Kalibo Mini Museum: A New Tourist Attraction in Aklan

The Kalibo Mini Museum

The opening of the Kalibo Mini Museum was recently officiated by officials of The National Museum and the Department of Tourism (DoT) in Barangay Tigayon in Kalib, Aklan on March 31, 2015.

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Artefacts found in Tigayon Hill in Kalibo photo from Balita.net.ph

National Museum researcher Geovanni Bautista stated that the museum would be promoted as a destination for tourists in the area. “We will also help the local government declare the site as a national protected area.”

The building housing the Kalibo Mini Museum was constructed using funds provided by the DoT, and local tourist officials said that visitors could visit the museum free of charge in the meantime. The museum contains the artefacts unearthed by Bautista and several other people when they started excavating two of the caves in Tigayon Hills. These include pottery shreds, human and animal remains, broken Chinese ceramics, and lithic materials.

A rare Cornelian Bead found in the sites is currently in Manila being studied at the National Museum. It will be returned to Kalibo afterward.

The DoT believes that the Kalibo Mini Museum will boost the attraction of Kalibo for summer tourists. Most people associate the city as simply a way to get to the famous beaches of Boracay. For the savvy tourist, however, there are many attractions in Kalibo that will only be enhanced by the addition of the Mini Museum.

Other things to do in Kalibo

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There is actually a museum just beside the Kalibo Cathedral that was established in 1882. Called the the Museo it Akean, the artefacts traces the history of the province from prehistoric times to the present. The museum also contains art exhibits and memorabilia.

Speaking of which, the Kalibo Cathedral is also an important and much revived landmark in the area. It was built in 1826, but suffered damage multiple times from war and natural disasters. Another landmark in Aklan history is the Aklan Freedom Shrine at the intersection of D. Maagma and Venetrans’ Avenues. It honors the 19 martyrs who fought against the Spaniards during World War II. There are 19 steps below the statue, eac one containing the name of each martyr.

There is also the Ati-atihan Festival held during the 3rd Sunday of January. It is as colorful and elaborate as the better-known Dinagyang and Sinulog, but much more spontaneous. If you missed that, you could find color in the lush mangroces at the internationally recognized Bakhawan Eco Park, which was a project by the non-government organization Kalibo Save the Mangroves (KASAMA).

If you are into crafts, then you should definitely make a visit to the Papierus Arts and Crafts on Osmeña Avenue part of your itinerary. You can get beautifully handmade paper that you can use as décor and for unique cards and notes. There is a demonstration on how handmade paper is made; it is always a good thing when you learn something new.

Aklan is also the center of piña fabrics, made from pineapple fibers cultivated in the region. To find the various export-quality fabrics produced by local weavers, head off to the Dela Cruz House of Piña showroom, where you will also see samples of nito basketry.

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