustained education and research in agriculture production, the implementation of national program in agriculture, well-established marketing strategies, as well as the support of the agribusiness industry and other private and non-government sectors, result to better production and higher income of the farmers.
Palay is still the number one crop grown in the province. The total area planted with rice is 42,218 hectares effective area, or 0.39 percent of the total agricultural area of the province. In the year 2000, rice production registered a total of 123,292 metric tons, or an increase of 8,405 metric tons over that of the 1999 production of 115,524 metric tons. The increase in production was attributed to the implementation of the Strategic Agricultural and Fishery Development Program (SAFDP); and, the improvement of the irrigation system that increases the irrigated rice areas.
With the implementation of the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) rice production program using the Hybrid rice, production is expected to increase by 15 percent or an average of 10 metric tons per hectare in the succeeding years. However, the problem of low price support for rice still continues to affect the production sector.
In general, Aklan is sufficient in meat and other livestock and poultry products, though in the inventory of livestock and poultry in the year 2000, hog and chicken had a decrease in population from 114,890 heads of hogs and 886,597 heads of chickens in 1999 to 95,950 heads of hogs and 782,820 heads of chicken in the 2000. The decrease in production were attributed to the following factors: high cost of feeds, feed supplements and biologics; livestock and poultry diseases; increasing price of chicks; and, high cost of labor.
Coconut still occupies the largest area planted among major permanent agriculture crops. The total area planted with coconut is 32,276 hectares (ha.). Ibajay ranks the largest with 4,317 ha. ; followed by Balete with 2,611 ha, ; Banga with 2,314 ha. ; Makato with 2,089 ha. ; and, Altavas with 2,054 ha. All the rest of the municipalities have areas below 2000 ha. However, in terms of copra production, Makato ranks number one with 2,770 metric tons per year; next is Balete with 2,669; and Libacao with 2,399. The rest produce less than 2000 metric tons. Total production is 25,375 metric tons annually.
Aside from palay and coconut, other major crops that contributed to uplift the economy of Aklan are being developed. These are high valued crops with export potential, such as banana (Lakatan), mango, rambutan, and lanzones; and fiber crops such as piña fiber and abaca.
Aquaculture constitutes a significant component in the province's fishery industry. The province has a total fishpond area of 7,807.14 hectares (ha.), of which 7,749.9247 ha. Are fully developed and only 57,2153 ha. are underdeveloped. Of the total fishpond areas, 4,512.04162 ha. Are with Fishpond Lease Agreement (FLA); 138.85672 ha. Are with permits; 2,729.02636 ha. are on process/application; and, 370.0 ha. are titled.
Aklan is the home of the Regional Science High School for Region VI (RSHS-VI), one of the specialized system of public secondary schools in the Philippines.
Several species endemic to the Philippines are found in the province. Examples include endangered animals such the Philippine spotted deer (Cervus alfredi), the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons), and the Visayan hornbill (Penelopides panini). As of 2007, conservation efforts are being made by the Aklan State University and the DENR with varying success.