Saturday, January 19, 2013

Anilao: A Picturesque Charming Community

photo by Jun Fuerte

ANILAO, Iloilo is a lovely little town that for some reason does not often get a mention in the papers or site or any other for that matter. There is so much to see and do here.It is a very cultural little community with beautiful natural sites in and around the town itself. It is a great little town very much worth a visit, any time of the year.

photo by Jun Fuerte

photo by Jun Fuerte

photo by Jun Fuerte

MT. HAMUGNAW situated in Barangay Manganese is dubbed as the “Cold Mountain of Anilao," It is this town’s highest mountain peak. To get to the barangay is more than 5 kilometers from the Poblacion. Passing by the area, one will see remnants of an old sugar mill center where a century-old chimney and sugarcane grinder sits quietly in one of areas to the peak. It is ideal for adventure tourism that offers good trekking and mountain climbing activities.

AGTAMBO FALLS in Barangay Balunos is a popular tourist destination of the locals especially during the summer. 

photo by Toby Pagulayan Jr. (PALI)

BANAAG FESTIVAL is annually celebrated in the last week of October till the first week of November. It is a celebration of life and spirit of its people is seen through the mesmeric and enchanted performances that revisited the significance of fire that once saved their lives as they fought for freedom against the Spanish authorities. It celebrates life and spirit through their pathways of music and movement. Dancers work with fire or light, taming and shaping its flames that flicker on poles carried by performers or dancers. They even spin flaming torches and hoops of fire to the beat of drums and percussion instruments as they raise their voices to chant, dancing and bringing their hearts in sharing this fantastically fun cultural presentation of fire and festival with the community. The community come together to explore the beauty and mystery of life: its history through this light-hearted image ritual of upbeat performances in ecstatic bliss of modernized theatrical interpretations of its history.

GUINAMOS or Shrimp paste or Bagoong is this town’s One-Town-One-Product (OTOP).  Anilao is the leading producer of shrimp paste in Iloilo.  It is processed at Barangay Poblacion.   Guinmos is a common ingredient used in many Ilonggo cuisines. It is made from fermented ground shrimp mixed with salt. Some versions are in its wet form and other versions are sun dried and either cut into fist-sized rectangular blocks or sold in bulk. It is often an ingredient in dip for fish or vegetables and even fruits. It is commonly eaten as a topping on green mangoes or used as a major cooking ingredient.  It varies in appearance, flavor, and spiciness depending on the type.

photo by Jun Fuerte

BAGS FOR LIFE is a project of Anilao’s unemployed women is a project that trains them to produce and market fashionable bags made of used newspapers and magazines. This project is in cooperation with the Zonta Club of Iloilo City II, of which the lady mayor is an active member and officer. Bags made from recycled materials is now not a new thing to the fashion world. Well, if you thought the piles of newspapers lying around you are not good for much of anything, think again. Today recycling newspapers has become a profitable venture for many communities. This situation is a result of increased environmental awareness, voluntary agreements, government mandates, and improved technology.

Anilao is located 40 kilometers northeast of Iloilo City.  With 21 barangays, it is bounded in the north by the town of San Enrique; the highest mountain of the town in the west; in the south by Barotac Nuevo; and the Guimaras Strait in the east. To get to the town air-conditioned busses are available daily at the Northern Central Iloilo Transport Terminal, Inc. in Barangay Tagbak, Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact, Mr. Emerson Franco-Municipal Tourism Officer at 09395804484.

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