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Discovering the hidden gems of mainland Malay

The town of Malay, which is located at the northwestern tip of Panay Island, is best known for its world’s famous Boracay Island. However, Malay is more than just Boracay, as it offers more with its amazing hidden gems that are ’must-to-visit’ destinations.

Malay, true to its brand as the tourism capital of the province of Aklan, has a lot of tourist attractions worthy to be visited and explored, which travellers and tourists would definitely love and enjoy. 

Top on the list of the ‘must-to-visit’ destinations in Malay, Aklan is the Nabaoy River in Barangay Nabaoy.   Nabaoy River is a serene place recommended for bonding and get-together.

In one of the episodes of Network Briefing News, of which Malay Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President Christine Hope Pasuguiron was one of the guests, said that Nabaoy River is not just a simple river considering that it was once declared as the second cleanest river in the Philippines.

“Nabaoy River has a lot of marine resources, one of these is the traditional ’patuyaw’, a type of shrimp that could only be found in Nabaoy River,”said Pasuguiron, adding that they are now 

The Nabaoy River in Barangay Nabaoy, Aklan. It is considered as the cleanestriver in Malay. (SQP-PIA Aklan/Photo courtesy of Provincial Government of Aklan)

preserving the indigenous species.

Alongside the river, are native huts or resorts which the locals offer native dishes and delicacies at affordable rates; and while you are there, you could go for ATV adventure, trekking, and river activities.

“While trekking for 30 minutes to more than one hour, you will be fascinated by the sightings of the many stunning waterfalls in Nabaoy,”Christine noted.

Another place worthy to be visited in Malay is the Barangay Naasug where four tourist spots could be found -  the Naasug Point, Vinewood, Bongbongon Beach, and D’Lighthouse.           

Naasug Point is a 120-foot vertical cliff adjacent to the sea.  As described, it has a white beach and amazing underwater resources, worthy for sight-seeing, swimming and scuba diving.  It has a virgin forest and cave which are a sanctuary to wildlife.

The Vinewood, fondly labelled as the ‘Hollywood of Aklan’, is located right on top of Tuhaw Hills. One of its highlights is the viewdeck on top, overlooking the Island of Boracay.  

“Intagrammable and picture perfect ang bawat sulok sa Vinewood and it gives you a ‘Bali (Indonesia) feels’ there,” a local tourist and vlogger said.

The Bongbongan Beach located in Barangay Naasug, Malay, Aklan. Its water is crystal clear and the sand is white and powdery. (SQP-PIA Aklan/Photo courtesy of LGU-Malay)

If you want to feel ‘Boracay like beach’, Bongbongan Beach is for you to check out. The water is crystal clear and the sand is white and powdery.  Although it is not that superb as that of Boracay Island beaches, the place is a secluded beach where you could freely lay back, chill and relax.

Another emerging top destination in Barangay Naasug is the D’Lighthouse.  It is a place that is very much ideal for family, friends and in romantic relationship bonding.  For those who love watching the sunset, this place is best for you.

“Breathtaking and panalo ang lugar,” a tourist described the place.

Tourists could also set their journey in Nagata Falls in Barangay Nabaoy, a magnificent and the highest among the waterfalls in Malay. 

According to the Malay Tourism Office, in getting there, travelers will be crossing five rivers but would be a very enjoyable experience as you are going to explore the scenic, untouched nature.

Another remarkable waterfall in the municipality is the Agnaga Mini Falls and Cold Spring, located in Barangay Kabulihan.  It is a place where the forest and rocks meet the spring.

Within the Barangay Poblacion is a wildlife sanctuary, Pangihan Cave. Based on the record of the local tourism, it has a total area of 5,001 square meters (275 meters long and 3-5 meters wide) wherein it has eight (8) connecting chambers with glittering stalactites and stalagmites. The cave has narrow corridors that open up to huge, spacious chambers that serve as home to thousands of native bats (kuyapnit) nesting in the cracks and crevices.

The last is the Malay Ecological Park in Barangay Argao which is a rural eco-tourism attraction of the municipality. It has a total area of 8,010 square meters and 35 meters inclined. It is a scenic place where you can overview the Island of Boracay. The park is covered with fruit-bearing trees, and inside has a butterfly and botanical garden, as well as tree houses with view decks.

The aforesaid tourist spots are not that popular yet, but the municipal tourism is very much optimistic they will soon be tagged as famous destinations as such offer remarkable and noteworthy beauties.   

Indeed, there is more to Malay than just Boracay Island. The hidden gems of mainland Malay are just waiting for you to explore their beauties. (AAL/SQP/PIA Aklan)

About the Author

Sheila Patoza


Region 6

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