Antique is one of the provinces comprising the island of Panay in Western Visayas. It has a total land area of approximately 2,522 sq. km. It is bounded on the north and northeast by Aklan, on the east by Capiz, and on the southwest by Iloilo. On the west is the Cuyo East Pass of the Sulu Sea, part of the vast China Sea. Eighteen municipalities make up the province: fourteen along the coast, three inland and one on six islets.
Profiled like a seahorse, Antique is an oversized hemline on the western border of the three-cornered scarf-like land mass that is Panay. It lies between the China Sea to the west, mountain ranges to the east, and 155 kms. long and 33 kms. at its widest. Long mountain ranges separate Antique from the rest of Panay.
Iloilo and Aklan are the gateways to Antique by land. It is also accessible from Palawan, Manila, Romblon, and Mindoro by sea. Buses and Vans bound for San Jose and Libertad are stationed at the terminal in Molo District, Iloilo City. Transportion time from Iloilo City to the capital San Jose is 3 hours.
Historians had it that ten Bornean Datus headed by Datu Puti, along with their followers, left Borneo to escape persecution by Sultan Makatunaw, a Rajah of the House of Shri-Vijaya and landed in the island of Panay, then ruled by an Ati chieftain, Marikudo. After some haggling, they succeeded in buying the island from the Ati chieftain for one gold sadok and a gold necklace for his wife. This enabled one of the datus, Datu Sumakwel, to establish a permanent settlement in what is now Malandog in the municipality of Hamtic, the name taken after a species of large ants called hantik-hantik, which abounded the place.
Eventually, the settlers occupied the coastal parts of the island while the natives took to the hinterlands. The datus divided the island into political units, called sakop, namely: Hantik (Antique), Aklan and Irong-Irong (Iloilo). Datu Puti, Bangkaya and Paiburong headed these sakops but the entire island continued to be called Hantic under the supreme command of Datu Sumakwel.
Antique was later on officially recognized as a separate political and military province with San Jose de Buenavista as the capital town. The institution of American authority over the island and the restoration of peace and order in Panay led to the formation of a civil government on April 13, 1901. During the Japanese Occupation, Mt. Baloy (elevation: 2,080m), which straddles part of Antique, was the headquarters of the 6th military district under Gen. Macario Peralta. The other two peaks of Panay, Mt. Madia-as (elevation: 2,117m) and Mt. Nangtud (elevation: 1,900m) are all found in the province of Antique.