With tens of thousands of devotees and tourists poured into the streets of Kalibo, Aklan to celebrate the Senor Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan festival, it was time for the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi) to savor the success with flying colors.
Festival foundation chairman Albert Menez said the Ati-Atihan festival in honor of Senor Sto. Nino de Kalibo has been hailed a major success, making it the best year yet for Kasafi.
Asked if how he would rate this year’s Ati-Atihan festival held from January 11 to 20 if score out of 10?
Menez gave the recent festival a satisfaction score of 9, adding, there was certainly room for improvement in next year’s celebration.
"At the end of the weeklong festivities, I think we can all say the festival has been a resounding success. People had come from far and wide to be part of it. We are delighted with the support, in so many ways, given by the volunteers, the local community officials, the church leaders and the festival sponsors,” he said.
And despite being only in its third year, Kasafi completely volunteer-run is already making a name for itself, Menez said the accomplishments of Kasafi is what sets it apart from other festival organizers in the country.
“Everyone who has been involved over the years has helped us get to where we are now. We worked tirelessly to make it an outstanding festival," Menez stressed.
The third year of the Kasafi-managed festival in partnership with the local government of Kalibo showed more innovations in events that drew even heavier interest than usual before it even started.
For the past three years, the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan has been alive with sights and sounds, hotels and pension inns were fully booked, a manageable traffic was up in the streets, local restaurants offered excellent food for festival-goers and the church activities saw thousands of people from all ages.
Never been equaled in the history of Ati-Atihan celebration, among others, were the bigger cash prizes and subsidies given to competing tribes, strong public-private partnership of Kasafi and the stakeholders, expected high net income and complete financial reports of the past two festivals.