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Travel | Having Fun at the Fiesta in Altavas Aklan

From the Town of Kalibo, one can reach Altavas via UV Express.  Fare is Php50 and travel time takes only less than an hour.  Why would we come here to Altavas?  We were invited to their fiesta.  A great reason to be there.  

We were on our way to our next itinerary during our Panay Island visit when we were invited.  We were expected to be in Roxas City, Capiz (a neighboring province) in the evening so we made sure to have fun in Altavas early in the day.

We arrived in Town full of life and vigor already.  People were already in their fiesta mood in full swing and were literally in the streets.  Street dancers were already performing and revelers can be seen along side.  Large speakers blare out chart topping dance tunes from homes, and marching bands pump out heart thumping rhythm beats where the Ati-atihan dancers regale to. 

A lot of people filled the streets and although we liked to party some more, we had to visit first the person who gladly invited us to their town fiesta.  A dying tradition, we are glad that they still practice the fiesta mood in this part of the country.  Where everyone hold feasts in their own homes and invite guests to partake in the foods serve and join in the revelry.  A fiesta is a thanksgiving activity, honoring and thanking God and the Saints who blessed them the prior year.  So one can imagine the food being served is in abundance, evidence of a great year and hoping for an even better year the next.

After celebrating with this house, we were again invited to another one.  I was already full with the shrimps and lechon, then here comes another offering their home to us.  In the Philippines and during fiesta time, its rude not to say yes to an invite.  Off we went to the next house and we ate.  Our stomachs were up to my chin already and it was getting late.  We need to hop on the bus to Roxas City before it gets dark.  Our next hosts were already worried about us as we were still not in transit.

Walking towards the bus stop is again an exercise in struggle.  Crowds doubled late afternoon and the streets were already closed to traffic.  Spectators and performers were already packed the pavement making it impassable to all kinds of vehicles.  No one complains as everyone were in their festive mood and we enjoyed the atmosphere.  People dancing, singing as one, a great sight to behold.

On our way to sadly leaving this town, we got a chance to see their main church and said our quick prayers and off we went to the bus stop.  While on the bus we felt wanting.  A few hours in Altavas is not enough we said.  We hope that we can stay longer in this festive town next year to thank God and Sto. Nino for the blessings we have received.

Thanks to EG Condotel and to Joseph Tayco for arranging this wonderful trip of hours to Kalibo and hope to see them again in 2020.

Fiesta in Altavas is days after the Ati-atihan of Kalibo which is in January.  We just found the lovely pictures and we felt we owe it to the Town of Altavas to feature their festival and their hospitality.