Growing up my parents would tell stories of their days in Kalibo, Aklan. Their stories especially from celebrating and feasting every January sounded so fun. I’d look through old pictures of them in their town of the Philippines and was mesmerized by the different colored flags hanging from the street posts, main roads filled with bright, vibrant costumes worn by different groups, and the looks of pure joy from the people in every age.
January in Kalibo marks the month of the famous Ati-Atihan festival. Famous, as in, other provinces have created their own but Kalibo is the OG! It is a feast to honor the Santo Niño (baby Jesus). The festival is practically month long but its main night is on its last night, the third Sunday of January.
My little brother has been out for almost a week straight while I got my fix during its last three days. On the final night, my auntie took us out and we paraded the streets of the plaza for hours. We’d stop and watch the different groups walk down the roads with their matching shirts or costumes (some much more flamboyant than others), and the Sto. Niño being carried or driven down the street. The constant sound of drums from each different group was infectious for dancing. Once the fireworks went off to close the night, the drums and the fireworks’ “boom” were so loud it’s like they were competing with each other!
I tried to document it as if you guys were right next to me; I hope I did justice! Enjoy!