The video is right at the bottom…
The first time that I’ve been to Ati-Atihan was more than 12 years ago. That time, I wasn’t exactly too keen on observing the beautiful parades, costumes, festivity highlights and so on. I went there from an invitation from my college buddy, Carlo Opay who was also my dormmate. Yes, I went for the fun and drinks and my memory about my first Ati-Atihan experience was in short… not sober. More than a decade past, armed with a bit of awareness, appreciation and adventure together with my travel-bugged girlfriend Leia, we decided to satisfy a tiny fraction of our wanderlusting curiosity for Ati-Atihan once and for all. Our first visit together to Kalibo, Aklan was 2011 of December.
It was more like a flying visit because I wanted for us to meet Carlo before we go straight ahead to Boracay the next day. That was also the first time I’ve met his pretty and wonderful wife, Lyza and their super cute son, Uno. I also got to introduce Leia to my old buddy. The last time me and Carlo we’re together, our partners were no other than beer bottles of saintly names. Ati-Atihan is celebrated on the month of January but that December we already smelled the aroma of Ati-Atihan, not to mention the hypnotic drumbeats that was truly inviting. More about our 2011 Kalibo visit here
Fast forward to 2015, after months of saving up to have a month travel vacation (2 weeks for Leia)… I contacted my good friend Carlo again that me and Leia we’ll be coming over for the Ati-Atihan Festival 2015. It would be our first time documenting the whole fiesta event on film together (my 1st time alone was Sinulog 2014). The best part, we were not filming on the sidelines but right in the smack of everyone in the middle of the street. That’s what makes Ati-Atihan sort of unique, when the tribes are competing for the best parade, dance, costumes, drumbeats, etc. People follow right behind and party along. Heck, not just a hundred people but in tens of thousands as the whole town people and tourists dances along with the tribes in a “smorgasbord” party larger than most rave event.
Though we’re not professional filmmakers but shooting and making videos is a whole new dimension in capturing wonderful and memorable moments in our adventures. I am so glad we get to take both photos and videos of Ati-Atihan. Thank you Lord!
More about Ati-Atihan, photos of eccentric but beautiful costumes, old guys crossdressing and Leia’s point-of-view here.
Here’s the video (May not be viewable on some mobile devices due to music issues despite the attribution, please view the video on a laptop or desktop… sorry for the inconvenience guys)
p.s. I would to thank Carlo and Lyza again for lending us a room in their place, for the awesome food and for the wonderful and surely unforgettable Ati-Atihan experience.