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Antique is a province of the Philippinesmarker located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is San Josemarker and is located at the western portion of Panay Islandmarker, bordering Aklanmarker, Capiz, and Iloilomarker to the east. Antique faces the Sulu Seamarker to the west.

Antique was one of the three old sakups (districts) of Panay before the Spanishmarker colonizers arrived in the islands. The Antique was then known as Hantik, which was named after the large red ants found on the island, called hantik. (See History section below.) The Spanish chroniclers, however, recorded it as "Hantique" in the French manner. Later, the initial "h" was dropped, and the name officially became "Antique."

History

The old provincial capitol of Antique in San Jose de Buenavista, now used as a provincial museum
Historians believe that the earliest people who settled on the island of Panaymarker were tribal Negritos or Ati. Oral history, related as the legend of Maragtas, states that in 1212, ten Malay datus escaped persecution from Sri-Vishaya, a Hindu-Malay empire that existed at that time in Borneomarker and Sumatramarker. These datus, led by Datu Puti, sailed with their families and communities from Borneo northward and landed on Panay.

There they met the Negrito chieftain Marikudo and his wife Maniwangtiwan. They bought the island from the chieftain for a golden saduk (headpiece or helmet), and a golden necklace, given to his wife, among other gifts. The Negritos then retreated to the mountains, while the Borneans settled in the lowlands. Today, the landing is commemorated every year in Antique during the Binirayan festival.

The island of Panaymarker was then divided into three sakups (districts). These are Hantik, Aklan, and Irong-Irong. Aklan became the present-day Aklanmarker and Capiz, Irong-Irong became Iloilomarker, and Hantik (also called Hamtik or Hamtic) became Antique. Hantik was named for the large red ants found on the island called lantik-lantik.

The sakup of Hantik was given to Datu Sumakwel, one of the ten datus, and who, according to tradition, was the oldest and wisest of them. The three sakups were later governed as a political unit called the Confederation of Madia-as, also under Datu Sumakwel.

Datu Sumakwel founded the town of Malandog, considered to be the first Malay settlement in the country. Malandog is now a barangay in the present-day municipality of Hamticmarker, which was named after the historic sakup.

In 1942, the Japanesemarker Imperial forces landed in Antique and occupied the province during the Second World War. In 1945, Philippine Commonwealth forces together with recognized local guerrillas defeated the Japanese troops and liberated the province.

Geography

Antique is mostly isolated from the rest of the island of Panaymarker by the Cordilleras of the island. The province's borders with its three neighbors lie on the divide of this mountain range. Antique faces the northern portions of the Sulu Seamarker to the west. The Semirara Islands, located between Panay and Mindoromarker are part of Antique.

The land is rugged and mostly mountainous, cut by many short streams that come down from the eastern mountains. Therz are two distinct climatic regions in Antique. The North experiences an even distribution of rainfall throughout the year. The south is drier as the high mountains shield the area from the monsoons.

People and culture

Antiqueños are very hospitable people who would go out of their way to extend assistance to visitors and guests. These seafaring people share many characteristics with their Panay neighbors. However, the steep slopes and the rugged, long mountain ranges of Antique have isolated it from the rest of Panay. Hence, they have developed their own distinct language called Kinaray-a. This dialect is of Austronesian origins characterized by the predominancy of r’s and schwa sounds spoken with a lilting gentle intonation.The Catholic Church holds a very strong influence on Antiqueños. For centuries, the churches were the physical vanguards of the people. Being a coastal province, and having been vulnerable to attacks by Moro raiders, Antique was guarded by a series of watchtowers, like the ‘Old Watchtower’ in Libertad and Estaca Hill in Bugasongmarker all of which were built under the direction of the Spanish friars. Even today, the Catholic Church remains influential in both the society and politics of the province.However, in the mountains, remnants of ancient folk beliefs persists. Babaylans or native priestesses continue to divine the future, heal the sick or conjure spells. This is an aspect of Antique’s culture that has been subsumed under the Christian religion.The Antiqueños are noted for their industry. They are renowned weavers through out the Visayas. The Bugasong patadyong, a tube cotton fabric of plaid design, is highly valued because of its fineness of weaving. Piña cloth is also produced in looms throughout the province. Wine manufactured from the sap of the coconut is a cottage industry.The rugged and varied land of Antique offers visitors a variety of outdoor activities. Diving and beach enthusiasts would have a great time discovering the unspoiled islets of Antique. Nogas Island, Hurao-Hurao Island and Malalison Island have long stretches of white sand beaches and are ideal for shell-hunting. Batbatan Island on the other hand, appeals to scuba divers because of the well-preserved coral reefs. Mt. Madia-as, the highest peak on Panay, is a dormant volcano with lakes and 14 waterfalls. It is said to be the legendary home of Bulalakaw, the supreme god of the ancients, and beckons as a challenge for hikers and trekkers.

Economy

Agriculture

For the year 1998, production of palay, the primary crop of the province registered a total of 177,521 metric tons (mt.) or 4,438,025 cavans from 58,847 hectares with an average yield of 3.02 metric tons per hectare. An increase of 8,280 mt. or 16.37 percent over last years (1997) production was observed because the area harvested has increased by 9,822 hectares or 5.86 percent. However, the average yield per hectare decreased by 0.3 mt. per hectare or 0.09 percent.

As to farm type, the average yield per hectare for irrigated lands is 3.39 mt., 2.63 mt. for rain fed farms and 1.57 for upland areas.

As it has been for years, our province had enough stock to feed its population. This year, we have a surplus of 83,756 mt. or 2,093,900 cavans of palay.

Copra, the second major agricultural commodity, registered a total production of 15,712 mt. in 1998 reflecting a decrease of 965 mt. (5.78%) as against last years (1997) yield of 16,677 mt. The main bulk of copra came from the municipality of Caluyamarker where this area accounts for 44 percent of the total copra output of the province. The area planted with coconuts constitutes about 34 percent of the total area of the province. Caluyamarker, together with Pandan, account for more than half (53%) of the total provincial figure in terms of area planted, number of bearing trees, nuts production and copra yield.

For current year, data on production of other field crops are the following: corn - 650 metric tons, legumes (moonbeams, peanuts and other beans) - 1,689 metric tons, muscovado sugar - 2,280 metric tons, root crops (camote, cassava, ube, etc.) - 3,434 metric tons, vegetables (leafy, fruit and root) - 870 metric tons, banana - 11,102 metric tons and mango - 1,330 metric tons.

Fishery

By the end of the year, preliminary data for the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) reported that the total volume of' fishery products reached 24,299 metric tons. The aquaculture sector yields the highest production during the inclusion of seaweed's in this sector.

Livestock and Poultry

Livestock and poultry raising in the province is through backyard or commercial system of production. Data from Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) revealed that from 1,441,660 heads of livestock and poultry in 1997, the number rose to 1,547,944 in 1998, an additional 106,284 heads, indicating 7.37 percent growth. The main reason behind this growth is the increase in poultry production of almost 7.88 percent.

Forestry

Forest products include bamboo, rattan, buri, bariw, nito, log, charcoal, abaca, herbal vines and plants, wild flowers and others. These forest resources are of undetermined quantity, and are used as raw materials in construction industry, furniture and handicraft.

Trade, Commerce, and Industry

Major products shipped out of the province are palay, rice, copra, muscovado sugar, legumes, fruits & vegetables, livestock, fish & fish preparations and seaweeds. Manufacture items like native gifts, toys and housewares found their way in major cities of the country and abroad. Principal mined products exported include coal, marble, silica, copper and gemstones.Main goods entering the province are construction materials, dry goods, groceries, canned and bottled products, fertilizers and others.The capital town of San Jose de Buenavistamarker is the center of business hub mushroom in the area. Potential growth areas include the towns of Culasimarker, Pandan and Sibalommarker. Investment opportunities with bright prospects in the province are the following:

  • Muscovado sugar industry
  • Seaweed processing
  • Marble processing
  • Gemstone and semi-precious stone processing
  • Coco oil mill
  • Livestock and poultry processing
  • Food Processing
  • Marine products processing
  • Furniture, handicraft, metalcraft
  • Fiber extraction/processing/weaving
  • High value crop production
  • Feed/Feed Milling


Banks and Other Financial Institutions

As of 1998, Antique has a total of eleven (11) rural banks, five (5) private commercial banks and three (3) government banks: the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines have branches at San Jose de Buenavista and Pandan, Antique.There are also fifty-one (51) multi-purpose cooperatives and four (4) credit cooperatives.

Establishments

An establishment is an economic unit which engages under a single ownership or control. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) classifies establishments as manufacturing, trade and service.For the year 1998, fourteen (14) manufacturing establishments were reported. Such manufacturing establishments are making hollowblocks, wood furnitures, steel/wood, packed foods, metal craft, thresher, soap and sidecar. Service establishments totaled to 117 and a total of 294 trade establishments.

Mineral Resources

The mineral resources, metallic and non-metallic that abound in the province are coal, marble, copper, gold, limestone, silica gemstone and others. An indication of oil deposit was recently discovered at Maniguin Island in Culasi.

Political divisions

Antique is subdivided into 18 municipalities.



Binirayan festival

This started in San Jose 34 years ago by the late Gov. Evelio Javier - a week long festivities of colorful street parades, beach shows, plaza concerts, beauty contest and trade fair. "Binirayan" biray or "sailboat" in Kinaray-a, Antique's local language), refers to the difficult journey of the 10 datus to reach Malandog beach, where they befriended the Atis (Aetas) and eventually started a civilization in pre-Hispanic times. As above-stated, Antique was mythically founded by Bornean Malays in the 12th century. According to legend, 10 Bornean datus (chieftains) claimed Panaymarker island and their leader, Datu Sumakwel, founded the settlement in Malandog, Hamtik, Antique.

External links



References

  • Vanzi, Sol Jose. “The Many Facets of Antique.” Philippine Headline News Online. [35551]
  • Website of the Provincial Government of Antique (old)
  • The Antique Circle USA. [35552]
  • Kinaray-a News. [35553]


References

  1. Inquirer.net, Antique celebrates pride of place and history



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