Aklan is a mountainous province with over one-third of its land area sloping at 30 percent on the average. It is still one of the few provinces in the country to maintain a total of some 709 hectares of virgin forest. Much of the province is drained of water into the Sibuyan Sea. Natural inland water resources include rivers, streams, and creeks, springs and water falls. The coastline of Aklan stretches for some 155 kilometers along 10 municipalities and 73 barangays. The coastline has two major physical features: Batan Bay in the south-east and Boracay Island at the northern tip of Panay Island. (aklan.gov.ph)
Aklan offers amazing destinations for tourists to visit. It is also the center of fiber and pina cloth weaving. (choosephilippines.com)
Farm Tourism holds the promise of food sufficiency and additional income for our tourism stakeholders, including farmers, farm workers and fisherfolk. After all, gainful employment, enhanced productivity and sustainable livelihoods are what tourism is really all about. – Bernadette Puyat, Department of Tourism
The steady economic growth in the last few years has enabled many people around the world to travel. However, the increase in tourism has gradually disrupted culture and heritage for many of the ethnic groups in the Philippines.
The island of Boracay in central Philippines is home to the Ati people, whose ancestors were believed to have arrived through a land bridge from Borneo thousands of years ago and were thus the first inhabitants of the country. Most of the Ati can be found in Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, and Negros. They are part of the Negrito group and are genetically related to other Negritos, such as the Mamanwa of Mindanao, Ayta of Luzon, and the Batak of Palawan.
The large annual influx of visitors to the island of Boracay has forced many members of the tribe away from their home. Many natives have been stripped of their ancestral lands by the major land developers in the area because of the high demand for land for residential and commercial purposes.
Although tourism alone has generated millions of pesos in income, the Ati tribe in Boracay face an uncertain future. Aside from planting a variety of crops like rice, banana, and root crops, most of the Atis engage in handicraft production, such as rattan weaving, as an alternative source of income. (ethnicgroupsphilippines.com)