Kalibo Ati-Atihan

January 3, 2009 — Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines

Check out the article posted below. My first thought after I read the feature was… who the heck is Queen Maniwang-tiwang???


To the Aklan Reporter especially to Chita de la Cruz – Heap, thank you so much for the wonderful feature. It means so much to us to be thought of by fellow Aklanons.

Oh yes, the ultimate question: why Ati-Atihan on my wedding day?

It was actually my brainchild, with of course a co-conspirator. A year ago, I told my good friend and events coordinator Rommel Constantino how I envision my wedding.

Filipiniana. Tribal. Elegant. Fun. Loud. Romantic.

Boiled down to our grandiose idea: a group of colorful Ati-Atihan tribe complete with the drums as part of my entourage. And I know our dear Kalibo Ati-Atihan celebation is also religious and cultural event by tradition.

You guys should have seen Celso’s reaction when I initially told him about the whole idea. He thought I was just joking. I guess they dont do it in Iloilo *wink* . Or am I just pure nuts?

Well, what can he do, hThe Kisse married a full-bown Akeanon.

I was so happy I trusted my guts. The Ati-Atihan dancing outside the church was the most personal celebration I can think of. Cameras were clicking and rolling. Kids and the elders, pinoys and Fil-Ams were all having fun. It was so Kalibo. So me.

And we took it a little further — a photoshoot at the town plaza with the Ati-Ati’s.

It was crazy. Tricycle drivers, vendors, street children, tambays and a whole lot more were watching. An assistant was holding my cathedral train. Three photographers and two videographers from Mayad Video Studios were barking orders as if there is a production going on. My make-up artist was following me for a touch-up.

The last time I was at Pastrana Park was during my CAT 1 days marching the march. HereTricycle I am now in a couture gown by Eric de los Santos (House of Laurel) and I just meekly followed my crew. I dont know whats going on. I looked at Jose Rizal’s statue for guidance.

My photographer, Chito Vecina of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, then bellowed at the top of his lungs:  “SAYAW!!!”

I lost it. The beat of the drum was enticing and the sound of the lyre was so refreshing. Childhood memories came back and I started dancing. I guided my husband to the rhythm and I am so surprised he caught on fast.



I am having fun. I am in love. I am carrying our second born.

By the way, Queen Maniwang-tiwang is the wife of the Ati King, Marikudo. They bartered Panay Island to Datu Puti for a Golden Salakot.

Ha Ha Ha! To think my minor subject in U.P. was History!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Thank you Kalibo for welcoming me again after 14 long years of absence.