Valderrama: A Scenic Destination in Antique

One of the notable places to visit in the Philippines is the town of Valderrama located midway and eastward of the province of Antique. It is easily accessible by land from the airport of Iloilo City in the island of Panay, well known for its annual festi

One of the places to take awesome pictures of scenic landscapes is Valderrama, a town located midway and eastward of Antique, next to the town of Bugasong, which was once its mother town when it was a barrio. It is located about 95 kilometers away from Iloilo City and about 40 kilometers from the town of San Jose, the province's capital. While traversing the well-paved roads of cement and asphalt, many scenic landscapes along the way can be seen that will relieve the urban traveller of stresses associated with modern living.

The author had the privilege to visit the town of Valderrama three days back and got a quick glimpse of the town. Together with his family and a relative who guided the way, he drove along and across the large Cangaranan River, a river that bisects a portion of the valley spanned by rolling hils and elevated plains.

Before entering the town of Valderrama, a newly built landmark greets visitors at one end of a long, steel and asphalt bridge (Figures 1 and 2). It says "Valderrama: Home of the Panubason Festival." Panubason is an annual event highlighted by dance contests, songs from well-known Filipino singers like Jolina Magdangal and the Rivermaya band, biking events, competitive games, among others.

Fig. 1. The long steel bridge serves as the gateway to Valderrama.

Fig. 2. Concrete landmark welcoming visitors to Valderrama's annual Panubason festival.

To maximize enjoyment of the scene, the author parked the car around the bend and let the flasher of the vehicle blink to warn incoming vehicles. But vehicles are quite few because of the rural setting aside from the fact that the day was a bit gloomy and marked with occasional rainshowers.

Gazing through the horizon and scanning through the wide expanse at both sides of the bridge sooth the eyes and make the nerves relax and allow unperturbed enjoyment of the scenery. It is here that the river, the mountains and the sky meet.

Upon reaching the town of Valderrama, the well kept town center has three major structures: the Catholic church, indicating that the townsfolk are mainly Catholics (Figure 3); the newly painted municipal hall which serves as the town’s administrative center (Figure 4); and the municipal plaza with a covered basketball court (Figure 5) where people usually gather to celebrate the town’s anniversaries. Notable among these events is the town's fiesta, previously mentioned and known as the Panubason, where people hold various games and dance contests, host the baile where young girls and boys dance to the tune of modern and classical music and serve lots of food. Lechon, young pig roasted with spices in hot fire, is a favourite dish that always marks the occasion.

Fig. 3. The well-designed Catholic church in Valderrama.

Fig. 4. The clean-looking Valderrama municipal hall.

Fig. 5. Valderrama's covered court in the plaza.

The temperature is cool in Valderrama as it is bounded by cool forests and extensive farmlands. The falls nearby can bring soothing relief to weary travellers. It is also an ideal place to write books as the place has a generally tranquil atmosphere.

Such are the features of the beautiful town of Valderrama. Visit the place and relish the sweet air of the countryside in Antique.

©2012 June 6 Patrick A. Regoniel

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