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Balete, Banwa Ko
 4th Class Municipality in the Prov-
ince of Aklan PHILIPPINES
 Land area: 11,760 Hectares
In the Service of the Baleten-on
 Population: 26,360 People
 Constituent Barangays: 10
 Topography: The northeastern and
southeastern portion are intermit-
tence of rolling hills and valleys
and plains; the rest are mountain-
ous with outlaying hidden valleys
 Produce: Agricultural and fishery
most notable are its piña cloth,
nito craft, pinipig, rambutan, oys-
ters, crabs, prawns (both brackish
Hon. Noemi Calizo-Cordero, Mun. Mayor
and freshwater) Hon. Rizal G. Rodriguez, Jr. Vice Mayor
Hon. Evelyn V. Villanueva, SB Member
 Accessibility: The Nautical High- Hon. Inocentes F. Bantigue, Jr., SB Member
Hon. Angeles I. Cuales, SB Member
way links it to Iloilo, Kalibo and Hon. Ciriaco T. Feliciano, SB Member
Hon. Cipriano L. Lachica, SB Member
Manila. It is just 21 km from the Hon. Elvis S. Requiro, SB Member
Hon. Peter C. Recidoro, SB Member
Kalibo Airport Hon. Paulino P. Balleza, Jr., SB Member
Hon. Crispino P. Beltran, Jr., Liga President
 Must See: Basura Garden, Kabuhi- Hon. Milcah E. Sauza, SK Chairperson
an Livelihood Skills Training and
The Municipal Tourism and (036) 272-3829
Exhibition Center Development Council sueatbalete@yahoo.com
Balete, Aklan http://multiply.agtawagon.com

Text and photos by Al

Home of the most hospitable people

Balete, Banwa Ko: Cip Lachica’s Transcendent Realism on the Baleten-on Historicity

Balete Banwa Ko by Cip La- from the mountains and hills of Oquendo, looks over them, healer of their
chica is a mural-like oil painting Guanko and Cortes with their produce. blindness and other malaise, their
in 1.47 m x 3.14 m canvass They are the so-called “taga-ilaya” juxta- companion in their journey, their
completed on August 2009. posing (read: set to doing barter trade) advocate before the Most High.
with the fishermen from the swamps of Finally, in his attempt to transcend
Calizo and Aranas—the “taga-ilawod”. realism without taking away from
The topography and the structures in the the players their active involvement
background manage to assert the paradigm in defining the history of Balete, he
of historicity as the Baleten-ons con- introduces us to a dove pinching a
sciously define their role in the globaliza- bunch of aural ivory lassos spread-
tion of their once sleepy town by the Jal-o ing across the whole canvass. Peace
River. and unity, it tries to convey; it sup-
poses the future each and every Ba-
Detail of the Boatman and the fisherfolks
leten-on has to strive after. We are
to understand our past, to be at
Mayor Noemi Calizo-Cordero peace with the present and hopeful
has commissioned the Baleten- we ought to be for an integrated
on artist to come up with some- better Balete in the future.
thing that would depict a Ba-
leten-on panorama. The result
was this transcendental realism
on the historicity of the Baleten-
on people. In the tradition of
Amorsolo, Cip manages to Detail of the Reapers
catch the gentle breeze and the The Balete Tree,
sunlight as he portrays a pristine from which the village by the river of Jal-
clear Jal-o River that was full of o was named after, remains sturdy and tall
life. Then he shows us a boat- sheltering life from the elements. It takes
man (please take note of his the center stage and acts as the balancing The obra as it hangs on the wall of the lobby of
talibong—a locally soldered and unifying object of the composition. In the Balete Town Hall
sword—proudly displayed in it stands the Archangel Rafael, patron of
his hip) and his wife coming off the Baleten-on people, the stranger who