Nabas, Aklan

Nabas, Aklan
Municipality of Nabas
Banwa it Nabas
—  Town  —

Nickname(s): Nature Lovers' Haven
Map of Aklan showing the location of Nabas
Municipality of Nabas is located in Philippines
Municipality of Nabas
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°50′N 122°05′E / 11.833°N 122.083°E / 11.833; 122.083
Country Philippines
Region Western Visayas
Province Aklan
No. of Barangays 20
(as Navas)
 - Mayor Romeo M. Dalisay
 - Land 98,620 km2 (38,077.4 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 - Total 28,345
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 5607
Area code(s) 36
Classification 4th Class (Partially Urban)
Languages Malaynon, Kinaray-a, Filipino or Tagalog, and English.

The Municipality of Nabas (Filipino: Bayan ng Nabas or Aklanon and Malaynon: Banwa it Nabas) is a 4th class municipality in the province of Aklan, Philippines. It is located before the town of Malay and Buruanga Peninsula at the northwest tip of Panay Island. It is a coastal town bounded on the north by Sibuyan Sea; on the south by the municipalities of Pandan and Libertad, Antique; on the east by Sibuyan Sea and Ibajay, Aklan; and on the west by Malay and Buruanga.

According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 28,345 people in 4,691 households.



Nabas is politically subdivided into 20 barangays:

  • Alimbo-Baybay
  • Buenasuerte
  • Buenafortuna
  • Buenavista
  • Gibon
  • Habana
  • Laserna
  • Libertad
  • Magallanes
  • Matabana
  • Nagustan
  • Pawa
  • Pinatuad
  • Poblacion
  • Rizal
  • Solido
  • Tagororoc
  • Toledo
  • Unidos
  • Union


Accounts about the earliest community of Nabas are uncertain but the initial documentation for the town’s existence was recorded in 1845. Facing the Sibuyan Sea, the town started as a small coastal village referred to as Barrio Alimbo which extends to the hills and mountains to the west. This small community occupies the floodplains of Alimbo River where the village derived its name. Fishing and farming is the primary source of livelihood, even today except for the hunting which was common on that time because of the abundances of wild pig, monkey and deer in the area.

Visayan Warty Pig
Philippine Spotted Deer

Before, the town was only part of the municipality of Ibajay under the jurisdiction of Capiz Province. Ibajay’s municipal boundary was so vast but with poor road system. The natives of this municipality spoke two distinct Aklanon dialects. The eastern side of the municipality that is the Ibajay utters a dialect generally spoken by most municipalities of the province. On the other hand, those in the western side constituting now the municipality of Nabas spoke and continue to speak until today a dialect similar to the one spoken by the neighboring Antiqueños or people from Antique Province but with softer intonation.

The developing populaces whose tongue and customs diverge from those of the eastern community build awareness amongst people of the west. The invasion of migrants from the nearby province of Antique continued that further emphasized the difference in dialect and culture to some extent. In 1853, their notion of a separate municipality for better living and independence serves as the foundation for taking apart of Alimbo in concert with its adjoining barrios of Nagustan, Panaytayon (Toledo), Gibon, Namao (Rizal), Kabangrosan (Union), and Pakilawa (Unidos) ceased to be a barrio to form a new municipality inevitably. The municipality was formed in 1854 and named Navas, after Governor Nava of the province of Capiz who came to inspect the area before its creation.

The Cartilla System, an early teaching methods that dominantly use the letter "b" than "v" cause the variable spelling of "Navas" and “Nabas”. In 1906, the Municipal Council in a resolution approved by unanimous vote adopted the name Nabas as the official name.

Nabas Bariw Festival

The bariw tree

The Nabas Bariw Festival is celebrated to commemorate the feast day of St. Isidore the Farmer, the town's patron saint. It is celebrated annually from May 12 - 15. This celebration showcase the town's hat, mat and other bariw products as well as the town's unique tourism sites and natural attractions.

During this affair, various skills in mat, hat and bag making and designing are demonstrated. Among the events is a contest to produce the biggest hat and mat contest. The festival is highlighted by continuous street dancing by folks from the town's 20 barangays dressed in colorful bariw costumes accompanied by indigenous bamboo instruments.

The festival is intended to promote the town's cottage industry, which is thriving livelihood activity in Nabas. It also promotes the town's well preserved cold spring resorts, lagoons, long winding coastline, rivers, and low elevation intact forest home to various endemic flora and fauna.

External links

Coordinates: 11°50′N 122°05′E / 11.833°N 122.083°E / 11.833; 122.083

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