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SINULOG FESTIVAL is to Cebu City while the Ati-Atihan is a festival in honor of the Holy Infant Jesus in Kalibo, Aklan also celebrated in the third week of January. The dancing however is done on the rhythms of the drums that makes this festival comparable with carnival in Rio in Brazil.

A parade is participated by celebrants who paint their faces in many different ways and who are dressed in the most exceptional costumes.

The practise of painting the faces was long observed before the
Spaniards came. It symbolized the friendship between the light-skinned immigrants from the island of Borneo (Kalimantan) in Indonesia and the Atis, the local people of Panay. The Ati (negritos), a small and dark (black) kinky-haired people, sold them a small piece of land and allowed them to settle down in the lowlands. The Atis themselves, lived more upland in the mountains.

One time the Ati people was in need of food because of a bad harvest in their homelands. They came down to the lowlands of the Maraynon and asked them food. Every year since then, the Atis came down to the lowland inhabitants to ask for some food. They danced and sang in gratitude for the help.


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