Across Antique: Things to See and Do

Saturday, June 08, 2019

what to do in antique

Antique is one of the four provinces that make up Panay Island. It belongs to the Western Visayas region and opens up to the Sulu Sea.

The province’s geography runs at an almost straight line, but its terrain is composed of rolling hills and jagged peaks cut across by various waterways and bordered on one side by the ocean. With 18 municipalities, Antique has a lot to offer – from historical to modern comforts all the way to natural delights. If you’re planning to visit the province soon, below are some places to check out and activities to try.

Philippine Airlines flies to Antique via Clark every Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

For a hassle-free tour around the province, check out Katahum Tours.

Traveling across Antique is fairly easy because of the well-established transportation system. Inter-town and inter-province transport are usually via buses and vans. Traveling within a town is usually done via jeepneys, tricycles, and habal-habal. Most towns here have its designated transportation terminals. Buses ply their routes 24 hours while other modes go as early as 4AM and as late as 12AM.

If proximity to the airport and commercial establishments is what you’re after, the capital town of San Jose is the perfect homebase.

But if you want less of a city life and more of a laidback rural vibe, Tibiao is a good choice. It sits almost at the center of the province so getting from end to the other would not be burdensome.

Pandan is the second northernmost town of Antique. It’s actually closer to Aklan and can be easily accessed from the province.
naranjo water park pandan antique

Culasi is said to be the home of three ancient gods: Sidapa the god of death, Libulan the boy-god, and Bakunawa the god of meteors.

Mararison Island
Located half an hour from mainland Culasi, Mararison is an inhabited island boasting white sands and clear waters. Swimming and snorkeling are the top things to do here. Staying overnight is possible – there is a resort and plenty of homestays in the island. Be sure to wake up early and go on a short trek to catch the sunrise.
Mt. Madjaas
For those who prefer the mountains, Mt. Madjaas would prove irresistible. The highest point of not only Antique but of the entire Panay Island plays host to a vast forest and a total of 14 waterfalls. It is also the source of two major rivers in Antique: Tibiao River and Dalanas River. It’s a major hike and requires 3-4 days to go up and down.
Related Adventure: Mt. Dulang-dulang in Bukidnon

Tibiao was named after a reed called “tigbao”. Locals thought Spaniards were asking for the name of the grass when the latter was actually asking for the name of the place. Tigbao evolved into Tibiao because the Spaniards apparently had difficulty pronouncing the former.

Kawa Bath
If you want to experience Antique’s signature way of bathing, Tibiao is the best place to do it. There are plenty of places here, usually along the length of the Tibiao River, to try bathing in a huge vat.
what to do in antique

Bugtong Bato Falls
Located in the village of Tuno, Bugtong Bato Falls is a multi-tiered cascade that can be reached through a 30-minute to an hour trek. From the first cascade, the next one can be reached by rappelling or clambering up a steep set of stone “stairs”. This upper tier feeds a basin that is perfect for swimming.
tourist spots in antique

Seco Island
About a three-hour boat ride from mainland Tibiao is a beautiful island /sandbar called Seco Island. Measuring about a kilometer and a half, this place boasts powdery white sands and crystal clear azure waters. Really, the sands are truly powdery and the waters are ultra clear!

Mammamia Italian Restaurant
For some pizza fix, head over to this Italian restaurant in Tibiao. The restaurant is owned by an Italian so the flavors are on point. Each pizza is freshly made, down to the crust. You can even get a vegan pizza, which is divine! You may also order delivery if you just want to stay in your room. 
where to eat in antique

Pangabuhian Weaving Center
For some meaningful pasalubong, a visit to this weaving center in the village of Mabaor should be in your top choices. The traditional craft of weaving patadyong and other pieces from abaca and pineapple fiber is kept alive here. You get to support this art and take home a lovingly handcrafted souvenir to boot!

Valderrama is one of the few landlocked towns of Antique. It is home to the indigenous Iraynun-Bukidnon, the proud makers of the only rice terraces clusters in Visayas. The town was named after Manuel Blanco Valderrama, a Spanish Governor General.

Mt. Igcoron
If you don’t have enough time to go up Mt. Madia-as, you can sneak in a quick dayhike to Mt. Igcoron. The hike takes six hours at the most and could be a great break from all the beaches and island-hopping. Here’s a DIY Guide to Mt. Igcoron if you’re interested.
mountains in antique

Patnongon is a coastal town and is home to one of the most historically significant attractions in the province.

Patnongon Ruins
The ruins of the St. Augustine Church and Convent could have been the oldest and biggest in the province if it weren’t bombed by the Americans during Word War II.
Related Adventure: Churches in Cagayan

San Remigio is another one of the few landlocked towns of Antique. But what it lacks in beaches, it more than makes up for in cool weather and incredible views.
san remigio antique

Visit this guide to San Remigio for a list of what to do as well as how to get here and a sample itinerary.

Formally known as San Jose de Buenavista, this town is the capital of Antique. Most commercial establishments are located here. The airport is also in this town. 

Bantayog-Wika ng Kinaray-a
This language monument located in the heart of town was erected to honor the Kinaray-a language. It is the very first of its kind and one of the 131 markers to be built to commemorate the languages in the country.
language markers philippines

Monument of Evelio Javier
Just a few steps from the Bantayog-wika is the a statue of Evelio Javier – a famous local personality known as one of the catalyst of the first People Power. To know more about him and his contributions, check out this list of heritage sites in Antique.
evelio javier monument

Hamtic is the oldest town in Antique and the former capital of the province before it was transferred to San Jose in 1802. 

Malandog River
The Malandog River actually flows through both Hamtic and San Jose. It is said to be where the ten Bornean Datus first docked their balangays in the 13th century. The river isn’t only historic but also scenic, connecting to the Cuyo East Passage, and serving as a “tuna highway”.
places to visit in antique

General Leandro Fullon Shrine
Leandro Fullon, the person who lead the triumphant revolt against the Spanish in Antique, hails from Hamtic. His remains rests on a shrine before the municipal hall. 
general leandro fullon

Tobias Fornier was named after a former Antique Congressman, but before that, it was named after a giant tree called Dao – an amalgam of the names of the first leaders of this town, Ohoy and Dawa. Personal note: I hope they kept the former name. It has more character to it. 

For fans of sustainable dining, a visit to Alpas is a must. Serving dishes made from homegrown ingredients, the place puts a premium on local farmers and native gastronomy. The restaurant itself is fascinating: made mostly of bamboo, the structure is a monument to the intricate (but, unfortunately, dying) art of woodcraft in the country. 
where to eat in antique

Punta Hagdan
Head over to Punta Hagdan for some marvelous sunset views. Relax by the beach and savor the briny breeze as you wait for the sun to dip in the horizons. The waters here are also great for swimming. 
Anini-y is the southernmost town of Antique, and is the province’s gateway to Iloilo. In the times of the Spaniards, Anini-y (pronounced ah-nee-nee-ee) was already an independent town, but when the Americans came, it became part of Dao (now Tobias Fornier). In the 1940s, it became once again a separate town. 

Anini-y Church
Built from corals and egg whites, the Parish of St. John de Nepomuceno is the only standing colonial church in the province. For more information, check this list of the heritage sites of Antique
antique churches

Nog-as Island
Located less than five kilometers from mainland Anini-y, Nog-as Island is a 24-hectare naval reservation island. Travel to here takes only about 15 minutes. The island features several distinct attractions like a lighthouse, the alley of calachuchi trees (Plumeria acuminata), and a centuries-old balite tree.
balite trees in the philippines

Sira-an Hotsprings
The Sira-an hotsprings rests on an outcrop of rocks that juts out into the sea. A trip to here can be paired with a trip to Nog-as Island – the resort is the jump-off to the latter. 
antique tourist spots

Here are some of the places to visit in Antique! I know there are still so much to see and I wouldn’t mind returning. I’d love to go up more of the province’s mountains! 

Have you been to any of these destinations?

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