I can still hear the drums beating relentlessly. Two days of joining the Ati Atihan festival, the sound and the feeling is still fresh from my mind. All around the Pastrana Park and Magsaysay park, sea of drum and lyres with endless Sadsad goers roam the streets making it the prominent tone you will hear. bum! brrum! brrrumble!!!! 

Ati Atihan 2018 Kalibo, Aklan
Ati Atihan 2018
Kalibo, Aklan

Be Part of the Street Dancing, Hala Bira!

The Road going to Ati Atihan

It wasn't planned. That's for sure on my part. A week before the Festival, my friend pressured me to join, and succeeded. My original plan was to join Sinulog this year, but due to my impulsive behaviour, I booked a wrong flight date yikes #PERSKO. SO going back, the route was alight Roxas City, eat and run at Baybay Beach, ride bus going to Kalibo. Meet up with our friends there, go out, party and walwal. That's exactly what happened, Walwal Paradise is equivalent to Ati Atihan. 

First Stop: Roxas City, Capiz
Almax Seafood Restaurant Roxas City
Almax Seafood Restaurant
Baybay Beach

50 pesos per plate Buttered Oysters! Kalami oi!
Standing Only going to Kalibo
since it was already past 10PM
No more bus at the terminal.
Kalibo Ati Atihan
Arrived at #VibrantKalibo

Pastrana Park, Kalibo
Party Mode: ON
Pastrana Park
Each of the festivals in our country has their own unique persona. While you would see street dancing competition from most of the festivals, in Ati Atihan, you are part of the street dancing parade. The term for that is Sadsad. I was quiet hesitant to break in the crowd but when people are doing it, I had to YOLO my way in! Exhilarating! 

Fire Breather
Quirkiest ensemble of street parade joiners

A friend of mine is a local there, Gee (@theroamingrebel) and was the most gracious host ever! She told us the roots of Ati Atihan and why the Mother of All Festivals is her most favourite one. According to her, this almost 800 years old tradition was celebrated before the colonisation of the Spaniards. Through the years, it evolved into a catholic activity where Sto. Niño is infused in the celebration. 

Ati Atihan Street Dancing 2018
Street Dancing consist of the Young, the Old and anyone in betwen

Ati Atihan Street Dancing 2018 Kalibo

One of my favorite captures during the Festival

Another Favorite

This takes the winning photo and summarises the Ati Atihan Festival
Ear-numbing beat!

Unlike any street dancing parades I have witnessed, the Ati Fest has no definite route! They are roaming rebels, marching anywhere in Magsaysay and Pastrana Park! They would literally bump with each other and then Paeaengan will commence! 

Paeaengan: 2 or more groups test their endurance and ability to stay focused on their own beat despite the equally thunderous sound of the other bands' instruments. The band that stops become "paeong" or silenced/knocked off. I have witnessed this! and It was intense. 

Here is an example of Two bands faced off in Magsaysay Park:

My photos and captures will not give justice of what have happened in Kalibo. I have a bunch of videos uploaded on Youtube where you can see the crazy atmosphere during the Ati Atihan Festival. Link here: Ati Atihan Festival, Kalibo Aklan Videos

Fire Breather

Amidst the frenzy, we still managed to make some friends. These friends are actually "Idol" bloggers! Ms. Gay of pinaytraveljunkie.com, Birthday Boy Edgar of eazytraveler.net and of course the Bubbly Potpot of traveltrilogy.com. (Sorry I cannot post the party photos here, it's too wild and self incriminating lol)

Ayaw Maki Sadsad Crew lol

Here are some tid-bits of news on the recently concluded Ati Atihan Festival:

2018 SangKalibong Tamboe Contest Winners

Aklanon Troopers of Poblacion, Banga, Aklan took home the grand prize, besting 17 other groups for P100,000, while Bunggos 0501 of Sta. Cruz in Lezo came in second with P70,000. 

Akatsi of C. Quimpo Street, Poblacion in Kalibo also received P50,000 for third place. source: https://aklanforum.blogspot.com/2018/01/aklanon-troopers-lead-sangkalibong.html 

Every year, during the 3rd week of January, Ati Atihan is celebrated. This Facebook page will keep you posted will the latest happenings to Kalibo as a whole: VibrantKaliboAklan

After your escapade in Kalibo, better head off to Boracay and then your ready to cap off the Ati Atihan Experience! Blogging it soon! 

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