BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL
Ati-Atihan tribes of Kalibo, Aklan will be joining the Manggahan Festival 2017 in Guimaras Island this coming May. The ‘Mother of All Philippine Festivals’ will showcase the unique street dancing and colorful costumes of tribes in the Western Visayas Invitational Cultural Presentation on May 21.
Albert Menez, chairman of Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi), said seven-time tribal big champion Black Beauty Boys of Linabuan Norte, Kalibo and modern group champion Royal Scorpio of Poblacion, Kalibo are tapped to represent the famous Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-Atihan festival. Also joining the Kalibo contingent is Ati-Atihan tribal big first runner-up Vikings of Makato.
At least 80 Ati-Atihan revelers and drummers clad in costumes and covered with black soot will take part in the celebration featuring other festivals in the region, Menez added.
The festival cultural presentation is one of the highlights leading to the celebration of 25th provincehood anniversary of Guimaras province on May 22. Adding color to the two-weeklong celebration is the Manggahan sa Kabanwahanan, which is also celebrated in the town of San Lorenzo (April 8-9), Jordan (April 16-17), Nueva Valencia (April 23-24), Buenavista (April 27-30) and Sibunag (May 6-7).
Other activities are Imbukada:Opening Salvo (May 11), Tunong Manggahan (May 11), First Moturtle Race (May 12), 3rd Governor Gumarin’s Shoot Fest (May 12-13), Truck Fest and 4×4 Offroad Challenge (May 13), CineMangga Film Festival (May 13), Bike Fest:Tour de Guimaras (May 14), CineMangga Sa Plaza (May 14-16), Search for Mutya ng Guimaras (May 19), 6th Mango Man Triathlon and Mango Run (May 20).
Guimaras acquired its provincial status on May 22, 1992 after 26 years as sub-province of Iloilo. Guimaras is also known as the Mango Capital of the Philippines.