Sunday, January 13, 2013

Celebrities join Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo Aklan

The Ati-Atihan Festival of Kalibo, Aklan, Philippine
AKLAN, Philippines -- A livelier and more upbeat celebration of this year’s Ati-Atihan Festival – widely-known as the “Mother of All Festivals” – is set to happen this Monday, January 14, 2013.

The Ati-Atihan Festival is a feast held annually in January in honor of the Senior Santo Niño (Infant Jesus), concluding on the third Sunday, in the island and town of Kalibo, Aklan in the Philippines.
Organizers said hottest stars from Manila will also come to participate in the spectacular fete.

A Kapuso Night (a night with GMA artists) filled with dancing, music and other merry-making activities takes place at the Pastrana Park at 6:00 PM. Set to lead the celebration are lovely Kapuso leading ladies Kris Bernal and Louise delos Reyes, together with Party Pilipinas mainstay Mark Bautista.

Last January 11, two homegrown hearththrobs, Aljur Abrenica and Mark Herras, graced the “Mutya Ag Lakan It Kalibo 2013 Grand Pageant Finale and Coronation Night” which happened at the Gov. Augusto B. Legaspi Sports and Cultural Center.

Aljur serenaded the female contestants while Mark acted as one of the event’s judges. In this year’s pageant, a total of 24 finalists vied for the crown and titles of Mutya and Lakan of Kalibo Ati-Atihan.

Local celebrities from GMA network joins the event
GMA Iloilo Station Manager, Mr. Jonathan Cabillon, says “GMA Network is very much excited to take part in one of the most colorful and rhythmic Philippine Festivals, the Ati-Atihan. Our artists have prepared long and hard for their participation, and we look forward to the Kapusong Aklanons’ delight.”
The full details of the Network’s participation in the 2013 Ati-Atihan Festival will be featured in the weekly travelogue “Let's Fiesta” airing on January 27 via the Network’s regional stations in Bicol, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Dagupan, Ilocos, GenSan, Bacolod, and CDO.

Meanwhile, the name "Ati-Atihan" means "to be like Aetas" or "make believe Ati's." Aetas were the primary settlers in the islands according to history books. They too are the earliest settlers of Panay Island where the province of Aklan is situated.

The festival consists of tribal dance, music, accompanied by indigenous costumes and weapons, and parade along the street. Christians and non-Christians observe this day with religious processions. It has inspired many other Philippine Festivals including the Sinulog Festival of Cebu and Dinagyang of Iloilo, both adaptations of the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival.

The phrase "Hala Bira! Pwera Pasma!" is originally associated with the Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Festival as the revelers and devotees keep on going with the festivities all over the town from morning to the wee hours of the next morning, rain or shine, for one week or even more. They believe that the miraculous Child Jesus will protect them from harm and illness.

The highlight of the festival occurs on the last day, the third Sunday of January, when groups representing different tribes compete for tourists' attention and prizes. The festival ends with a procession of thousands of people carrying torches and different kinds of images of the Santo Niño.

The Ati-Atihan was originally a pagan festival from this tribe practicing Animism, and their worshiping their anito god. Spanish missionaries gradually added a Christian meaning. Today, the Ati-Atihan is celebrated as a religious festival. (Ricky Bautista)

No comments: