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The Ati-Atihan Festival

Listed under Festivals in Kalibo (poblacion), Philippines.

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The Ati-Atihan festival, held on the third Sunday ever January in Kalibo on Panay, is the wildest Philippino festival with 2 weeks of celebration culminating in 3 days of general revelry. The event has evolved as a mix of Catholic worship (in honour of Santo Niño), indigenous drama and tourist attraction. Traditional culture is acknowledged by a parade in which different tribes are represented wearing indigenous costumes and jewellery, while the mesmerising, rhythmic drum beats for native dance competitions. The name Ati-Atihan, meaning “make-believe Atis”, as well as this dance, is derived from the indigenous people of Panay, the Atis.

As Kalibo get extremely busy, many tourists will avoid the crowds and stay on nearby Boracay Island (known for its magnificent beaches), hiring a cheap driver to make the trips to and from the festivities.

The Ati-Atihan Festival.

Written by  Amber Due.

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