Municipality of Kalibo
San Juan Cathedral
Mangroves at the Bakhawan Eco-Park
From top, left to right:
Flag of Kalibo
Official seal of Kalibo
Etymology: Calivo
Ati-Atihan Town
Map of Aklan with Kalibo highlighted
Map of Aklan with Kalibo highlighted
Kalibo is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°42′26″N 122°22′12″E / 11.7072°N 122.37°E / 11.7072; 122.37
RegionWestern Visayas
District 1st district
FoundedNovember 3, 1571
Barangays16 (see Barangays)
 • TypeSangguniang Bayan
 • MayorJuris B. Sucro
 • Vice MayorCynthia C. Dela Cruz
 • RepresentativeCarlito S. Marquez
 • Municipal Council
 • Electorate54,660 voters (2022)
 • Total50.75 km2 (19.59 sq mi)
7.0 m (23.0 ft)
Highest elevation
54 m (177 ft)
Lowest elevation
−1 m (−3 ft)
 (2020 census)[3]
 • Total89,127
 • Density1,800/km2 (4,500/sq mi)
 • Households
 • Income class1st municipal income class
 • Poverty incidence
% (2018)[4]
 • Revenue₱ 457.1 million (2020)
 • Assets₱ 1,007 million (2020)
 • Expenditure₱ 405 million (2020)
 • Liabilities₱ 165.5 million (2020)
Service provider
 • ElectricityAklan Electric Cooperative (AKELCO)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)36
Native languagesAklanon
Websitewww.kaliboaklan.gov.ph Edit this at Wikidata

Kalibo, officially the Municipality of Kalibo (Aklanon: Banwa it Kalibo; Hiligaynon: Banwa sang Kalibo; Tagalog: Bayan ng Kalibo), is a first-class municipality and capital of the Province of Aklan, Philippines. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 89,127 people.[3]

Kalibo is located in the north-west of Panay island. It is the main transportation hub for the resort island of Boracay. The municipality is known for the Ati-Atihan festival; the semi-urban and multi-awarded mangrove forest Bakhawan Eco-Park and piña-weaving, which was inscribed to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2023.[5]


The term Kalibo comes from the Aklanon word sangkâ líbo, ("one thousand"), reputedly the number of native Ati who attended the first Catholic Mass celebrated there. Kalibo was originally spelled as Calivo.

The town of Kalibo was originally called Akean by the inhabitants, similar to the name of the river nearby. The word akean itself connotes the warbling of running waters, from the root word akae, meaning "to boil". Akae-akae means "to bubble" or "to boil" or "to make the sound of bubbling or boiling" in the Aklanon language.

The Spaniards interchanged the names Aklan and Calivo to refer to the town. Aside from these two, other names such as Calibo, Daclan, Adan, and Calibog have been used.


Precolonial and Spanish Colonial Period

Monument of Jose Rizal

When Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in 1569, he discovered that the town already had around 2,000 inhabitants, so he recruited 500 of them to help conquer the rest of the Philippines. On November 3, 1571, it became an encomienda and on April 22, 1581, the town became a parish under the Augustinians. During the Spanish era, Kalibo was part of Capiz.

On March 17, 1897, Filipino revolutionaries march to Kalibo but lost the battle against the Spaniards. Some of them escaped to the jungle.

On March 23, 1897, the Nineteen Martyrs of Aklan were executed by the Spanish colonial government for their role in the Philippine Revolution.

Commonwealth, World War II and Post-war Period

Aklan Provincial Capitol

Aklan continued to be part of Capiz during the early 20th century. When the Americans came, they annexed financially-struggling towns with bigger towns in the whole country, reducing the number of municipalities in Capiz from 34 to 24. In 1903, today's towns of Lezo, Numancia, and Banga were annexed to Kalibo. Lezo and Numancia (which were a single municipality then) de-merged in 1909 and Banga followed suit in 1912.[6]

Kalibo Town Hall
Kalibo Plaza (Pastrana Park)

In 1929, the Capiz Provincial Hospital was built in Kalibo. Equipped with 30 beds, it was one of the few provincial capitals located outside provincial capitals. It opened in 1930. However, the war forced it to close, only reopening in 1945. In 1981, the hospital would later be renamed Dr. Rafael S. Tumbukon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH), in honor of Dr. Rafael Tumbokon, a former representative of the 3rd district of Capiz (1932 to 1938) and Undersecretary of Health in the 1950s.[7]

The town also suffered from World War II. Kalibo itself was occupied by the Japanese from May to August 1942, and then the invaders moved on to Capiz. They returned to town 15 months later, following the October 1943 juez de cuchillo where the Japanese massacred 74 Batan residents.[8] This time, they garrisoned the towns of Kalibo, Ibajay, New Washington, Altavas, Balete, and Batan.[9] The town would eventually be liberated together with the entire island of Panay on March 18, 1945.[10]

The town's older private colleges were established after the war: Aklan Catholic College (1945),[11] and Northwestern Visayan Colleges (1948).[12]

On November 8, 1956, the province of Aklan was officially established, and Kalibo became its capital.[13]

The town's trade school, the Roxas Memorial School of Arts and Trades (RMSAT), was established in 1959 and opened in 1960.

Martial Law Period (1965-1986)

The mid-60s to mid-80s saw several developments rise in Kalibo as it took on its role as Aklan's capital town. The Garcia College of Technology, a private technical college, opened in 1968.[14] St Gabriel Medical Center, a major private hospital, opened its doors in 1969.[15] The local power company, Aklan Electric Cooperative, was established in 1972.[16] Meanwhile, the local water district, the Metro Kalibo Water District, was created in 1976.[17] The provincial diocese was also erected in 1976.[18]

RMSAT was elevated to a state college in 1983.[19]

In 1984, Typhoon Agnes (local name Undang), ravaged Kalibo and the whole province. It would become the worst typhoon disaster Kalibo will experience until Typhoon Fengshen (local name Frank) in 2008.[20][21]

Contemporary Period (1986-present)

As a response to Undang, the Bakhawan Eco-Park began to take shape in December 1989 when the Kalibo Save the Mangroves movement was organized.[22]

RMCAT became part of Aklan State College of Agriculture in 1998. It was elevated into a university in 2001.[23]

In 1990, the town recorded 50,000 residents for the first time. Kalibo was classified a first-class municipality in 1997, and again in 2008.[24] The town's first major mall, Gaisano Capital Kalibo, opened in 2002. It is located in Roxas Avenue Extension, and had 20,000 sqm of retail space.[citation needed]


Main article: Cities of the Philippines

During the early 2000s, Aklan congressman Florencio Miraflores filed a bill seeking to convert Kalibo into a city but did not ultimately succeed.

In the 19th Congress of the Philippines, house bills were filed by various representatives which seeks Kalibo including other capital towns of city-less provinces to be automatically converted into cities.[25][26][27]


Aerial view of Kalibo

Kalibo is located at 11°42′26″N 122°22′12″E / 11.7072°N 122.37°E / 11.7072; 122.37.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the municipality has a land area of 50.75 square kilometres (19.59 sq mi)[28] constituting 2.79% of the 1,821.42-square-kilometre- (703.25 sq mi) total area of Aklan.


Climate data for Kalibo, Aklan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 28
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 23
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47
Average rainy days 11.4 8.2 9.3 9.7 19.1 25.6 27.4 25.5 25.5 25.2 18.5 14.5 219.9
Source: Meteoblue[29]


Kalibo is politically subdivided into 16 barangays.[30] Each barangay consists of puroks and some have sitios.

All barangays are classified as urban. Mobo was formerly known as Tinigao Bongoe.[31]

PSGC Barangay Population ±% p.a.
2020[3] 2010[32]
060407001 Andagao 14.3% 12,703 12,607 0.08%
060407002 Bachaw Norte 2.6% 2,336 2,031 1.41%
060407003 Bachaw Sur 3.5% 3,131 2,688 1.54%
060407004 Briones 1.5% 1,321 1,246 0.59%
060407005 Buswang New 11.7% 10,431 9,231 1.23%
060407006 Buswang Old 3.6% 3,247 2,420 2.98%
060407007 Caano 2.0% 1,803 1,488 1.94%
060407008 Estancia 9.4% 8,372 8,672 −0.35%
060407009 Linabuan Norte 4.6% 4,130 4,058 0.18%
060407010 Mabilo 2.7% 2,378 2,298 0.34%
060407011 Mobo 1.7% 1,543 1,939 −2.26%
060407012 Nalook 3.7% 3,323 2,879 1.44%
060407013 Poblacion 13.2% 11,751 11,018 0.65%
060407014 Pook 6.4% 5,744 5,010 1.38%
060407015 Tigayon 6.3% 5,640 4,648 1.95%
060407016 Tinigaw 3.1% 2,752 2,386 1.44%
Total 89,127 74,619 1.79%


Population census of Kalibo
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 14,574—    
1918 13,926−0.30%
1939 16,095+0.69%
1948 17,842+1.15%
1960 21,303+1.49%
1970 30,247+3.56%
1975 31,947+1.10%
1980 39,894+4.54%
1990 51,387+2.56%
1995 58,065+2.32%
2000 62,438+1.57%
2007 69,700+1.53%
2010 74,619+2.51%
2015 80,605+1.48%
2020 89,127+2.00%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[33][32][34][35]

In the 2020 census, Kalibo had a population of 89,127.[3] The population density was 1,800 inhabitants per square kilometre (4,700/sq mi).


Aklanon is the main language of Kalibo. Hiligaynon and Capiznon are also spoken as secondary languages of the municipality.


Roxas Avenue, the main commercial thoroughfare of the town

Kalibo's main industry is agriculture, based on rice, coconuts, piña and abaca. The town also produces piña fiber, which is marketed as an alternative to traditional leather.[36] Kalibo also has food manufacturing facilities, supporting a meat-processing industry that produces chorizo, tocino and other similar products.

Kalibo serves as the commercial center for Aklan province, owing to its status as the provincial capital. Its institutions serve its immediate surrounding area. In 2021, the municipality hosted 28 banks and held 19 million pesos in total deposits, the largest among 17 municipalities of Aklan. This is equivalent to 75% of all deposits in the province. The Kalibo Public Market, Gaisano Grand, Gaisano Capital, CityMall and SM Cherry further cement Kalibo's position as a retail hub.[37]

The town also hosts multiple higher educational institutions such as Aklan Catholic College, Northwestern Visayan Colleges and Garcia College of Technology. The College of Industrial Technology of Aklan State University is located in Andagao.

Some hospitals in the town include the government-owned Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital;[38] the private St Gabriel Hospital, Panay Healthcare Medical Center and Asia Pacific Medical Center.

Tourism in Kalibo peaks during the Ati-Atihan Festival, celebrated every second week of January and culminating on the third Sunday. The town also benefits from good road connections to Boracay, allowing it to become a jump-off point for tourists headed to the island. This is all underpinned by the presence of the Kalibo International Airport which was the fourth busiest airport in the country as of 2022.[39]


Ati-Atihan Festival

Ati-Atihan street dance 2019

Main article: Ati-Atihan Festival

The Ati-Atihan Festival is a festival celebrated in Kalibo every second week of January and culminating on the third Sunday of the month. Revelers smear themselves with soot or any blackening substance in order to look like an Ati.

The Ati-Atihan Festival is believed to have started in the year 1212 when Borneans, led by the ten datus, traveled on balangays and crossed the Sulu Sea to land in Panay, making it the oldest festival in the Philippines.

Ati-atihan Festival was included as one of the "World's Best Festivals" by Fest300,[40] dubbed as the "Grand Daddy of Philippine Festivals" by the Largest Travel Guide Book Publisher in the World - Lonely Planet and recognized, as well as, holds the title of "Mother of All Philippine Festivals".[41]


Kalibo Museum (Museo It Akean)
Tigayon Hills

Landmarks of the town include Aklan River, the main river that flows through the town and the origin of the name of the province. Within the town proper lies Freedom Shrine which commemorates World War II veterans and the Museo it Akean, a museum of Aklan's history. Outside the town lies Bakhawan Eco-Park, a 220-hectare (540-acre) mangrove reforestation project that began in 1990 in barangay New Buswang. Tigayon Hill and Caves in Barangay Tigayon which were burial sites during the pre-Hispanic era and a pit for Chinese artifacts which were excavated in the recent past.

Historical Markers

The table below is the list of Historical Markers installed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in Kalibo.

Marker Title Description Date Issued Location
Patriot Defender of Liberty and Leader of the Aklan Revolutionists
1952 (Original) 2019 (Re-created)
Pastrana Park (Poblacion)
Filipino Patriots in Kalibo, Aklan
Acevedo Building (Poblacion)
Glowmoon Hotel (Poblacion)
28th Archbishop of Manila, and the first native Filipino to hold that post
CAP Building (Poblacion)
One of the Aklanon Heroes of World War II
Kalibo Police Station Building (Poblacion)
One of the Aklanon Heroes of World War II
Camp Pastor Martelino (New Buswang)
Filipino Commander during World War II
Provincial Capitol Site (Estancia)
A National Shrine
D. Maagma cor Veterans’ Avenue (Poblacion)
Tableau memorial in honor of the freedom heroes
Goding Ramos Park, Capitol Grounds (Estancia)


Kalibo's roads are composed of national, municipal and barangay roads. The town is connected to Iloilo City and Roxas City via the Aklan East Coast Road. In 2023, the new Kalibo Circumferential Road was declared as a national-level road. The road features a new bridge (Kalibo Bridge III) across the Aklan River and connects municipalities west of it to Brgy. Tigayon, the airport, and the jetty port in Brgy. Pook.[42]

Water is provided by the Metro Kalibo Water District[43] while power is provided by the Aklan Electric Cooperative.



Further information: Kalibo International Airport

Air travel to Kalibo from Manila is about 45 minutes under four airlines: the Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia Zest and PAL Express. These airlines increase their flights during the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival every January each year.

PAL Express also flies to Cebu and Angeles. AirAsia Philippines and SeaAir also have flights to Angeles. AirAsia has a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile, Mandarin Airlines, TransAsia Airways, China Southern, China Airlines have weekly flights to and from Taipei; Philippine Airlines and Shanghai Airlines have chartered flights to and from Shanghai; Jin Air does flights to Incheon. Spirit of Manila has its chartered flight to Kalibo from its regional destinations. Zest Air has flights to Seoul, Busan, Shanghai, Taipei, Beijing, and Chengdu. Philippine Airlines has flights to Hong Kong and Seoul.

Kalibo is the major hub for/to Boracay. The Kalibo International Airport is about ten minutes away from Poblacion Kalibo main plaza (Pastrana Park).


Kalibo has four ports near the town. The New Washington port and the Dumaguit port are 20 minutes away from Kalibo. Batan port is accessible via Dumaguit and Altavas while the Malay port is approximately two hours. Travel time from Manila to Aklan is 14 to 18 hours through sea travel.

The Caticlan Jetty Port is part of the Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) Strong Republic Nautical Highway that connects Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and it passes through Kalibo to Capiz or Romblon. There is a jetty port in barangay Pook of Kalibo.


Tricycle with 8-passenger sidecar.

Public transportation around the town is by tricycle, taxi, multicab and jeepneys.

Kalibo is 158 kilometres (98 mi) from Iloilo City, 86 kilometres (53 mi) from Roxas City, and 182 kilometres (113 mi) from San Jose, Antique. Land travel from Iloilo City to Kalibo takes approximately three hours, one and a half hours from Roxas City, and four hours from San Jose, Antique. All are accessible by bus and minivans. Trips to Caticlan range from 70 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the mode of transportation.

Public transport

The tricycle dominates the streets in Kalibo and is the main form of public transport. The town has its own version of the design of its tricycle that can accommodate up to 8 passengers. The design was also adopted in the rest of Aklan and some parts of northern Antique. There are about 3,000 tricycles-for-hire that are registered with Sangguniang Bayan-issued franchises operating within the 16 barangays of the Municipality of Kalibo and are distributed in accordance with their following approved routes or zones of operation:

Route No. Color code Coverage Terminal
1 Green
  • Osmena Avenue
  • Estancia
  • Tinigao
  • Mobo
  • Tigayon
  • Linabuan Norte
Kalibo Public Market
2 Blue
  • New Buswang
  • Old Buswang
  • Bakhaw Sur
  • Bakhaw Norte
  • Bakawan Eco-Park
RC Supermart; Gaisano (to Andagao)
3 Orange
  • Cardinal Sin Avenue
  • Andagao
  • Caano
  • Pook
  • Kalibo International Airport
  • Nalook
  • Mabilo (Kalibo)
  • Briones
Allen's Mart / Our Own Little Ways Bakeshop (for Andagao Drivers).
4 White & Purple
  • Poblacion Kalibo
  • Capitol Site
  • BLISS Site
  • ASU
  • Roxas Ave. Extension
Note: All the terminals are along Toting Reyes Street (except those bound for Andagao). The Municipality currently has plans of issuing Night-Tricycle franchises for evening public commuters

Sister cities

Kalibo has one official sister city:


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