I had intended to go to San Jose but for some strange unexplained reason something in me was holding me back. I’m not very superstitious but I always follow one rule in traveling, “if it doesn’t feel right, don’t go”. Something I learned from my mother. She calls it, “kutob”. This is when your subconscious mind, or psychic mind (I really don’t know what you call it) is warning you of imminent danger.

Anini-y. Taken near the Iloilo boundary.

So I aborted my trip to San Jose, alighted in a remote area in Antique called  Anini-y, a place where I was told I can find jeeps that can take me back to Iloilo City.

I don’t even know how to properly pronounce the town’s name, Anini-y, but it sure was a very interesting place. I read that this remote town has the only preserved church (century old Catholic church) in the whole of Antique, I’m not sure if this is true.

According to the municipality’s website it means “a place of small rivers”.

The website also explains the origin of “Y” in its name:

Anini-y is one typical town of Antique that is imbued with historical facets and tourist attractions.  Various myths and legends tried to explain how the town got its unique name.  “Anini-y” or “place of small rivers”.  This Spanish customary writing of Y instead of I spurred researchers to finding that once upon a time, in the present area of the municipality, there existed a community called “Igneini”.  It was cited to be the gateway into the prosperous Aninipay (old Panay) kingdom of Ati king, Marikudo.  However, cultural historians believe that “dash Y” in the name actually is “dash I” which is a Malayan suffix, meaning “place/people of”.  This suffix is only used for a place that is very important or has achieve a degree of greatness, as in the case of Hantik-I which later became Antique or used as in May-I believed to be the legendary old Manila.

This is one of those unexpected things that has never happened before in all my years of traveling – it is as if I suddenly lost the interest to go. And I was almost there! Just imagine traveling from Iloilo and deciding to cut the trip short and head back for a reason you can’t explain.

But like what my mother always say, “wala naman mawawala kung maniniwala”. Well, I wasted precious time but then again who knows what that weird feeling was and what would have happened.

If its any consolation, I saw some very scenic coastlines in Anini-y. I mean postcard worthy. The boundary of Iloilo and Antique is a hilly area where the national road cuts through. This part of Anini-y provides an elevated view of the vast Sulu sea. The carinderias here are popular hangout for the drivers. I’m sure I’ll pass by here again.

Another task waiting to be accomplished.

July 2010


2 responses to “Anini-y

  • filipineses09

    Thanks for this even-if-brief post on Anini-y! Just by the sound of tis name and I’m transported to a magical moment when I beheld its church. I remember it was sunset, a magical hour, and the sun glowed pink-orange so it seemed on the church propped off the seashore. It looked like an apparition as the heat cooling down let off a thin smoke. I think it was the hue that made it look other-worldly of which I wondered aloud. My guide, Preciosa Javier, yes, the wife of the late then Antique Gov. Evelio Javier, told me it the sun hitting the coral stones of which the church is made of must have played tricks on me. That and the setting of anahaw and furit bearing groves made it so enchanting.

    I was travelling then sort of officially as writer for Philippines Today International of the then National Media Production Center. Former Manila Times photographer, Johnny Acasio, and I had just come from a coverage of the Ati-atihan in Kalibo. We had taken a bus with Johnny sent to the roof of the bus because it was packed as I suffered through a 7-hour trip on a hard wooden seat to San Jose de Buenavista. We first slept at the mayor’s and moved in the morning to the governor’s house. Evelio swept us off our feet, of course! Preciosa acted as our tour guide.

    Anini-y, inded, is for me not only scenic, but at sunset on the coastline, magical! Go back when you can.

    By the way, I haven’t been able to come by because my poetry has taken over everything! I post my haiku and free verse at jornales (wordpress). Even filipineses has been static until today when I finally posted Iliw (nostalgia in Iluko), a memoir of my growing up years among the Albanos of Bacarra.

    I’m back and hope to catch up on the rest of your posts.

  • Elizabeth Medina

    Wonderful detour!


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