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Travel | The Ati-Atihan of Kalibo Aklan

The Mother of All Festivals is the Ati-Atihan of Kalibo Aklan.  This was the second year of us covering the event and its always getting bigger each visit.  Thanks to EG Condotel in Kalibo Aklan for facilitating this year's return of the Katooga.PH team.

The Ati-Atihan is the very first festival ever held.  Started before the arrival of the Spaniards and then finally modified when the locals were baptized as christians.  The festival stayed on, but this time, it was in celebration of their devotion to the Sto. Nino.

Modern times transformed the festival to something as a celebration and thanksgiving for the blessings garnered the previous year.  This thanks are in accordance to their "panata" (tagalog) or "panaad" (visayan dialect) or "vow" in english.  Devotees offer their celebration in forms of street dancing.  The whole city of Kalibo explodes in a grand merry making that only this city offers to its residents and visitors.  One can join in the dancing in the streets.  

Unlike other festivals where we are only spectators, the Ati-Atihan festival offers everyone the chance to enjoy the festivities.  We all can dance with the performers, have our selfies, join the bands, drink with locals.  Yes drinking alcohol is allowed.  As you can see in our pictures, we were able to join with beer at hand.  

The festival is now celebrated longer every year but culminates on the third weekend of January.  Saturday is what local call "sadsad" wherein all have fun in the streets.  Sunday starts off with thanksgiving mass and ends with a procession of the image of Sto. Nino around the streets of Kalibo.

To recollect what we experienced in this year's Ati-Atihan, I finally brought my wife to this, have performed my "panaad" to Sto Nino (second time in Kalibo for me), reconnected with a friend, met a new foreigner friend, experience a different Kalibo, at a visayan lechon (again), had my second Paeapak and ate a lot of fresh seafoods.

Now if you like to experience this festival, we would like to suggest that one must book your flights and accommodations early.  Prices go higher during this time of the year here so better decide early if you are coming.  Its easy to do this if you coordinate with EG Condotel.  For inquiries and bookings with EG Condotel, you may contact them via mobile at +63 908 669 0037 or their facebook page at