What To Do in Kalibo in Less Than 12 Hours?

If you're like us who were stuck in Kalibo for a night, waiting for an early morning flight the next day, chances are, you're wondering what else can you do in town aside from checking your Facebook account on your handheld gizmo inside a hotel room. That's the same question I had in mind when we booked the Kalibo-Clark tickets from AirAsia. But with a little help from the ever-reliable Google, and with some inputs from my friend who speaks Kalibo's vernacular, we were able to go around town in less than 12 hours.

First Stop: Kalibo Cathedral (Sto. Nino Church)

From Ati-Atihan Festival Hostel, we walked a few blocks passing through what they call "crossing" and a Jollibee. It took us about 10 minutes to reach the centuries-old Kalibo Cathedral.

Every January, thousands of people flock to this church as it plays host to perhaps the grandest festival in the Philippines, the Ati-Atihan. The church had undergone many renovations through the years, and is one of the last works of the National Artist for Architecture, Leandro V. Locsin.






The interiors of the Kalibo Cathedral mixes old colonial charm with modern flair. The spotless white ceiling evoke an illusion of space.



A prayer room dedicated to Sto. Nino rests beside the church. 

Photo by Mario Jose

Second Stop: Gaisano Capital 

After saying a little prayer at the Kalibo Cathedral, we walked our way to Gaisano Capital to do some last minute pasalubong shopping. 


Spotted in Gaisano Capital were the cult-favorites: Biscocho Haus, Ted's Batchoy and of course, BongBong's. Prices are standard. So, if you're from Boracay and your flight is through Kalibo, dismiss the idea of buying pasalubong on the island so that you won't have to carry a lot en route to Kalibo. 




From BongBong's, we got some sweets like ube piaya (which turned out as my favorite piaya just recently), pinasugbu, butterscotch, tarts, fish crackers, chicharon and barquillos. You can also ask them to put your stuff in a box so that you can check it in at the airport.




Final Stop: La Nena's Manokan

After a tiring walk from the cathedral to the mall, we decided to have our dinner at the nearby local grill - La Nena's Manokan


The interiors is nothing fancy, but very homey. It is made of indigenous materials like bamboo and wood. It is reminiscent of the  typical Filipino fiesta setting.


Some Ati-Atihan masks adorn the plain walls.


The dinner (courtesy of my beloved friend, thank you so much!), is composed of lechong manok and liempo, fish tinola, and another veggie meal which I forgot to take a photo.


The servings are HUGE that we were not able to finish everything. (We were five adults and one child, by the way). The lechong manok and liempo are so delicious! Both were succulent and tasty from inside out. These requires more than your usual serving of rice as it is so addicting. Combining the two can feed around six to seven people. The fish tinola was only average but complements the roasts very well.



The price at La Nena's is very reasonable. Expect to pay about a hundred bucks per person. 

So, that's how we spared our less-than-12-hours trip to Kalibo. Hopefully next year, we will be able to explore more of Aklan, Antique and Capiz. I saw a nice beach in Antique from my friend's FB page and it looks inviting! Another reason to book a Kalibo flight!

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