Province of Antique

Where the Mountains meet the sea. The Rising Star of Western Visayas

About San Jose de Buenavista

San Jose de Buenavista has grown from settlements founded as a visita. A visita is a settlement where the church was the center of the activities of the community. San Jose de Buenavista used to be a part of the town Antique (founded in 1745) and was a visita of this town. The visita was a settlement in a place called Tubigon near the Malandog River where a church was erected. The church was a big stone edifice, which gave the name “Maybato” to its vicinity. Moro pirates frequently plundered the shore of Hamtic and went as far as Maybato. These Moro pirates burned the church and took away the huge bell in the belfry.

Sometime in 1787-1790, Governor General Felix Berenguer de Marquina granted the estate of the whole Malaiba – a sitio of the town Antique, to Agustin Sumandi.  Sitio Malaiba was promoted to the rank of town in 1792 and Agustin Sumandi was appointed as its first gobernadorsillo. The name of Sitio Malaiba was changed to San Jose adopting the name of its patron saint.

Government officials and church dignitaries arrived by boat to attend the ceremonies and were so much impressed by the marvelous view of the town from the ea that they added to San Jose the words “de Buenavista.”

In 1802, upon petition of the people, San Jose de Buenavista became the capital of the Province of Antique. It had three pueblos – Guintas, Antique (Hamtic) and San Pedro.

San Jose de Buenavista and Hamtic were separated in 1954 by virtue of the Executive Order No. 03 of President Ramon Magsaysay.

According to dance literatures, two boys named Esco and Piton danced during the inauguration of the founding of San Jose de Buenavista and the dance was later known as Escopiton Malandog.

1787   –           Agustin Sumandi obtained a land grant from the Governor General, Carlos Berenguer de Marquina which gave tittle to whole Mala-iba, a part of the town of Antique in the province of Bugasong.

1790   –           The town of Antique became the Capital town of the province. Sitio Malaiba changed its name into San Jose.

1792   –           Elevated to the Rank of a Town. Government officials and church dignitaries arrived and added to the name the words “de Buenavista”.

1802   –           San Jose became the capital town of the province.  Agustin Sumandi, was appointed as its first Gobernadorcillo

Places of Interest

How to get There?

  • BY AIR

    From Luzon, one can take a direct flight via the Clark International Airport located at Mabalacat, Pampanga bound for Antique Airport (Evelio Javier Airport or San Jose Airport).

  • BY SEA

    From Manila by Roll-on, Roll-off (RORO) ships via Caticlan. From Kalibo, Aklan, buses ply the route to Pandan and San Jose de Buenavista, the capital town and main tourism center of the province. There are also two major sea ports in the province; the Lipata Port in Culasi and San Jose Port in the capital town. Starlite Ferry has travels every Tuesdays and Saturdays via Lipata Port, Culasi, Antique.


    Buses leave Iloilo City on an hourly basis for the 2 1/2 hours trip to San Jose de Buenavista.