Some centuries ago, long before paved roads were constructed, people settled and built their shelters in barrios with hilly landscapes. Their cultivations were feed by the river water passing through the barrio. Life was too simple then. One fateful day, the “pumuluyo” or residents of the barrio decided to hold a grand feast and people from neighbouring villages were invited to attend. In the midst of festivity, the sunny skies were covered by dark and intimidating clouds signalling the entrance of an impending storm. The sudden weather change had sent fear and panic to the attendees of the festivities. Heavy rains fell in torrents and strong wind blew accompanied by lightning and roaring thunder. The river overflowed its banks until it reached the foot of the hill where it terribly dashed against the side. The water found its way into a hole at a side of the hill made by huge crab-like creatures called “Salima-o”. The water continued to seep deeper into the hill, making the hole bigger which caused the hill to erode. The frightened attendees exclaimed in terror, “Ang bakulod guina siba sa idalom”. The earth gave way and it cut the hill, carried some of the houses and claimed many lives.
The fortunate ones, those who were saved, decided to convert what were left of the ruins into forms. Some decided to build their houses at the remaining portion of the hill while others decided to build their shelter at the foot of the hill. The catastrophe paved way for the birth of a new community, SIBALOM.
Sibalom came from the words “siba sa idalom” meaning, water bubbling and flowing beneath the hills as a result of the hole made by the “salima-o”.
There are few records of pre-Spanish settlements in the locality. Save for oral tradition, what we have on hand today are consists of accounts written by Spanish missionaries and officials of events as they witnessed them.
But one can imagine the attraction Sibalom offered to the early Ati and Malay settlers of Antique. Fed by two rivers the Sibalom River Valley is the most extensive flatland in the province. Early Spanish incursions into Sibalom were hindered by its inaccessibility by sea at a time when water was the main mode of travel. But the Spaniards eventually did come. Colonization did take place, though at a snail’s pace.