Visiting the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan


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Kalibo is located on the Panay Island and every year in January crowded because of the Ati-Atihan Festival.

Ati-Atihan Festival 2015

Trip to Kalibo
My best friend and I decided to go to Kalibo, Aklan to witness Ati-Atihan Festival in 2015. It is a well-known place because of the Ati-Atihan festival held annually on the third Sunday of January in honor of the Santo Nino (Infant Jesus).

Kalibo was designated as the capital town of the province of Aklan by virtue of Republic Act No. 1414 and by proclamation of former President Ramon Magsaysay on July 14, 1956. And then in 1997, Kalibo was categorized as a first class municipality. The name 'Ati-Atihan' means 'to be like Ati's or make believe Ati's'. It is because 'Ati' is the primary settler in the islands according to history books. Today, Kalibo is the center of educational and socio-economic hub of Northern Panay.

Ati-Atihan 2015 Aside from Ati-Atihan, Aklan is also known because of its world famous white beach sand in Boracay Island. The island is separated from Panay island by a narrow strait, and located opposite of the barangay of Caticlan in the municipality of Malay, Aklan. We booked our plane ticket online via Air Asia. We are about to leave at 10:30 in the morning but the flight is delayed (again). This is the only problem here in our domestic flights. The flight takes only 45 minutes from Manila to Kalibo. If you want to go in Boracay, it is easy for you to find van in the arrival area of Kalibo because a lot of guys offering ride to Caticlan for only 250 pesos. I find a tricycle to bring me and my friend in Oliveros Place and I pay 100 pesos.

We already booked our hotel room in Oliveros Place through my friend who is staying in Kalibo. Since it is Ati-Atihan, almost all of the hotels and pension house is fully booked. I am lucky that I know someone from the place so it is easy for me to find a hotel. The rate of the rooms from Oliveros place is only 600 PHP if it is ordinary days. But the time of Ati-Atihan, the room rates increase. We stay there for one week and the room rate start at 800 pesos per day. After 3 days, it increase into 1,000 pesos per day and again, after 3 days they increase it to 1,200 pesos per day. By the way, Oliveros Place have air-condition room with TV but they don't have hot water for the shower.

Everyday, we go out in the street and just walk our way from the hotel to Kalibo plaza where the Ati-Atihan groups are dancing on the streets. Because the festival consist of tribal dance with a rhythmic drumbeats and they are wearing indigenous costume and weapons and they parade along the streets. To walk is the better decision then trying to ride a Pedi cab while the Festival. Most of the time you will be faster and can buy some fresh fruits at the Public Market while passing there. There are lots of things to enjoy in Kalibo. Not only while the Ati-Atihan Festival. Aside from taking pictures, we still can join the 'sadsad' (dancing on the street) of the groups.

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