It was one of the most anticipated event in the Philippines. The Ati-Atihan festival is celebrated from January 8 to 17, 2016 in honor of Senor Sto. Nino de Kalibo. My most awaited moment to enjoy it with friends. Super fun but motion sickness would drive me out of my mind. I could feel every bumps of the road and my stomach wanted to burst. Luckily, I have survived the long hour travel from Miagao to Kalibo. Indeed, it was an achievement for me not to vomit. I usually do that whenever I have my land trips around Mindanao. One thing that motivates me to decide that I would join is that my will to capture right before my eyes the so called “Mother of all Festivals” here in our country. So much for that, I am thankful to my dear friend, Lindsay who sponsored our stay in Kalibo. Thank you for the chance to witness the beautiful street dancing parade and to experience the “sad-sad” for the very first time. This feast is worth it.
First stop was attending a one heck of a blast night out party with people who wore white. I wore a checkered polo but seriously, I didn’t care about it. What matters the most was that I had a great time partying with my super awesome friends- Nikki, Kat, Lindsay, Toni, Dean, Erschad, Kent, Paul, Inteshar, Dave, and Shaira, . Super cool RAVE II at Ati-atihan Badminton Court Acebedo Farm, New Buswang Kalibo, Aklan. I almost lost my energy dancing all throughout the party. Well spent 250php. HAHAHA. But the party left me a question, why did it feel like I was just doing Zumba at all? HAHAHA Lower pa more.
On the next day, morning of January 16, 2016, all of us were preparing for the spectacular event why we came for- “Street dances of Ati”Truly, it amazes me to have a closer encounter with the participants, I too did dance with them. Together with Erschad, Dean and Inteshar, we have decided to take pictures outside though we haven’t eaten our breakfast yet or taken a bath at all. haha! But it was worth it. We headed back to Lola Lilian’s Residence then the rest of us were getting ready for sad-sad around Kalibo,Aklan! Hashtag:Excited much!
Looking back, I never thought I was doing all of that. Never knowing what to expect but to hug freedom and cherish time with good friends. I love the walk, the talk and the bond within us will which makes life so interesting.
Around noon, we’ve started to go walking around and ride a tricycle going to plaza Pastrana Park. We took a little way along the busy streets of Kalibo seeing various supplies and things to buy. The people were very busy selling their goods and sales. Its such a good time for business since it’s the season for rejoicing while celebrating the fiesta with its grandeur. So much for that, we headed to Gaisano and decided to roam around and buy something. I was really overwhelmed by Dave when he gave me a cute headband. We bought the same shirt design too yey! 🙂
Too soon enough, we got soooo hungry and certainly made our way out to the streets heading to plaza Pastrana. As expected, a lot of people came to watch the festival and colorful costumes by the ati’s. Along with the beating drums, melodic lyres and widest smiles of the dancing troops, we belong to the crowd who were fascinated by its festive atmosphere despite the heat of the sun. It was an amazing moment for me to witness such celebration. And I know I am not alone.
Kind of real good timing to have some henna in our sun-kissed skin and so, Inteshar, Kent, and Shaira got their artistic tattoos. On the other hand, the rest of us got our face paints and head dresses. Almost 100% ready for the sad-sad photoshoots! As we released our energy for the coming of ati tribes, we ran out at the center road to join them dancing and make selfies to any costumed earthling we bumped into.
Realtalk: I was hungry that time yet I was overjoyed by the festivity of this town. Our group headed to Jollibee and as expected, it was a hell of a crowd. Kinda suffocating but still thankful to Dave who reserved seats and tables for us.
After being fueled up by chicken joy and spaghetti, my tank’s ready for another sad-sad. We met at the other side of the road where we stayed for a while to watch the crowd’s parade. We’ve seen, a lot of Family clan members, petron, fisheries, and organizations ramping all the way to plaza. The mob became so aggressive to catch some candies from above a building. It created traffic and it somehow annoyed me. Hahaha! But soon, the parade went smoothly.
It was a fiesta like no other. Maybe because I still haven’t tried to witness street dancing during festivals in our town. It’s my first time and I truly thank God for the chance.
We were planning to join the UP Akeanon and do we headed to mix and match. Along my walk, my slippers got broken because I almost slipped then I was on panic. LOL. But fortunately, I thank Dave for being my savior and for assuring my security to be not lost in the crowd.
Along our long way walk, we met super stars! Yeah! Super iron man, !, Super avengers and luckily, got picture with them. I got so excited but I do know that it was just fake abs. oh yeah. hahaha
And then there we go, to UP Akeanon meeting place. We met our Chem Instructor and I also met my close friends there, Emman and Divine. I can sense unity from the Akeanon pips.
By mid afternoon, we drove out by tricycle and we went back to Lola Lilian’s home. I got tired, I got exhausted and I got body pains already but, it was all worth the energy. Thank you God. I really admired Kalibo for patronizing Sr. Sto. Nino so passionately and the people there actively participated the superb event.
I was trying to sit back and relax for a while and suddenly my liveliness went up when I had put my eyes to the television. Its because I love Marc Logan’s TV Show. It’s all jokes and humor and trending videos. Wooh! So much for that, our dinner plan took us to Lindsay’s tito lolo Arturo at Magdalena Village where we were welcomed by delicious food and also, sing-along with videoke. It was fun and memorable J I smile every time I remember each moment of our trip. Clingy batchmates, indeed.
Around 10 pm, we headed to Magsaysay park through Lindsay’s dad who fetch us from Magdalena Village. As we stepped out of the car that night, we were welcomed by the flashing fireworks up in the sky creating wondrous sparks and thunder-like sounds. It lasted almost 15 minutes and I can still remember the joy I felt watching the blasting colors up in the blue.
We head back at the residence to rest for a while and planned for Paul’s pre-birthday celeb. Paul volunteered to treat us and enjoyed the rest of the night. I played card games with Kat, Kent, Dave, Shaira, Nikki, Erschad, and Lindsay. It was great and fun!
Before going to sleep, I talked with Dave about random things like this and that , with Nikki and Kat too! and decided to eat some wishing Oreos. A well-spent night of course.
The next morning, January 17, 2016, the day when we we’re about to leave. I woke up early because of Lola Lilian’s cooking, Hayyy,her morning breakfast really smelled so good. Thank you po. I took a shower and took a nap for a while. After that, Erschad, Kent, Dave and me played card games that same morning.
We packed up our things and went to Lindsay’s tito lolo Arturo once more to eat lunch. Their good family welcomed us and served us food on the table. It was a warm welcome indeed. We were on thinking about going to Caticlan but since classes will be resumed on Monday, we cancelled it right away and also, I only got 500php left on my pocket. lol. By the way, all of us wore Ati-Atihan shirts.
(At the terminal while waiting for an air conditioned bus) Last minute thoughts before leaving Aklan: “Dapat makasakay mi ug bus kay klase na ugma” “Get ready for hunger games” “Attack kung attack” “Reserve seats” “Shit bahala na mabangga ug giants” “No pain, no seat” No guts, No Pungko” Goshhh. As I pondered all of these on my mind many times, Nikki suddenly put on a scene about Dave being a blind man to get some special treatment for us to ride on easily. Woh! I then realized I was laughing too much. Since I was being forceful enough to held back the exhaustion, I felt quiet relaxed by the jokes. I so love you friends.I kept silent and waited for the moment when the bus arrived.I stayed strong for that one hell of a step up for me just to ride a bus. I was really scared that time. I told myself that I need to survive this kind of first come-first serve system here. It’s my first time diving in to a very critical position to be against the crowd. HAHAHA It was exciting actually. Thanks for the blind man who motivated me. HAHAHAHA But, so much for that, I am thankful that all of us got our seats in the bus. Unexpectedly, our bus stopped for almost an hour because we almost got hit when a car over taken our way. Police and authorities got there and filed sanctions about that car. #buswreck
WOWOOOWOOOOHHH!!!! At last, the bus started its engine and rolled its tires going to Iloilo. Finally, we could go home.
Along our trip to Iloilo, my mom scolded me about my activities. I cried. Oh yes. I did. I can’t even smile during our travel from Iloilo to Miagao. My conscience could not take that much. Of course, I know very well that my mom just cared for me. I thank Dave for comforting me that time. Hopefully, someday, they can trust me with my under takings in life. But no regrets, I enjoyed the trip so much! Whose with me? I know you do. Hahaha!
The two day trip was all worth the long hour ride. I’ll miss everything. Not only Aklan but the people I got to know more during my stay in Aklan. Inteshar, Kat, Lindsay, Shaira, Nikki, Dean, Kent, Paul, Dave, Toni and Erschad, I am so thankful that I met you and be part of one of my first time’s in life. I really cherished the time together I had with you and hopefully more trips to come. The bond we’ve shared was priceless and as an expression of my appreciation, I wanna say, Thank you for inviting me. As a “sad-sad” newbie, Ati-atihan surprised me. hahahaha! Exploring a lot of places while learning their culture is really a nice way to enjoy life at its fullest. More blessings to come everyone! 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤ Ati-atihan 2016 “Mother of all Festivals” Viva Sr. Sto. Nino!
photo by: (C) https://www.fest300.com/festivals/ati-atihan