Islands and Beaches
Frozen Waves & More: 5 Waterrific Reasons Why You Should Visit Tangalan
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
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.
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.
2) Jawili Beach
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.”
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.
3) Afga Lighthouse
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.
4) Afga Wave Rock Formation
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.
5) Tangalan Church
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.
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!
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.
Related Articles on Aklan
- Boracay: More Than Meets the Eye
- 6 Reasons Why Malay is More Than Just Boracay
- Top 6 Things to Do in Nabas, Boracay’s Neighbor
- 7 Superb Reasons to Drop By Ibajay En Route to Boracay
- AKLAN: White Sands & Wild Streetdancing!
(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.)