Antique is one of the provinces found in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is one of the four provinces that occupy Panay Island, along with Aklan, Capiz, and Iloilo. In history, the province’s name was a derivative of the native word ‘hantique,’ which means large red ants. Geographically, Antique is profiled like an ordinary seahorse: an oversized serrated hemline bordering a three-cornered scarf-like land mass (the Panay Island). The prevailing tropical climate is loved by many vacationers and tourists, especially those coming from cold countries.
The people of Antique are known to be very hospitable and warm. They would almost always extend assistance to guests and visitors. They are seafaring, just like most of their Panay neighbors. Because Antiqueños have been isolated from other Panay dwellers by long mountain ranges, they have developed and used their own distinct language they call Kinaray-a. The Catholic Church holds a strong influence on the province’s culture, architecture, and norms. Local churches have always been regarded as vanguard structures that shield its people from untoward external influences.
Agriculture is the main industry in the province. Rice is particularly its primary crop. Antique has its own fishery, livestock, and poultry sectors. Its main products that are shipped out of the province to other centers in the country include rice, muscovado sugar, fruits and vegetables, copra, and seaweeds. It also exports manufactured items and handicrafts. There are a handful of mining facilities that exploit mineral resources in the province like marble, coal, gold, copper, gemstones, and limestone.
Antique is not as well known as Aklan in terms of tourism. However, any traveler could surely find thrill in discovering many panoramic views and natural wonders that abound in this province. Pula Waterfalls feature unique red-tinted water cascades. Mt. Madia-as offers a lush mountain scenery, abounding with numerous flora and fauna species, wild boar and deer, and rare orchids. Batbatan Island is a natural attraction for scuba divers, who would surely rave about its anchorages, natural coves, and white sand beaches. Tibiao River is perfect for white water kayaking. Palakopak Lake in San Remegio is ideal for fishing, camping, and picnics.
There are two main festivals held every summer.
Council of Balabago Re-Enactment – held every first week of March is a historic re-enactment of the meeting of Malayan Datus in their Malandog settlement for renewal and thanksgiving.
- Binirayan Festival – held every last week of April commemorates the arrival of 10 Malay Datus in Malandog, Antique in the mid-1400s to set up the supposedly first Malayan settlement in the country.
How to get there
The province is accessible through Roll-On-Roll-Off buses from Metro Manila going to Caticlan.
Upon arrival at Kalibo, Aklan, buses ply the route to San Jose de Buenavista and Pandan. Buses and vans also take travelers to Antique from Iloilo. One could also take plane rides to Kalibo or Iloilo and take bus rides to any town in Antique.