[PHOTO AT LEFT - VIVA STO. NIŅO! President Arroyo and only daughter Luli mix with the crowd during the annual celebration of the Ati-Atihan festival in Kalibo, Aklan in honor of the Child Jesus.

PHNO, via the Internet, January 15, 2006, COURTESY OF  URL (The KALIBO ATI-ATIHAN MANAGEMENT BOARD - presents - Information Services and Bureaus Schedule of Events Reference Map of Kalibo, Aklan Security & Emergency Contacts)

ATI-ATIHAN Festival 2006 : "Add more colors and more activities, more fun"

"HALA BIRA" and "VIVA KAY SEŅOR SANTO NIŅO" awaits visitors, devotees and tourists to the Aklan Ati-Atihan Festival in January 2006.

The Ati-Atihan 2006 promises to be more colorful and festive as the municipality extends its invitation all whom we dedicate our efforts to promote peace and prosperity in the nation. Join us in celebration of a new year with the blessed "Sto. NIŅO" this January 1 to 16 with the two day non-stop main fiesta celebration on the 15th and 16th.

Undaunted in its efforts to preserve traditions and culture of the Ati-Atihan, the Kalibo Management Board extends the days of feasting into the late hours of midnight daily with the opening of the ATI-ATIHAN FOODFEST 2006 KAEAN-AN SA PLAZA to be celebrated at the Pastrana Park beginning January 9 thru 15 daily.

To compliment festivities with culture and trade, (as did the Atis with the Spaniards,) January 9 thru 15 promises to be bountiful with the opening of the ATI-ATIHAN PRODUCTS SHOWCASE, a collection crafts, produce, art and literary works on display and sale to all visitors local or foreign. A variety of floral, garden and agricultural products; Fibers and Crafts of sorts made from piņa, abaca, raffia, tree leaves, vines, wood, metals, and other indigenous materials available; an assortment of treats like confectionary products, sweets, preserves, processed meat, health drinks, and dried aquatic produce; a variety of wood and metal crafts of fine quality and value for money antiquities; a collection of artwork, paintings, literary works; and many more as traders, manufacturers, producers from all over the province converge to the call of the Ati-Atihan Celebration.

A gala of different groups, this year's celebration boasts with over a hundred Ati-Ati tribes, individuals and small groups, (not counting visiting ati-groups from nearby provinces and municipalities) the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board (KAMB), the Festival's organizing committee, has taken great efforts to make the "Kalibo Ati-Atihan 2006", a memorable experience for tourists, locals, devotees and passersby alike. The organizers welcomes you to witness the enhanced native ati costumes and additional events to the whole celebration.

Supporting KAMB's preparation efforts are local organizations like the Aklan Tourism Council, Aklan Ati-Atihan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCII) as well as the Provincial Government of Aklan.

Highlights of the 2006 Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Festival (Schedule of Events)

SPIRITUAL STREET DANCING - (Jan. 1-15, 2006) Venue: Principal Streets of the Ati-Atihan Town 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, properity in business or simply dance for fun and excitement.

NINE DAY NOVENA-(Jan. 7-15, 2006) Venue: Kalibo Cathedral

A traditional religious activity in reverence to the Sto. Niņo where believers pledge vows in exchange of blessings and supplications and is gaining worldwide recognition and acceptance for its miracle of healing.

HALA BIRA ATI-ATIHAN NIGHTS-(Jan. 9-15,2006) Venue: Magsaysay Park

Experience an unforgettable 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.

ATI-ATIHAN PRODUCTS SHOWCASE-(Jan.9-15,2006; 8:30 am-7:30 pm) Venue: Pastrana Park

Showcases beautiful ornamental plants and quality Aklanon products made from piņa, abaca, raffia, nito and clay materials handcrafted by local artisans.

FESTIVAL BAZAAR-(Jan.9-15, 2006; 9:00 am-12:00 mn) Venue: Veterans Avenue

Shop to your heart's desire day-to-night. Sells a wide array of products such as house wares, accessories, souvenir items and more.

KAEAN-AN SA PLAZA(Food Fest)- (Jan. 9-15, 2006; 9:00 am-12:00 mn) Venue: Pastrana Park

The perfect place to re-energize ourselves. The Food Festival at the town plaza presents fast foods of different culinary specialties from Aklanon, Filipino to international culinary cuisines.

VISUAL ART EXHIBIT-(Jan. 9-15, 2006) Venue: 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.

PAGDAYAW-(Jan. 10, 2006; 2:00 pm) Venue: Pastrana Park, Main Streets of Kalibo

A parade of students from the different schools in Aklan in their indigenous costumes together with the float of the beautiful Mutya it Kalibo Ati-Atihan.

HIGANTE PARADE & AKLAN FESTIVALS SHOWDOWN -(Jan. 11, 2006; 2:00 pm) Venue: Main Streets of Kalibo

A colorful parade of the festical winners and the Sto. Niņo devotees from the 17 towns of Aklan highlighted by the giant images of cultural and historical significance.

PAHILOT OR PAEAPAK-(Jan. 11-15, 2006) Venue: Kalibo Cathedral

A unique age-old faith-healing rite of the miraculous Sto. Niņo of Kalibo that attracts devotees worldwide for curing various diseases.

BARTER OF PANAY REENACTMENT-(Jan. 11, 2006; 9:00 pm) Venue: Magsaysay Park

The legendary reenactment of the arrival of ten 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.

MUTYA IT KALIBO ATI-ATIHAN CORONATION PAGEANT-(Jan. 12, 2006; 7:00 pm) Venue: Magsaysay Park

Coronation of the festival's most beautiful and talented maiden with cultural presentations to add color to the event.

BALIKBAYAN & "ATI PIŅA MODA" (A Fashion Show)-(Jan. 13, 2006; 7:00 pm) Venue: Magsaysay Park

The 2nd of the weeklong Ati-Atihan Nights, features Piņa Fashion Show and an on-the-spot Search for Balikbayan Muse.

3 DAYS FINAL HURRAH-(Jan. 13-15, 2006) Venue: Major Streets of Kalibo

Experiende 3 days and nights of jubilating revelry with millions of 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 Pasmal Viva kay Seņor Sto. Niņo . Viva!"

ATI-ATIHAN CONTEST-(Jan. 14, 2006; 7:00 am) Venue: Major Streets of Kalibo

Tribal and modern tribal 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.

BLESSING OF CHILDREN-(Jan. 14, 2006; 10:00 am) Venue: Kalibo Cathedral

Children of different ages gather for the traditional blessing to honor the Holy Child officiated by the Bishop of Kalibo.

DEVOTEES' DAWN ROSARY & PROCESSION-(Jan. 14, 2006; 4:30 am) Venue: Kalibo Cathedral

Pray the dawn rosary with devotees and pilgrims. A moment of deep silence before the festival music rises into a crescendo.

FIREWORKS DISPLAY-(Jan. 14, 2006; 11:00 pm) Venue: 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 nigh sky.

TRANSFER OF STO. NIŅO IMAGE-(Jan. 15, 2006; 6:00 am) Venue: Kalibo Cathedral to Pastrana Park

The traditional transfer of the venerated miraculous image of Sto. Niņo 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. Niņo.

PASAEAMAT-(Jan. 15, 2006; 7:00 am) Venue: Pastrana Park

A concelebrated field mass offering where devotees, guests and tourists flock in solidarity with Ati-Atihan Tribes as they take part in the highest form of Catholic worship to God.

TORCH PARADE & PROCESSION-(Jan. 15, 2006; late afternoon to early evening) Venue: Main Streets of Kalibo

Join the Ati-Atihan groups parading for hours together with their beautifully adorned Sto. Niņo caros devotees carrying Sto. Niņo images and bamboo torches that create floods of lights beginning at the town plaza and ending at the Kalibo Cathedral.

PAGPADUNGOG-(Jan. 15, 2006; 7:00 am) Venue: Magsaysay Park

The finale and last hurrah of the three-week festival. After a day of strret dancing and gastronomic feast in praise of the Sto. Niņo winners of the Ati-Atihan Contest give their last energy as they receive their awards. a toast of other attractions and highlights designed to satisfy the diverse interests of both local and foreign tourists that keep coming back to witness the rich cultural tradition, values and religiosity that powers the way of life of every Kalibonhons.

Note: For other inquiries, please contact the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board at this number (036) 262 1651

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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