When we went to the church to run an errand with Kaleidosflora, it was obvious that people had been going at it for days and days already. To call it a mere fiesta or festival is an injustice. I had never seen or experienced anything like Ati-atihan. It was a multi-day, drink-until-you-drop, non-stop street-dancing party with RELIGIOUS significance. The revelers would only pause to eat, literally.
|The Ati-atihan is a religious event held every January to honor the Santo Niño-- the Infant Jesus.|
|The cathedral of St. John the Baptist all lit up by colored spotlights. Hokey, but fun.|
|There were hundreds of devotees in the churchyard, though there was no mass and it was already past dinnertime.|
And right across the church, it was pandemonium at the plaza.
|The municipality of Kalibo, Aklan province's sleepy little capital-- NOT!|
Why is popcorn so popular during town fiestas?
|Already cooked and packed for maximum speed and efficiency.|
|Who knew that popcorn could be so dramatic?|
Beside the popcorn cart, this little boy sold two kinds of roasted peanuts from plastic buckets.
|One of those serendipitous shots. The light on his face made this a really interesting picture.|
Father and son check out the toys in this vendor's colorful display.
|What is it about neon lights that immediately signals "par-tay"?|
After walking around the plaza for an hour, we went back to the churchyard, where Kaleidosflora had just finished arranging the flowers for this tiny float. There was a procession of Infant Jesus statues scheduled at 4AM-- to be attended by the same people who had been drinking and dancing the night before. Amazing, right?
|Simple, but pretty. The lilies gave off a wonderful perfume.|
Our highly-energized first evening... and we hadn't even seen the dancers yet.