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All roads lead to Kalibo for Ati-Atihan

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By Tara Yap

Iloilo City — This weekend, revelers and devotees alike will flock to Kalibo town, Aklan province for the highlight of the 2018 Ati-Atihan Festival.

This file photo shows participants depicting native Aetas parade around Kalibo town, Aklan province for the 2017 Ati-Atihan Festival  (Ginevive P. Miranda / MANILA BULLETIN)

This file photo shows participants, depicting native Aetas, parading around Kalibo town, Aklan province for the 2017 Ati-Atihan Festival (Ginevive P. Miranda / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Kalibo Santo Niño Ati-Atihan Foundation Inc. is all set for the January 20-21 sadsad (dance procession) wherein locals mimick the dance of native Atis (Aetas) as they snake their way around the major streets of Kalibo to honor the Santo Niño (Holy Child Jesus).

But it is also a competition for tribes who dress in colorful and war-like costumes in what is dubbed as the country’s “Mother of All Festivals.”

On the other hand, security and safety forces are all in place as hordes of domestic and foreign tourists are coming to Kalibo.

Supt. Gilbert Gorero, spokesman of Police Regional Office (PRO-6), said that 1,418 police personnel have been deployed for the Ati-Atihan.

The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) also deployed 200 soldiers who are posted in key areas of neighboring towns.

Aside from tight inspections, authorities are also using camera drones to monitor the situation on the ground.

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