Where: Kalibo, Aklan
Who: Mr, Mrs & Little Miss Wanderlust, Gedang Family & Vizcarra Family
When: Jan 2012
What: ATI ATIHAN FESTIVAL!!
Ati-Atihan in Aklan is easily the most cheerfully celebrated festival in the Philippines. For 2 full days but oftentimes extending to a week, townsfolk and foreigners intermingle in the streets in frenetic merriment, singing, dancing, jogging and dressed in Kalibo atiatihan-19colorful and outlandish costumes. Other covers their bodies and faces with soot, all beating drums, cans, tom-toms, and shouting ‘Viva kay Senor Santo Nino.”
The origin of the Ati-Atihan dates back to the 13th century when the region of Aklan was peopled by the Negritos. This rustic scene was one day broken with the arrival of boatloads of foreigners from Borneo who had fled from their land in search for better life.
This was resented by the Negritos and soon bloody encounters occurred between them. Desiring a peaceful life, the foreigners, the Maraynons initiated a peace talk with the aborigines and peace was ushered in with a rejoicing.
-Souce: Souvenir Magazine Ati-Atihan 1987
The easiest way is from Manila Airport - NAIA to Kalibo Airport. There are more than 10+ flights per day going back and forth. Just book ahead to avoid any problems.
There are a couple of resorts, and inns in the town of Kalibo. However during this feast weekend, most of these places are fully booked, so like with anything else, book in advance if you plan to stay on the said places.
However, thanks to Vizcarra Family, we were able to stay as a guest in their home. Filipino hospitality at its best.
Go to the Ati Atihan Festival
is the mother of all the big Sto. Niño festivals of Sinulog in Cebu and Dinagyang in Iloilo. It's the biggest fiesta that is "non-commercialized" and stays true to its Filipino Fiesta vibe. It's a "participative fiesta" where you dance with the performers not unlike a "spectator fiesta" where you just watch in the sidelines. They say you have not experienced a Filipino fiesta unless you've been to Ati-Atihan.
Ati-Atihan means "to become like Aetas" or in modern terms an "Ati Cosplay". It was originally a pagan animist festival that the Spaniards adapted in honor of the Sto. Niño celebrated every third sunday of January
See Bakhawan Mangrove Forest
a 220- hectare Mangrove forest which started in 1990 with just 50 hectares of reclaimed land created by the Kalibo Save the Mangrove Association (KASAMA for short)and with 200 members to date.
Last but not the least, Foodtrip like a local.
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