BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL, Aklan Forum Journal
For the 7th straight year, the Black Beauty Boys from Linabuan Norte in Kalibo “outclassed, outperformed” other tribal big groups to take home the P180,000 grand prize in Sadsad Ati-Atihan contest.
This year, 30 Ati-Atihan tribes and groups and 11 individual participants competed for the titles in five tribal and individual categories and the P963,000 cash prizes.
Albert Menez, who chairs the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi), said the tribes, spectators and devotees braved the rain during the judging day on January 14, the Bisperas it Kapistahan ni Senor Sto. Nino de Kalibo.
The buling-painted Black Beauty Boys bannered by 80 street dancers in vibrant coloured-costumes got the nod from the judges in eight judging areas. Tribe leader Lucas Francisco said, “the strong devotion and sadsad panaad of Black Beauty Boys to Senor Sto. Nino, despite the rain, has steered them to victory.”
Vikings from Dumga, Makato, for the first time also in Ati-Atihan history, came in second place in tribal big. The consolation winner in 2015 street dancing contest received this year P100,000.
Kabog from Estancia, Kalibo, who settled for second place last year, grabbed 3rd place this year for P60,000.
Consolation prizes went to Maharlika of Dumga, Makato; Pangawasan of Cayangwan, Makato and Tribu Tiis-Tiis of New Buswang, Kalibo The tribes took home P20,000 each.
Other tribal big groups were D’ Kamanggahan of Poblacion, Makato and Tribu Timawa from Andagao, Kalibo. They received P15,000 each.
On the other hand, Tribu Alibangbang, also from Linabuan Norte, Kalibo was declared the champion in tribal small category. The tribe received P80,000 for the feat. Tribu Alibangbang was in third place last year and the second placer in 2015 street dancing contest.
Dethroned 2016 tribal small champion Tribu Bukid Tigayon settled for second place for P50,000.
Tribu Responde from New Buswang, Kalibo won third place for P40,000. Other tribal small tribes were Tribu Ninolitos from Tigayon, Kalibo; Lezo Tribe from Ibao, Lezo and Tribu Tikbalang from Manhanip, Malinao, all received P10,000 each.
Meanwhile, Royal Scorpio from Poblacion, Kalibo defeated eight other groups for P70,000 in modern group category. Aeang-Aeang from Laguinbanua West, Numancia also grabbed the P30,000 prize for second place.
Pirates 1962 was declared third placer for P20,000.
Two consolation winners received P10,000, namely, Pagmukeat of Tinigaw, Kalibo and D’ Emagine of Poblacion, Kalibo while the remaining modern groups – Road Side from Linabuan Sur, Banga; Lagalag 27 Original from Poblacion, Kalibo; Gala Drumbeat from Poblacion, Makato and Bae-ot Bae-ot of Bulwang, Numancia took home P5,000 each.
In Balik Ati category, defending champion Tribu Ilayanhon mga Inapo ni General Candido Iban claimed its title in four consecutive years, beating six other tribal groups this year.
Still, an Ilayanhon from Liloan, Malinao riding in a mounted horsey cart was a certified crowd drawer for tourists and balikbayans.
The second place went to Apo ni Inday from Calangcang, Makato for P30,000 while Malipayong Ati from San Roque, Malinao grabbed third place for P20,000.
Three consolation winners were Kinantuing from San Roque, Malinao, Maninikop from Caano, Kalibo and Sinikway nga Ati from Calangcang, Makato. They took home P10,000 each. Anono-o Group from Briones, Kalibo also received P5.000.
Moreover, Enigmatic Verushka, La Negra Picca and Balik Ati were the winners in the individual original Ati category. Winners in modern tribal category were Mangwayen, Pantastika and Immortal. All individual winners received P3,000 each.
This writer, chairperson for tribe / group / individual participation, said the Ati-Atihan tribes also joined the Pilgrims Mass and religious procession on Sunday before the Pagpadungog of winners at Kalibo Magsaysay Park.