Author's Name: Maria Imelda Pastrana Nabor
Subject Area: Social Science and Humanities
Subject Other
Section Research Paper


Heritage, Festival, Ati-atihan, Ati?s, Sto. Nino


The province of Aklan in the Philippines, (is packed with interesting places, from scenic beaches, captivating waterfalls, and vast caves), one of the top tourist destination of the Philippines. Boracay island is voted as the best beaches in the world. Aklan comprises 17 municipalities, one of which is known as “Kalibo”. The month of January is devoted to the various festivals honoring the image of Santo Nino. The most popular celebration is the Kalibo Santo Nino Ati-atihan Festival that is replicated throughout the country since 13th century. This cultural festival has become a social movement – an expressive behavior pattern where people collectively adapt to change and individuals find emotional release and an expression of their beliefs. It is a movement where people from all walks of life join and unite in traditional ways of celebrating. It is the blending of religious festivities of yesteryears with the present generation?s lifestyle and the manifestation of this in the individual as his way of life, his attitudes and his practices (such as the way he dresses entertains guests or shows friendship and hospitality) developed from childhood to adulthood. The Ati-atihan is a gladsome confluence of hope and faith, philosophy, religion, enjoyment, prayer and merry-making, charity and generosity, thanksgiving and ritual, atonement and adventure, history and legend, hope and well-wishing, concord and creativity-all happily blended, in the merry sound of beating drums. The festival will continue to stay among the Aklanons as a most valued tradition, a unique legacy that will be handed on and treasured from generation to generation. During the 12th to 13th century, the Ati?s trusted the Malays for governance. The Malays, in return, valued their spirit of paternalism, friendship, camaraderie and brotherhood. This is the very reason why their cultural heritage survived for many centuries and has been reknowned worldwide.

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