Islands and Beaches

Frozen Waves & More: 5 Waterrific Reasons Why You Should Visit Tangalan

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Phillip Kimpo Jr. | May 02, 2014


In the town of Tangalan (“ta-ngá-lan”), there are two passwords. Speak them and be led to a waterworld.

The first open sesame: Jawili.

1) Jawili Falls

tangalan

Pronounced as “ha-wee-lee,” the name is most often associated with Jawili Falls, whose seven basins descending like giant stairs have made it one of the more popular destinations in Aklan.

While going there isn’t a challenge—it’s easily accessible by road—tracing the cascade up to its source in the Bughawi Reforestation Project involves some hiking.

tangalan

tangalan

With seven natural pools, seven natural showers, and seven natural diving platforms to choose from, you shouldn’t worry about the crowd. For added convenience, the public resort offers cottages for rent, as well as a resto-bar.

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Right from the entrance, the waterfalls’ seven basins already beckon.

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tangalan
Amenities for travelers, found at the foot of the falls.


2) Jawili Beach

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A ten-minute walk from the falls will take you to Jawili Beach. You can think of it as “a poor man’s Boracay,” but we opt for, “the beach as it should be.”

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No one’s going to photobomb your camera sessions here. Photo by Debbie Nieto.

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The view from the Wassenaar Beach Resort.

Azure waters, check. Palm fronds framing your photos, check. White sands, check…well, okay, it’s not as fine as Boracay’s, and has a mottled appearance to it.

But we’re not complaining, especially since you share the long stretch of radiant beach with only a few other souls. It’s addition by subtraction at work, baby. And the peaceful resorts serve some fresh and tasty seafood, to boot.

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tangalan

tangalan
Tangalan—and many towns in Aklan, for that matter—abound in fresh yet affordable seafood.

A video of serene Jawili Beach. Sorry for the resolution!


3) Afga Lighthouse

tangalan

Ready for the second code? Afga. Two landmarks are found in Afga Point, the first being the Afga Lighthouse and its hilltop view of the Sibuyan Sea. Getting there involves, of course, a brief uphill trek, which shouldn’t be a problem for those up for some exercise.

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4) Afga Wave Rock Formation

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The second landmark involves a descent to the shore, to the Afga Wave Rock Formation. As it name implies, the rocks look like waves frozen into jagged stone.

Upon seeing this natural attraction, one could easily imagine a mythical battle between Sea and Earth, wherein the latter thwarted the former’s onslaught of waves by transforming these into her own rock-solid defenses.

tangalan

tangalan

tangalan


5) Tangalan Church

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Local lore has it that those wave rocks served as one of the quarry sites for the foundations of one of Aklan’s oldest existing structures, the St. John the Nepomucene Church.

The edifice was finished in 1889, after almost three decades of grueling labor. Slabs and blocks of coral and limestone were extracted from Afga to create the church’s distinct walls.

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Detail of the church’s facade.

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Mined from the sea to create a house for fishers of men. It seems to remind us of something about Tangalan, and about the rest of the province as well. Having explored all seventeen towns there, we’ve learned at least this much—there’s no escaping the water in Aklan!

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Tangalan Church come fiesta time.


Where in the World is Tangalan?

The town is located midway between two of the country’s busiest airports—the Kalibo International Airport in Aklan’s capital, and Caticlan Airport which services Boracay Island. All major Philippine airlines fly to both airports many times a day. With Tangalan found along the national highway connecting both airports, it should be a breeze to drop by.

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Courtesy of Google Maps.


Related Articles on Aklan


(Text adapted from the original version, written by the same author and with contributions from Khiara Kimpo, which appeared in the now-defunct Side Trip travel magazine, January-February 2013 issue. Many thanks to our impromptu tour guides: Ernie Eleserio, barangay secretary, for Afga, and John Barrios, one of Aklan’s esteemed writers, for Jawili, and to Roselle Quimpo Ruiz and the members of her group, namely Josefel M. Enrique, Concepcion P. Labindao, and Antero Al Inac Regno.)

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