Expect a colorful and exciting Kalibo Ati-Atihan festival this January.
Three of the 2012 Kalibo Ati-Atihan festival highlights - the spiritual street dancing, religious procession and the Ati-Atihan contest, for sure, will attract thousands of devotees, guests, balikbayans and tourists.
The highly anticipated Ati-Atihan contest for modern, tribal big and small and Balik-Ati will be staged on January 14 starting at 8 a.m. Thirty tribes and groups, so far, have registered with the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi) that will compete through street dancing with their virbrant Ati-Atihan costumes.
The 'free-wheeling' spiritual street dancing is an evolving tradition of people from all walks of life. The 'sadsad panaad' of young and old alike, is a celebration of no equal - frenzied dancing, merrymaking of Ati performers and spontaneous cries of “Viva! Kay Señor Santo Niño, Viva!".
The religious procession on January 15 will culminate the fiesta with Senor Santo Niño ‘’caros’’ and devotees carrying Sto. Niño images and statues in different forms and sizes. It begins in the Saint John the Baptist Cathedral and ends at the church.
Ivy Rose Vidal of Batan, Aklan was crowned Mutya it Kalibo Ati-Atihan 2012 in a star-studded finale night organized by pageant organizer Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi) in Gov. Augusto B. Legaspi Sports and Cultural Center on January 6.
Vidal, 22, a graduate of Garcia College of Technology, bested 15 other aspirants for the title. She replaces last year’s Mutya winner Caren Retamar Braun, also a Garcian student. The new Mutya it Kalibo Ati-Atihan was voted Miss Photogenic and awarded Miss Juicy Cologne and Miss Creamsilk.
Liezl Dumaguin, 20, of Buruanga, Aklan, was picked first runner-up and 16-year old Fil-Lebanese Daisy Batch of Balete, Aklan came in third. Batch won a number of corporate awards for Miss Magnolia Light, Miss Silka, Miss E-Looks and Miss Ponds, special award for Miss Personality and minor award for Best in Vogue White.
Ready for Ati-Atihan 2012? In all the celebration, let us not forget the true spirit of religiosity of Kalibo festival.
Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez said the festival is one of the many times in the year that the godly Kalibonhons pauses from his daily toils to offer a prayer of thanks to the Sto. Nino.
“Though the celebration has evolved into a famous-festival and the mainstay of Kalibo’s tourism industry, it is still the Kalibonhon’s appointed day for a communion with God,” the governor said.
“Let us not forget that the Ati-Atihan is essentially a religious ceremony that can take us nearer to God and farther away from the materialism that has dedicated our present way of life,” he added.
Vice Governor Gabrielle Calizo-Quimpo, for her part, urged everyone to strengthen and fortified the unwavering reverence and religious faith as to the Sto. Nino.
Black Beauty Boys was declared champion in the Tribal Big category to claim the grand prize of P150,000 in the tribe contest of the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan festival this year. The grand winner, also last year's Ati-Atihan contest champion from Linabuan Norte, Kalibo, Aklan, bested eight other tribe entries for the biggest purse in the history of Kalibo Ati-Atihan festival contest.
Kabog from Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan came in second for P80,000 and Tribu Responde of New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan emerged third placer for P50,000.
The consolation prizes were given to Lord Eagles of Dumga, Makato, Aklan; Tribu Bukid Tigayon of Tigayon, Kalibo, Aklan and Tribu Tiis-Tiis of New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan for P10,000 each. Other entries in the Tribal Big category were Maharlika of Dumga, Makato, Aklan; Pangawasan Tribe of Makato, Aklan and D’Kamanggahan Tribe of Poblacion, Makato, Aklan.
The perennial champion in the modern group category - Scorpio 11-19 of Kalibo, Aklan took home P50,000, Aeang-Aeang Group of Laguinbanua, Numancia, Aklan emerged as first runner-up for P25,000 and Samahan ng Kababaihan Bayan ng Kalibo, Inc. (SKBK) of New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan in third place with P15,000 cash prize.