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Ati-Atihan Festival 2018 pays tribute to Mindanao

KALIBO, AKLAN, Philippines — The 2018 Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival version pays tribute to Mindanao and its people, its organizers said on Friday.

Albert Menez, chairman of the Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Foundation Incorporated (KASAFI), in a press conference, said that colorful flags similar to the colors of Mindanao are installed in the major thoroughfares in Kalibo, capital of Aklan province.

The Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival 2018 will start on Monday (January 15) and will culminate on January 21.

"Already, I have been receiving comments from those who saw the flags that they felt they were in Mindanao. Mindanao is part of the Philippines and we are paying tribute to them," Menez said.

Meanwhile, Menez said hotels and airplanes coming to and from Kalibo are already booked in time for the Ati-Atihan revelry.

The Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival is considered as the “Mother of Philippine Festivals.” According to the event’s Facebook page, Ati-Atihan is a feast held every January in honor of the Santo Niño, concluded on the third Sunday.

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The name Ati-Atihan means “to be like Atis” or “make believe Atis.” The Aetas or Ati were the primary settlers of the islands and also the earliest settlers of Panay Island, where Aklan province is located.

The festival consists of tribal dance, music, accompanied by indigenous costumes and weapons, and parade along the streets. — PNA

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