Culasi is a third class municipality, located at the northern part of the sea-horse shaped province of Antique. It is bounded on the north by the town of Sebaste, on the south by Tibiao, on the west by Cuyo East Pass in the West Philippine Sea and on the east by the Municipality of Madalag, Aklan. It is approximately 90 kilometers from San Jose de Buenavista and 88 kilometers from Kalibo, Aklan. As of August 1, 2007, census of the National Statistic Office, Culasi has 37,100 populations.
Culasi has 44 barangays, 11 of which are upland barangays, 14 are lowland barangays, 16 belong to coastal barangays and 3 island barangays. It has the land area of 22,856 hectare. 14,564.5000 hectare is the forest land, 2,701.1395 hectare is agricultural, 126.6000 hectare is industrial, 3,768.4580 hectare is grassland/pasture land, 776.0685 hectare is built-up area, 684.5000 hectare is for tourism area and 234.73401 hectare is unclassified.
In terms of education, Culasi has 1 College, 4 Secondary Schools, 23 Elementary Schools, 9 Primary Schools and 2 Kindergarten Schools. For social services the town has 40 day care centers.
The municipal government is striving hard to deliver quality health services. There is one provincial government-run hospital, the Culasi District Hospital. The municipal government also maintains 1 rural health unit, 16 Barangay Health Stations and 3 Dental Clinics. The town has 2 Private Physicians.
In terms of Peace & Order, the Culasi Police Station has 21 Policemen with 1 Patrol Car. Every Barangay has more or less 10 Barangay Tanods. The Bureau of Fire Protection has 10 Firemen with 1 Fire Truck.
Communication Companies also operate in the town: Telephone: PANTELCO; Radio Station: Radio Natin of Manila Broadcasting Company; Internet Service Providers: Pantelco, Kalibo Cable, Smart and Globe Broadband and Cellular Sites: Smart, Globe and Sun Cellular.
Culasi’s old name was “Bakong” which now became only a Barangay. During Spanish time Bakong was one of the four visitas in the province.
The Spaniards initially built the convent which served as the administrative office for the community. The church was later constructed and the Christianization of the natives started. The process took a little longer; hence, the friars requested for a contingent of Spanish soldiers and with the sword behind the cross, the natives embraced Christianity.
The friars established a civilian authority under their chosen Capitan Mayor who enforced the orders of the church such as payment of taxes, forced labor, and other services that were required by the church.
In 1735, Culasi was established as a politico military unit of the Alcadia of Antique and it became a “pueblo” (town). The Spanish domination of Culasi lasted until October 20,1898 when the revolutionary forces under General Leandro Fullon and Colonel Angel Salazar, Sr. with the help of the mutinous “Tiradores” (Filipino soldiers under the employ of Spain) drove the Spaniards out of Culasi and raised the Revolutionary Freedom Flag for the first time in Panay Island, the same Philippine flag that is the symbol of Philippine freedom and independence, right here in the Poblacion of Culasi on October 20, 1898.
This freedom and independence was short-lived for the Americans subdued us again and colonized our land. In 1900 the Americans established their government in Culasi. Don Juan Xavier was its first Municipal President. The Gabaldon Act was passed in American Congress, which mandated masse education for the Filipinos. Through education the Americans were able to penetrate the Filipino psyche and through it, exerted a very strong influence over the economic, political, social and cultural lives of the Filipinos.
The tangible legacy of the Philippine revolution is the establishment of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), also known as the Aglipayan Church in Culasi town. The presence of the IFI in the town signifies how Culasinhons love freedom and independence.
It is also significant to note that once there was a place here named “Villa de Hongkong”. This is in honor of the Chinese population in Antique because the census in 1905 revealed that Culasi had the biggest Chinese settlers in Antique.
In 1942, the Filipinos were caught in the middle of the Japanese-American War. Culasi was not spared and it contributed its share of heroes and heroines during this war. Most notably among them was Capt. Silverio L. Cadiao. Culasi also provided a safe haven for the American submarines, the U.S.S. Gideon which landed communications personnel and equipment and U.S.S. Narwhal which landed arms and ammunitions for the Guerilla forces of Panay.
The war ended in 1946 and with the declaration of Philippine Independence, Culasi rejoiced and proceeded to reconstruct the damages brought about by the war.
Culasi is truly majestic for it is endowed with rich natural resources. The rolling hills of Mt. Madja-as are rich in manganese, copper and coal found in Timbaban. Other metallic mineral deposits are white clay and pebbles in the island barangays of Malalison and Batbatan. Sand and gravel is being extracted in various rivers and used for infrastructure. Another metallic mineral is the limestone deposit found in Sitio Bula, Camancijan and is used for agricultural and industrial purpose. Limestone is used in the production of cement.
Most treasured one is the oil deposit in Maniguin Island explored by the Philippine National Oil Corporation (PNOC). Several companies drilled oil deposit in Maniguin with black coal. Maniguin has a potential reserve of 28 million barrels to 250 mmbbls. based on the PNOC drilling project report. There are four major tourist spots in the municipality: the Majestic Mt. Madja-as, Malalison Island, Batbatan Island, and Maniguin Island.
Mt. Maja-as is 2,117 meters above sea level. Its summit has approximately 137 degress with 14 waterfalls which can be seen during clear day. The mountain is home to various fauna and flora. As your hike continues you will meet beautiful and colorful butterflies, bonsai trees, wild orchids, pitcher plants and you may take sight the spotted deer and the exotic cloud rat. A trek to its height is a memory to be treasured by nature lovers and mountaineers.
The Island of Malalison is a 55-hectare island, only a 10 minute ride off coast by motorized pump boat. The island has to two caves, clean pebbled beach sand, coral reefs and clear blue sea ideal for sailing, snorkeling, fishing and scuba diving.
Batbatan Island is a 142 hectare Barangay island with 9 sitios. It is 17 kilometers off coast of the Poblacion which is 1 ½ hour ride by motorized pump boat. Its white sand beaches, coral reefs, clean and clear waters will truly charm the visitors. The Barangay is also a fish sanctuary and seaweed plantation.
Maniguid Island is 35.156 hectare island, 3 hours and 30 minutes ride from Poblacion and was declared as Naval Reserve. It has a 96 feet high lighthouse or parola. The island is rich in oil and mineral deposits. Its clean beach is ideal for snorkeling, fishing and scuba diving.
Culasi may be reached through buses or vans direct from the city of Iloilo and Kalibo, by jeepneys from the capital town of San Jose de Buenavista. Within the town, you make take tricycles or motorcycles to transport you to places of your choice. There are also resorts and lodgings for overnight stay or long vacation.