The Beautiful Island of Panay
Panay is an island located in the Philippines particularly in the Visayas. The island is divided into four provinces namely Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo, all in the Western Visayas Region. It is surrounded by the Sibuyan, Visayan, and Sulu seas; the Guimaras Strait to the southeast separates it from Negros. Panay is roughly triangular in shape. A rugged, almost unpopulated mountain range parallels its western coast. Between the range and a hilly eastern portion, a densely populated, intensely farmed (sugarcane, rice) plain extends for about 95 miles from the northern to the southern coasts. There is a wide lowland on the southeast is formed by the deltas of the Jalaud, Jaro, and Sibalom rivers.
As of the 2000 census, people of Panay have reached 3,501,560. The population increased by 6% from 1995. There are three major dialects in Panay which are Kinaray-a, Hiligaynon and Akeanon. Kinaray-a is the widely spoken dialect by the people of Antique, most parts of Iloilo and Capiz. Hiligaynon is spoken mainly in Iloilo urban areas and Capiz while Akeanon (Aklanon) is spoken in Aklan. Panay is known for its rich in agriculture. The productive agricultural land area in Panay has a total of 4,566.88 km2 and the rest is grassland, woodland, wetland and mountains. The island produces muscovado, coconut, banana, fruits, root crops and vegetables. It is also being considered as the second largest rice producing region in the Philippines.
Panay has a diverse climate. The western half of Aklan, Iloilo and western tip of Capiz is characterized by two pronounced seasons: dry season from November to April and wet season during the rest of the year. In other areas of the island, the climate is characterized by seasons where maximum rain period are not pronounced and the dry season last only from one to three months. Rainfall patterns show a peak rainfall during month of September and lowest on March to April. Panay has also a long stretch coastline that covers 52 municipalities and barangays that offer prosperity that support diversity of marine life in terms of fish species, coral reefs and mangrove areas. For inland fishery, a vast resource includes of 881 rivers, 27 lakes and 42 lagoons which are available for direct fishing and cultural purposes. A large scale government program restores the damaged coral reefs (dynamite and cyanid fishing). First results can be seen off the cost of Aklan.