Akeanons/Aklanons as the the locals are called are highly literate. English and Filipino is widely spoken and understood. Akeanon/Aklanon is the dialect spoken which is radically different from the rest of the Ilonggo-speaking provinces in the Panay Island. Ilonggo and Kinaray-a are also spoken and understood albeit by a huge minority.
Like the most Filipino cities, Kalibo is home to many street children, who may ask you for money (especially if you look western) with their palms out. Any money you give them may be taken by their parents or spent on drugs or cigarettes. If you really want to help them, buy them a nutritious meal or, better yet, a toothbrush and toothpaste (some corner stores ["sari-saris"] sell them). You can also donate to an aid organization. "Wala akong pera." is Tagalog for "I have no money."
Many airlines fly direct to the Kalibo Airport once/twice a day.
Kalibo Airport in Aklan now allows night landing in a new airport terminal to accommodate arriving passengers in the province brought by international chartered flights from Incheon, South Korea and Shanghai, China.
AirAsia Zest, Asian Spirit, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific , Pacific Pearl regularly flies to Kalibo.
Silkair provides direct flights via Cebu, from Singapore.
China Eastern will establish airlinks soon.
Vans or L3s as they are called cost about 500 pesos per person from Caticlan to Kalibo and they take approximately 2-3 hours. Look for an air conditioned van. The large Cerrus bus is another option it is cheaper and more comfortable but takes slightly longer to arrive.
A Jeepney to Kalibo from Caticlan takes about 1.5 to 2 hours and will cost you about 100 Pesos.
Jeepney-Php 100, FX Taxi- Php 90,Terminal Roxas Ave. Street Kalibo, Aklan Shuttle Bus-Php 100 up,Terminal Airport
RORO or, Roll on, Roll off, is a combination of ferry and bus in one ticket.
Motorized tricycles will take you just about anywhere in Kalibo for a standard rate of 6.50 Pesos (6 Pesos 50 Centavos). Foreigners are commonly asked for much higher rates but the drivers must accept the 6.5 peso rate by law.
Museo it Akean, the town's museum is a repository of the province's rich cultural heritage.
During the Ati-atihan festival, don't forget to visit the Kalibo Cathedral and witness the Catholic faithful get a brief respite with the "paeapak" or the massaging of a small Sto. Niño (Christ Child) statuette onto the devotees.
The renowned Ati-Atihan Festival is held every 3rd week of January, celebrated with frenetic dancing, and drinking to the wee hours of the morning. (Please see wikipedia article on this.)
Aklan finally became an independent province when President Magsaysay signed into law on 25 Apr 1956, Republic Act 1414 separating Aklan from Capiz. This law was authored by Cong. Godofredo P. Ramos.
Foreigners who decide to stay on in Kalibo are usually retirees who are married to locals. Some maintain businesses in Boracay and Kalibo. Work is generally scarce for foreigners, however, those that are entrepreneurial could engage in maintaining small businesses in Boracay and properties in Kalibo.
Piña Cloth (a must buy), Banana Chips, Coconut Products, Dried Fish, Mangoes, Rambutan, Lansones,
Furniture Products and recycled paper products.
During the Ati-atihan festivals and the run-up to Aklan Day, Food festivals abound where seafood, and copious amount of pork and and beef are grilled and served al fresco at the town's main streets.
Alcohol is cheap like everywhere in the Philippines. During Atiatihan festival, alcohol is very much readily available at supermarkets, convenience stores, corner stores, and literally alongside the road. The coldest beer in Kalibo--sometimes literally frozen--is at Lakapaya, a small restaurant/carinderia two blocks from the city plaza (pilsen for P25). Their P25 arroz caldo (rice soup) is excellent drunk food. For some local brew, tuba, (fermented coconut wine) is popular amongst the locals (usually in far-flung barangays) and might be worth the taste if you are offered one.
Fruit juices are widely available and made fresh owing to the abundance and proximity of fruit-producing provinces including Aklan.
Kalibo has several coffee shops. The cheapest is the Big Bean, located near the rotunda (which lights up like a Christmas tree at night) and next door to Chow King. Its best deals (as of Jan. '11) are the P35 espresso and the P55 espresso/Americano & pancake with egg or bacon. Between the rotunda and the airport is Latte, a swanky, western-friendly coffeehouse and restaurant (espresso for about P65). Be warned that, like most upscale restaurants in Kalibo, the service will be extremely polite but sometimes incompetent and often slow. There's also a smaller Latte in downtown Kalibo with sandwiches and espresso. The comparably-priced Third Cup is located in the city plaza, nearby. One place definitely worth checking out is Euro-Asia Bakery, located down the street from the plaza past the gay-friendly nightclub Mezzanine. It has a variety of breads without sugar added, plus brewed coffee for P40 (plus P10 for milk). They serve a decent but unspectacular American-style breakfast with tea, eggs, ham, and toast for P120.
Due to the boomtown character of Kalibo- there is a shortage of places to stay in. Department of Tourism has devised a Homestay Program for tourists where visitors are welcomed into local homes for a fee. Please ask the Philippine Department of Tourism office in your area when planning such.
Local Police Tel. No. 166
Kalibo is relatively safe - although cases of pickpockets and an occasional brawl arises especially during the Ati-atihan festival rush where people from other provinces flood the town. Kalibonhons are naturally peaceful and religious folks.
Vans, and buses abound and it takes only about an hour to get to the Caticlan port (jump off point to Boracay in the Northwest. Roads are paved and usually well-managed.