The 6th largest Island of the Philippines located Northwest
of Negros. Primarily agricultural with extensive lowlands,
it is a major rice and sugarcane producing area. Industries
include sugar-processing, lumbering, and fi shing. The
island comprises the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz
The sugar growing areas of Panay are concentrated around
Iloilo City. As the terrain is fl at through wide parts of Panay,
many areas are devoted to growing rice, too. The poorest
parts of the island are, as always in the Philippines, the mountainous areas which
in the case of Panay are not in the center of the island but along the west coast.
Some small islets off the north coast are world famous for beautiful beaches. Best known is Boracay which developed into the most favored destination of the Philippines.
Kalibo has been the entry point of an earlier foreign invasion. It was there, in 1213
a big group of Bornean Malays landed to settle and stay. Panay, at that time, was widely populated by Negritos. The Bornean Malays who were superior to the Negritos, however, chose not to take the island by force but rather to buy it from the native inhabitants.
As a concession to the Negritos who probably were fl eeced in the deal, the new
Malay settlers in subsequent fi estas blackened their skin with coal to look more like
the Negritos, or Ati, as they name themselves and are called in the vernacular. The
tradition of fi estas with blackening of the skin to look like the Ati is still very much
alive today; examples is the Ati-Atihan festivals in Kalibo.
Iloilo an agricultural province producing root crops, vegetables, cocoa, coffee and
numerous tropical fruits. The attractions include beach resorts and, in Iloilo City, the
18th century Miagao Church, a unique piece of Baroque colonial architecture with
a facade decorated with impressions of coconut and papaya trees. Iloilo is one of
bigger cities in the Philippines with all its amenities you need.