Aklan is considered to be the oldest province in the country and is believed to have been established in the 12th century by settlers from Borneo ruled by the chieftain Datu Dinagandan which traded with its neighbouring islands.
Towards the end of the 14th century, Datu Dinagandan moved the capital from what is now Batan. In 1433, Datu Kalantiaw’s grandson and successor, Datu Kalantiaw III, formulated a set of laws that is known today as the Code of Kalantiaw. Foreign historians such as William Henry Scott, considered these laws to be a folk tradition. In 1437, the short-lived dynasty of Datu Kalantiaw ended when Datu Kalantiaw III was killed in battle with the tribes of Datu Manduyog, the legitimate successor of Datu Dinagandan. When Datu Manduyog became the new chieftain, he moved the capital to Bakan (now known as Banga).
Several datus succeeded Datu Manduyog until the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi landed in Batan in 1565 and claimed the island for Spain. Datu Kabanyag was the chieftain at that period and had his capital in Libacao.
Aklan finally became a separate province through Republic Act 1414 signed by President Magsaysay on April 25, 1956, separating Aklan from Capiz. This law authored by Congressman Godofredo P. Ramos and the province was inaugurated on November 8, 1956. Ramos became the first congressman of Aklan, he was succeeded by José B. Legaspi. The third congressman, serving until the declaration of martial law in 1972, was Rafael B. Legaspi. José Raz Menez was appointed the first governor of Aklan by President Magsaysay and he served until December 30, 1959.
In 1960, Godofredo P. Ramos became the first elected governor but upon resigning to run for Congress he was succeeded by the vice governor, Virgilio S. Patricio. In 1964, José B. Legaspi succeeded Patricio and he held office for two consecutive terms from 1964 to 1971.