The Island of Panay
Panay Island belongs to Western Visayas (Region VI). It is in the Midwest with the area of about 12,000 km, divided into four provinces such as; Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo with a total land area of 11,692.50 km. The largest city in Panay is Iloilo City which is also the capital of the island. Panay is one of the rice granaries of the Philippines. Sugar cane and fish are also significant sources of income for the people.
The well-known spot of this island is Boracay in the northwest. Over 100,000 tourists are travelling every year in this wonderful white sand of Boracay, in the busy day and night life of the people.
Along the south coast of Panay there are a number of massive churches and fortresses of the Spanish, built subsequently to the holding fair, can depend against Muslim attackers. The stately church in Miagao is a World Heritage site.
There are small islands in Panay embrace beautiful destinations to travel like Guimaras, Pan de Azur, Sicogon or Gigantes. Interesting place is the Guimaras Island, where sugar sweet mangoes are one of the products they have and considered best in the world.
Festival in Panay
Many places in Panay celebrate every year a fiesta to commemorate the arrival or reconciliation with the immigration in 1200 of the Malay people. One of the best festivities of Panay is in Kalibo called the Ati-Atihan. In Iloilo, they have the Dinagyang event and it is considered one of the great celebrations every year since lots of foreigners are travelling to watch this event at Binirayan in San Jose. The efforts impart by each participant are extravagant and exciting. The ground performances are thrilling with colorful costumes and body painting required in each warrior. The drowning noise of drums is top class and excellent nothing to compare performance which can accelerate the audience to step up on their chairs.
Other interesting events in Iloilo are the “Paraw Regatta” (local sailboat with triggers), this event is a racing contest of the sailboat and the gala of the bulls or water buffalo race in San Jose road situated 7- km west of Iloilo.
On the second weekend of January, the “Pasungay” Festival, including the events are the processions, street dances, beauty contest, cattle and water buffalo bull fights. And in the month of May is the “Flores de Mayo”, a fiesta celebrated all over the Philippines. Processions take place mainly in the later part of May; here the young girls dressed up very lovely with Filipina gown.
The Boracay beach is the paradise of the Philippines, located at the northwest of Panay Island. This beach considered the world popular beach of the country; both foreigners and domestic tourists are travelling in the small island of Boracay the top destination of most foreigners. The tropical island is 7.5 km long and 2 miles wide. The famous beach with white sand extend along the western side of the island is the admiration of most tourist and become an international tourist hub. Developed with about 20 dive sites, bars and restaurants, hotels are scattered in the vicinity of the Boracay. There are also several banks, fire department and police station and an information centre and travel agency in the island. You can enjoy diving and snorkeling. One great thing to observe also is the sailing on small boats hollowed out, the so-called “Paraws”. They are exceptionally fast maneuvered with their arms but too difficult to try. It can be rented around the island for outings as a wonderful experience if you want to do so and each year. There is a competition and the winner will receive valuable prize.
Getting to Panay
Anybody would love to travel here in the Philippines and tour all over the wonderful place of the country. From Europe there are numerous flights to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and Cebu City, the second largest city. The new Iloilo airport in Panay operates flights several times daily. Foreign tourists may stay up to 21 days without a visa in the Philippines when they have a return ticket and passport with at least 6 months validity. Upon entry, avail the authorization for 21 days. To travel in the Philippines is not difficult, there are many means of transportation and the fare is lower. You can travel by air or by ship in a little hour to consume to travel on the major Island. The ubiquitous colorful jeepneys and taxis are very inexpensive but not particularly comfortable means of transportation. Air-conditioned buses and taxis wait in the big cities.
Basically, Panay Island though it’s a small place, is a place where you can relax. There are many beautiful tourist spots to tour around with the happy and friendly people of Panay.