Kalibo Sadsad Ati-Atihan returning in 2023 after pandemic pause

By Boy Ryan Zabal

KALIBO, Aklan – After two-year absence, expect a high-energy atmosphere as the biggest street dancing competition of Ati-Atihan tribes celebrates in style in Kalibo, Aklan.

Kalibo Sadsad Ati-Atihan is one of the best-known events in the festival, drawing in significant crowd of locals and foreigners every single year.

Hundreds of Ati-Atihan ‘warriors’ will once again showcase their boisterous celebration after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organizers to cancel the signature Ati-Atihan event.

It starts in the morning of January 14 – Bisperas it Kapiestahan ni Senor Sto. Nino, 7:30 a.m. Saturday – with the music-blaring of lively drummers, spontaneous street dancing and blessing of tribes and pilgrims in honour of Señor Sto. Niño.

Competing Ati-Atihan tribes and groups, wearing their intricate, glittering colorful costumes, will traverse nearly a mile of ‘Sadsad’ route from The Capitol all the way up to Kalibo Pastrana Park.

Festivities go on all afternoon around Kalibo Pastrana Park and the streets in festival zone with the traditional ‘Sadsad’ and loud beating of drums.

The Ati-Atihan contingents come from all around Kalibo and other neighbouring towns of Numancia, Makato, Banga, Lezo, Malinao and Ibajay.

After two year break in Ati-Atihan celebrations, Kabog of Estancia, Kalibo is ready to defend its crown against Tribu Bukid Tigayon and Tribu Ninolitos (Tigayon, Kalibo), Tribu Iwa-Iwa and Tribu Was-Was (Estancia,Kalibo), Tribu Responde (New Buswang, Kalibo), Tribu Tampogaling (Linabuan Norte, Kalibo) and D’Kamanggahan Tribe (Dumga, Makato) in Tribal Small Category.

Tribal Big champion Vikings of Dumga, Makato is also looking to the upcoming challenges of multi-titled Black Beauty Boys, Tribu Linabuanon and Tribu Alibangbang (Linabuan Norte, Kalibo), Maharlika Tribe (Dumga, Makato), Pangawasan Tribe (Cayangwan, Makato), Pride of Libtong (Estancia, Kalibo) and Tribu Tiis Tiis (New Buswang, Kalibo).

As the defending champion in Balik Ati category, Sinikway nga Ati of Calangcang, Makato is confident to win its second title against Tribu Anonoo (Briones, Kalibo), Tribu Maninikop (Caano, Kalibo), Tribu Naisud (Naisud, Ibajay), Malipayong Ati (San Roque, Malinao), Apo ni Inday (Calangcang, Makato) and Tribu Datu Puti of Rosario, Malinao.

The perennial champion Aeang Aeang of Laguinbanua West, Numancia is also back to cast the Ati-Atihan magic in Modern Tribal category against Atras Abante and La Promesa of Poblacion, Makato; Road Side of Linabuan Sur, Banga and BlueBirds Tribe of Poblacion, Numancia.

Other competing Modern Tribal contingents are Bunggos 0501 (Sta. Cruz, Lezo), Bae-ot Bae-ot (Pusiw, Numancia), D’Emagine and OHM Society (Poblacion, Kalibo), Mag-Ingkampod (Poblacion, Makato) and Vendetta (Badio, Numancia).

The Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival Board is offering cash prizes of P3.380-million to the winners of Kalibo Sadsad Ati-Atihan contest.

The grand winner in Tribal Big category will take home P1-million, while the second placer will receive P300,000 and the third placer will get P170,000. (Boy Ryan Zabal)

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