Aklan, the youngest of the four provinces of Panay Island, is actually in point of history, one of the oldest if not the oldest province in the country. Established only in 1956 as a province of the Republic of the Philippines, Aklan (including what is now Capiz) was organized as the Minuro it Akean by settlers from Borneo in 1213.
Thus, the first settlers of Aklan came from Borneo. They fled their land to escape the oppressive rule of Makatunaw, Sultan of Brunei, and settled in what is now known as Aklan. It was here where they carved out a settlement and reaped rich harvests from the fertile plains, the forests and the sea.
The purchase of Panay by the Maraynons (as they were referred to in the earlier writings of Aklan historians, Nabor and Orbistal) has become legend that has been woven into songs and dances. It tells of how Datu Puti, the leader of the Maraynons, purchased the vast valleys and lowlands from the Ati King, Marikudo, and his wife, Maniwang-tiwang, by a golden sarok, a gold necklace, bolts of cloth and some trinkets.
A feast was held in celebration of the transaction. Maraynons and Atis had a grand feasting, dancing and singing. The celebration is commemorated every year, during the blooming season of mangoes, or at about the same time of the year when the purchase was consummated. In later years when the Ati descendants of Marikudo withdraw to the mountains, the settlers chose to perpetuate the celebration. In the absence of Atis, some of the settlers smeared themselves with soot to simulate the Ati. Thus, from then on, the celebration that has withstood the test of centuries came to be known as the Ati-Atihan Festival.
The first settlers of the early Aklanons (as what they were known later) were in the area of what is now Barangay Marianos and Barangay Laguinbanwa in Numancia. The settlers, however, called their settlement Madyanos. From there they conducted exploration into hinterlands and along the coast.
Be that as it may, history or legend, and withstanding the doubt cast by skeptics, the Aklanons have always believed that their forebears came from Borneo in ten frail barangays, and that after the purchase of Panay, the ten Datus divided the island into three separate “sakups”. Akean now Capiz and Aklan, Irong-Irong now Iloilo, and Hamtik now Antique. In 1566, after Father Andres de Aguirre had baptized thousands of Aklanons as Christians in the settlement of Madyanos, Madyanos became Kalibo which is now the capital of the province. And in true Spanish fashion of divide and conquer, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi divided Aklan among his favorites and in 1760, the old “sakup” of Aklan became a Spanish-political-military province under the name Capiz until the next 240 years.
Having a distinct dialect of their own, the Aklanons never felt any identification with Capiz. When the Americans took the island from the Spaniards, their first act was to petition for the separation of Aklan from Capiz.
In 1901, when the Taft Commission came to Capiz for the inauguration of the New Civil Government under the Americans, the Aklan delegation, headed by Natalio B. Acevedo, presented a formal request for separation. The petition was not denied outright, but was not acted upon due to existing adverse economic conditions. As a compromise, the Americans promised to set up a separate Court of First Instance for Aklan at Batan and appointed Simeon Mobo Reyes as the First Provincial Secretary. But the struggle for separation never let up. The “Akleanon” a publication in 1914 kept the struggle burning.
Meanwhile, Aklanon representatives in Congress kept filing bills for the separation of Aklan. There was the Urquiola-Alba Bill in 1920; the Laserna-Suñer Bill in 1925 and in 1930, and the Tumbokon Bill in 1934.
Aklan became independent when the late President Magsaysay, signed into law on April 25, 1956, Republic Act 1414, separating Aklan from Capiz. The law is authored by then Cong. Godofredo P. Ramos who later became delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention and became Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals before he died. The province was officially inaugurated on November 08, 1956.
The Hon. Jose Raz Meñez was appointed Governor by Pres. Ramon Magsaysay and served up to December 30, 1959. He was succeeded by Hon. Godofredo P. Ramos, the first elected governor, in 1960. Ramos was succeeded by Hon. Virgilio Patricio when he resigned to run for Congress. Hon Jose B. Legapi succeeded Patricio, to hold office for two consecutive terms 1964-1967 and 1968-1971. Hon. Roberto Q. Garcia, Sr. was elected governor and held the position up to 1986 when after the “EDSA Revolution” several OIC’s were appointed until Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot was elected for two consecutive terms, 1988-1994. Gov. Florencio T. Miraflores was governor of Aklan for three terms, from 1994-2004. He was succeeded by Hon. Carlito S. Marquez who served for three consecutive terms from 2004-2013. Until the incumbent Governor, Hon. Florencio T. Miraflores was reelected.
Aklan is one of the four provinces which comprises Panay Island. It became a province in 1956 under RA No. 1414 separating it from Capiz. This duck-shaped province encompases the Northeastern portion of Panay Island. The whole province is mountainous with over one-third (37%) of its land area at a slope of 30 degrees or more, while mountain peaks of over 1,500 meters are common. The northern most limit of Aklan is Lapuz-Lapuz Point in Boracay Island (Malay), while the southernmost limit is that point in the municipality of Libacao where the borders of Aklan, Antique and Capiz meet. The easternmost part is the eastern shoreline of Mambuquiao Bay in the Municipality of Batan. The westernmost location is Pucio Point in the municipality of Buruanga.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geographical and Astronomical Service Administration, the province of Aklan is characterized by two areas of somewhat different climates. The difference lies mainly in the amount and schedule of rainfall, while temperature differences are very slight.
The coldest month is experienced in January measuring 26 degrees Centigrade, it rises steadily to an average of 29 degrees C in May, and then declines gradually to the January level.
The National Statistics Office reported that Aklan Province has a total population of 574, 823 as of 2015 survey.
October to May
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