Connect with us


Kalibo Ati-atihan is not the Mother of All Philippine Festivals



An intellectual discussion on Kalibo Ati-atihan , the so-called ‘Mother of Philippine Festivals’ and Aklan being touted as’ the Oldest Province in the Philippines between Dr Romeo Lorenzo and Rev. Fr. Jude Rebaldo held last January 27, 2023 at Radyo Todo Kalibo with Katodong  Jujet Reyes as anchorman. Dr. Romeo Lorenzo is a history, sociology, anthropology, psychology professor, researcher, author and British scholar.

Rev. Fr. Jude Rebaldo, on the other hand, is a Kalibo parish priest, lawyer, sociology professor, author and researcher.

In the discussion, it was agreed that Kalibo Ati-atihan is not the mother of Philippine Festivals because first, it is historically erroneous. As early as 1580 there were already grand and colorful festivals in the country like flores de mayo, santacruzan, fireworks display, sinakulo, and moro moro introduced by the Franciscan  missionaries.

According to history, when Ferdinand Magellan converted Rajah Humabon of Cebu, his family and men into Christianity on April 14, 1521, a great festivity followed especially during the celebration of the Sto. Nino. Aside from that, before the coming of the Spaniards  in our country, Muslims and natives in Mindanao  already celebrated their respective town festivals like Ramadan, Manobo Festival and  Bagobo Festival among others as well as Negritos Festival (in Luzon) and many other cultural minorities.

Second, the story of the Ten Bornean datu and Datu Puti who bartered aeta leader, Datu Marikudo  with a golden Sadok and his wife, Maniwantiwan with a long necklace was already considered a legend or myth due to lack of historical evidence. Dr. William Henry Scott, a famous historian considered both as a hoax or fraud, fabrication, or misleading information.

Dr. Romeo Lorenzo considered the story of the ten Bornean datu and Datu Marikudo as ‘kuwentong barbero’, just like the epic story of Maria Makiling in Luzon, Ibong Adarna and many others. The local government of Kalibo and Aklan Provincial Government linked the Ati-atihan Festival to this barter of Panay account and claimed it to be the oldest festival in the Philippines and the mother of Philippine Festivals.

Dr. Romeo Lorenzo criticized this for lack of historical, physical evidence. Interestingly, Ibajay town also claimed to be the original source of Ati-atihan Festival older than that of Kalibo, which shows that the claim of Kalibo of having the ati-atihan as the mother of all Philippine festivals is put in jeopardy.

Third, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo statement in one Ati-atihan festival in Kalibo she attended a few years ago, was just her personal opinion and not an official presidential proclamation. According to Fr. Jude, it has no legal basis.

Fourth, the Kalibo Ati-atihan as mother of all Philippine festivals has no official recognition from the National Historical Commission or any presidential proclamation.

Kiwanis Kalibo Ati-Atihan

Fifth, Kalibo Ati-atihan is not the oldest festival in the country  because Aklan as a province separated from Capiz only in 1956 by virtue of Republic Act 1414. Before that, Aklan was not yet a province but just one of the districts of Capiz. So, if that would be the case, the oldest province is Capiz and not Aklan, said Dr. Lorenzo.

Historically speaking, the first place to celebrate the Santo Nino is in Cebu because it is where the first Spanish settlement  in the Philippines started in  1521 by Ferdinand Magellan. Calle Colon  is the oldest street in the country, followed by Calle Revolucion in
Panay Capiz where Miguel Lopez de Legazpi settled in 1570. Historians considered Capiz as the second settlement area of the Spaniards in the Philippines.

Because of this, Rev. Fr Jude Rebaldo, a lawyer urged the LGU of Kalibo and Aklan Provincial Governemnt to review and study again the history of Aklan and the Ati-atihan Festival for the sake of the later generation and at the same time  in order to avoid historical inaccuracy, intellectual dishonesty, and the said festival be labeled as the mother of all hoax.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Queen Emerald Travel Services
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *