THE PROVINCE

THE PROVINCE OF ANTIQUE

Historians believe that the earliest people who settled on the island of Panay were tribal Negritos or Atis. Oral history, relayed as the "Legend of Maragtas", states that in 1212, ten "datus" from Malay escaped persecution from Sri-Vishaya, a Hindu-Malay empire in Borneo and Sumatra when the empire was suddenly upturned by religious groups from Hindu to Islam killing those who oppose the new ruling majority. The ten datus, led by Datu Puti, sailed northward with their families and communities, landing on Panay after departing Borneo.

Upon arrival, the Malay datus met the Ati chieftain Datu Marikudo and his wife Maniwantiwan. They offered the chieftain a salakot (wide-brimmed hat)[6] (out of exaggeration, the present day locals believed to be of pure gold) which includes a golden necklace, earrings, bracelets and tringkets they wore when they fled Borneo among other gifts of pearls and fine clothes as a display of respect and to buy the land for them to live. Datu Marikudo responded to the datus' generosity by giving the Malayans the lowlands and moving to the mountains with his Ati tribe as the mountains are sacred to them. The legacy of this landing is commemorated annually in Antique during the Binirayan festival.

The island of Panay was then divided into three sakups: Hantik, Aklan and Irong-Irong. Aklan became the present-day Aklan and Capiz, Irong-Irong became Iloilo, and Hantik (also called Hamtik or Hamtic) became Antique. Hantik was named for the large black ants found on the island called "hantik-hantik".

The sakup of Hantik was given to Datu Sumakwel, one of the ten datus, and who, according to tradition, was a sword master and wisest of them. The three sakups were later governed as a political unit called the Confederation of Madyaas, 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 Hamtic, which was named after the historic sakup.

During the Spanish colonial period, the coastal province was vulnerable to attacks by Moro raiders. Under the direction of the Spanish friars, a series of watchtowers, like the 'Old Watchtower' in Libertad and Estaca Hill in Bugasong, were built to guard Antique.

In 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army landed in Antique and occupied the province during the Second World War.

During the Japanese Insurgencies and Occupation (1942-1944), the military general headquarters and camp bases of the 6th and 62nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was active from 1942 to 1946 and the military general headquarters and camp bases of the 6th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary was re-activated between 1944 and 1946. Additionally, during the implementation of the anti-imperial Japanese military operations on Panay Island between 1942 and 1945 in the Antique province, Filipino military forces aided the local guerrilla resistance against the Imperial Japanese Army.

Between 1944 and 1945, Philippine Commonwealth forces of the 6th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary and the 6th and 62nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army defeated the Japanese troops and liberated the province. The liberation was achieved with the active support of recognized local guerrillas.

Gov. Rhodora Cadiao

Antique Provincial Seal

Antikenyo.com

Brgy. San Fernando

(C/O Villavert Beach Resort)

San Jose de Buenavista

Antique, Philippines 5700

USA Tel: (718) 838-9626

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