Historians believe that the earliest people who settled on the island of Panay were tribal Negritos or Atis. Oral history, related as the legend of Maragtas, states that in 1212, ten Malay datus escaped persecution from Sri-Vishaya, a Hindu-Malay empire that existed at that time in Borneo and Sumatra. These datus, led by Datu Puti, sailed with their families and communities from Borneo northward and landed on Panay.
There they met the Negrito chieftain Marikudo. They bought the island from the chieftain for a golden saduk (headpiece or helmet), and a golden necklace, among other gifts. The Negritos then retreated to the mountains, while the Borneans settled in the lowlands. Today, the landing is commemorated every year in Antique in the Binirayan festival.
The island of Panay was then divided into three sakups (districts). These are Hantik, Aklan, and Irong-Irong. Aklan became the present-day Aklan and Capiz, Irong-Irong became Iloilo, and Hantik (also called Hamtik or Hamtic) became Antique. Hantik was named for the large red ants found on the island called lantik-lantik.
The sakup of Hantik was given to Datu Sumakwel, one of the ten datus, and who, according to tradition, was the oldest and wisest of them. The three sakups were later governed as a political unit called the Confederation of Madia-as, also under Datu Sumakwel.
Datu Sumakwel founded the town of Malandog, considered to be the first Malay settlement in the country. Malandog is now a barangay in the present-day municipality of Hamtic, which was named after the historic sakup.