Ati-atihan is a festival in honor of the Santo Nino and it is also one of the Tourist Spots in the Philippines located in Kalibo Aklan, where it is celebrated in the 3rd week of January in ever last three days of the week of the festival. The activities is well prepared by the folks in Kalibo Aklan because the participants would cover themselves with coal as dark as like an “Aeta”,the dark-skinned indigenous tribe were believed as the early settler’s of Panay Island. The town is busy preparing for the festivities and all visitors are welcome to their houses to eat in.
The AtiAtihan participants would dance a very amusing way with a loud beat of a drum. Which will make you more excited. Some visitors would share some foods and Beers to the streets to everybody. Street dancing and Disco dancing runs until morning before the main event started. The folks also got busy in a street dancing competition with coaches and choreographers tend to get strict on how they put their costumes and requested not to be seen in public until needed.
The costumes is well made of the participants would bear the heat despite of the humid and unbearable heat of the sun. There were 5 Puroks competing many are watching some our foreigners from El Nido town. There were 5 groups who joined and were given 15 minutes each performance. There are themes about Atis way of living like hunting, Farming, Agriculture and blessing from their patron Sto Nino. the participants are well prepared with the competition every group showed standout sequences and acrobatic stunts and dance moves with impressive props and costumes. There were also coveted prize for the winners.
The festivals runs for a week, celebrations will fire up in the final three days Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The transferring of the Sto Nino from Kalibo Cathedral to the adjoining Pastrana Park, where a mass is held. The festival resumes late Sunday afternoon with a Parade of Ati-atihan groups holding torches and Sto Nino images.
The event is located in Kalibo, Aklan Philippines.
The Ati-atihan can be seen on Pastrana Park in every third week of January just in case you want to visit Ilo-ilo and watch the street dance then you must prepare for the event book a hotel in Kalibo at least a month in advance and expect to pay two to five times the usual rates and some preferred to camp on the beach for cheaper accommodations. Well i can say that the Ati-Atihan Tourist Spots in the Philippines is the best Mardi Gras and week long street party.