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Ati-atihan Product Showcase Opens Today

Today, organizers of the Ati-Atihan Festival opens the week-long festivity with the Ati-Atihan Product Showcase. It will feature the province’s unique products.

Aklan Provincial Director Diosdado Cadena Jr. of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says that the activity is part of the 898th celebration of religious Ati-Atihan Festival.

The product showcase is facilitated by the Hugod Aklanon Producers Association Inc., Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board and the local government of Kalibo.

37 Aklanon owners of micro, small medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be able to promote their products like indigenous abaca, piña cloth, house wares, furniture, raffia cloths and souvenir items in stalls at the Kalibo Pastrana Park.

The main goal of DTI is to help local entrepreneurs market their products and be competitive.

The DTI will also initiate One Town, One Product booths in the same area to showcase the unique products of the 17 different municipalities in Aklan.

Atiatihan 2010 Schedule

Here's this year's Ati-Atihan shcedule...

798th Kalibo ati-atihan festival
Calendar of Activities

-1st week to 3rd Sunday of January 2010, Principal Streets of Kalibo
-The true spirit of Ati-atihan. An act of piety to ensure miracle for barren women to bear children, heal the body from maladies beyond medical remedy, prosperity in business or simply for fun and excitement.

-January 8-16, 2010, Kalibo Cathedral
-A traditional religious activity in reverence to the Sto. Niño where believers pledge vows in exchange of blessings and supplications and is gaining worldwide recognition and acceptance for its miracle of healing.

-January 11-17, 2010, Magsaysay Park
-Experience an unforgettable and endless dancing and partying with the rumbling and energetic music of live bands starting in the early evening till the wee hours of the morning. Join the crowd in the almost never-ending excitement- of “snake-dancing” and enjoy the appetizing food and drinks served at kiosks in and around the park.

-January 11-17, 2010, 9:00a.m.-12mn, Pastrana Park
-The perfect place to re-energize yourselves. The Food Festival at the town plaza presents fast foods and different culinary specialties from Aklanon, Filipino to international culinary cuisines.

-January 11-17, 2010, Museo it Akean
-Awe-inspiring paintings and sculptures created by members of the Aklan Visual Arts Association adding vibrance to the various museum pieces for your eyes to feast on.

-January 13, 2010, 2:00 p.m., Principal Streets of Kalibo
-All out Ati-Atihan street dancing for students from public and private high schools and colleges in Aklan.

-January 13, 2010, 8:00 A.M., Principal Streets of Kalibo
-A parade of teachers and faculty from all public schools and colleges in the province of Aklan in their colorful costumes.

-January 11-18, 2010, 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Pastrana Park
-Showcases beautiful ornamental plants and quality Aklanon products made from piña,abaca,raffia,nito and clay materials handcrafted by local artisans.

-January 13, 2010, 2:00 p.m., Principal Streets of Kalibo
-A colorful parade of the festival winners and Sto. Niño devotees from the 17 towns of Aklan highlighted by the giant images of cultural and historical significance.

-January 13-17, 2010, Kalibo Cathedral
-A unique age-old faith healing rite of the miraculous Sto. Niño of Kalibo that attracts devotees worldwide for curing diseases.

-January 14, 2010, Magsaysay Park
-The legendary reenactment of the arrival of ten (10) Datus and the Purchase of Panay from the Aetas by the Malays. Witness the origin of the Mother of all festivals unfold before your eyes and its evolution into the present day praisefest.

-January 15-17 2010, Major Streets of Kalibo
-Experience 3 days and nights of jubilating revelry with soot-smeared Akeanons, local and foreign tourists dancing in wild abandon to the deafening sound of numerous drums, cymbals and lyres shouting, “Hala Bira Puera Pasma! Viva kay Señor Sto. Niño. Viva!’

-January 16, 2010, 7:00 a.m., Major Streets of Kalibo
-Tribal and modern groups, Balik-Ati tribes and individually costumed participants dance on the streets to the beat of the drums and lyre in their vibrant and colorful costumes.

-January 16, 2010, 11:00 a.m., Kalibo Cathedral
-Children of different ages gather for the traditional blessing to honor the Holy Child officiated by the Bishop of Kalibo.

-January 16, 2010, 4:00 a.m., Kalibo Cathedral
-Pray the dawn rosary with devotees and pilgrims. A moment of deep silence before the festival music rises into a crescendo.

January 16, 2010, 11:00 p.m., Magsaysay Park
A spectacular display of colorful fireworks in the eve of the Ati-atihan’s big day. See the most dazzling show of thousands of vibrant lights as they pierce the night sky.

-January 17, 2010, 6:30 a.m., Kalibo Cathedral to Pastrana Park
-The traditional transfer of the venerated miraculous image of Sto. Niño of Kalibo from the Kalibo Cathedral to Pastrana Park for the field mass celebration. Witness the applause of drums and lyre of Ati Tribes in reverence to the Sto. Niño.

-January 17, 2010, 7:00 a.m., Pastrana Park
-A concelebrated field mass offering devotees, guests and tourists flock insolidarity with Ati-atihan Tribes as they take part in the highest form of Catholic worship to God.

-January 17, 2010, 3:00 p.m., Principal Streets of Kalibo
-Join the Ati-atihan groups parading for hours together with their beautifully adorned Sto. Niño caros and devotees carrying Sto. Niño image and bamboo torches that create floods of lights beginning at the town plaza and ending at the Kalibo Cathedral.

-January 17, 2010, 7:00 p.m., Magsaysay Park
-The finale and last hurrah of the three- weeklong festival. After a day of street dancing and gastronomic feast in praise of the Sto. Niño, winners of the Ati-atihan Contest give their last energy as they receive their awards

Sunset in Malinao

Doing nothing for several days except skateboarding, I had my usual itch to photograph something. So I managed to stumble on a little town that I used to frequently visit with my motorcycle; Malinao, Aklan. The weather was a bit gloomy and my shots of the town was not so good. But old memories of the town started to flood in. It was truly a wonderful feeling strolling around the town plaza in the afternoon sun and almost everyone you meet greets you even though you are a complete stranger. And after getting lost to some unfamiliar back roads with rice fields all over, nature rewarded me with a wonderful sunset.

To know more about Malinao, Aklan visit http://www.malinao-aklan.gov.ph.

Journey Down Under

After several monotonous days at work or in school, human beings deserve to have a breather. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, away from smog that pollutes every bronchiole in our vulnerable lungs. And if you have an itch for fresh air, a journey down under just like ours may just be the cure for you.

The first stop of our journey down under is the island of Nogas, which is located along the coastline of Anini-y. Legend has it that Nogas and Anini-ni were lovers, separated for eternity. And to vanquish their flaming love, Nogas was made into an island that only manages to look at Anini-ni who was transformed into the mountain range that we see in Anini-y today.

Nogas Island from the mainland

although the island's beach looked really white from the mainland, debris of leaves scatter along the beach

the path to the lighthouse is lined with Calachuchi (Frangipani) trees

Nogas Island Lighthouse

relatively young mangroves

hermit crabs also abound the island, this one is searching for a new home

Next stop, Siraan Hot Springs. People say that the water flowing out of the rocks has enough sulfur that it can be lit to a flame.

view of Nogas from Siraan

Large slabs of rock in Siraan

another view of Nogas from Siraan

After some rest and a refreshing drink, we headed out to Anini-y's San Juan de Nepumuceno Church.

Anini-y Church / San Juan de Nepumuceno Church

inside the church

After photographing the church, we headed to Bry. Ingwan Batangan, Hamtic, Antique . We hiked up to Ingwan Batangan Falls. The trail was really slippery and we had local kids serving as guides. I hesitated on bringing my camera out of my bag since I was dealing with water, so I only managed to photograph the falls.

And just as I thought that the journey was over; I twisted my ankle on a rock on the way back to the van, causing me to fall down to the murky water and take an unplanned bath. I landed badly and adding insult to injury, I popped my left shoulder socket off. Good thing I had the compulsion of bringing my brother's waterproof bag that day, my gear could have been screwed. And on the way down, it was like de ja vu because I remembered I had a dream of the event happening but my gear was all wet because my bag was not water-proof. Lesson learned, always bring a water-proof bag.

Marveling at Marbuena

After the wrath of several typhoons, the sun is slowly showing up. And since it is the semestral break, teens are eager to leave the comforts of their home to see what the "outside" has to offer.

In this generation this can mean two things though; one: go to the island of Boracay and party till the wee hours of the morning or go out of town and party till the wee hours of the morning... hmmmmm.... right..

But there are some people who are the exemption to the standard rule. These people are rebels of their generation. They don't want to go to gimmicks, clubs and parties, all they want is the peace and quiet that only mother nature can offer.

There are many islands who can offer what these "anti-party" people want. And Marbuena is one of them...

view of Panay island and Marbuena's sand bar

people come here to observe the Lenten season

Mt. Pan de Azucar

parked boats

insects are abundant in the island


Panay Island

rocky beach

old tree

mangroves flourish in the island, sadly, parts of it is plagued by thrash

there are several species of birds that calls Marbuena their home, the most prominent are the night herons and the local sea hawks


bats hanging out

at dusk, bats start to fly around Marbuena to look for food

Mt. Kanlaon, Negros at dusk

night heron

sunset at Marbuena

Panay Island, dawn

Marbuena, sunrise

birds zero in to Marbuena as they come home after a night's feast from the neighboring islands and from the mainland

the last bird to comeback to Marbuena

a night heron spreads its wings

birds riding the thermals

local drug smugglers used to catch monkeys and stuff their stomachs with illegal drugs, thus the term "shamu" (shabu and amo- the local term for monkey)

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