Monday, February 08, 2016


by Ernesto T. Solidum

    Seemingly endless experience of colorfully and clad dancers and merrymakers   snaked their way through the streets of Kalibo in the biggest “Sinaot sa Kalye” and Higante contest. Nimble and agile participants dressed in varied costumes design swayed, pranced, chanted and skipped to blasting musical scores reminiscent of mardi gras parade in Rio de Janeiro. Panoramic view is really a sight to behold.
     All DepEd Districts of Aklan have their own choreography, costume design, and props making it hotly contested. Costumes ranged from native materials of woven coconut leaves and baskets to flamboyant blouses and scarves. Smile etched on the faces of dancers conveyed warmth, vibrancy and passion to the Sto. Niño.
    Intricate ornaments of fancy silver and gold flashed under the early morning sun as performers gyrated and twisted in perfect rhythm while giant figures of legend watched in tacit approval. Not only dancing and merry making occured in the streets. It was also happening in the gaily decorated floats.
    A notable observation though is too few people and cheerers. Plausible reasons: January 14 is eve of Sto. Niño fiesta in neighboring Makato where similar fun and excitement are taking place. Other places celebrating ati-atihan are Boracay, Malay; Naile, Ibajay, Malinao, Batan, Altavas and Ibajay.
    Furthermore, relocating transport terminal from Oyo Torong to Bulwang, Numancia makes going to Kalibo expensive and inconvenient since commuters are forced to board tricyles in order to reach Poblacion,  Kalibo. The authorities appear to be helpless in solving the traffic gridlock. Despite completion of the expanded 4-lane Kalibo-Numancia bridge three months ago, the bridge is not yet operational.
    The winners in the Sinaot event are classified into two. Magueang nga Ati: Orig nga Ati Category, the winners are: Champion – Banga, 1st runner up – Malinao, 2nd runner up – Numancia, 3rd runner up – Buruanga, 4th runner up – Ibajay West. The Best in Mass Presentation Category: 1st place – Numancia, 2nd place Banga, 3rd place – Ibajay East; The Best in Street Choreography 1st place – Buruanga, 2nd place – Banga, 3rd place – Malinao. The Loudest Group 1st place – Batan, 2nd place – Buruanga, 3rd place – Lezo; The Most Jolly Group 1st place – Buruanga, 2nd place – Banga, 3rd place – Malinao; The Best in Costumes and Props: 1st place – Batan, 2nd place – Numancia, 3rd place – Malinao.
     Results of Magueang nga Ati: Best Performing Group Champion – Nabas, 1st runner up – Malay, 2nd runner up – Balete, 3rd runner up – Kalibo 11, 4th runner up – Makato, 5th runner up –Kalibo 1. Best in Mass Presentation  1st place – Balete, 2nd place – Nabas, 3rd place – Madalag. The Loudest Group 1st place – Nabas, 2nd place – Kalibo 1, 3rd place – Tangalan. Best in Higante 1st place – Buruanga, 2nd place – Malay. Most Jolly Group 1st place – Balete, 2nd place – Madalag, 3rd – Nabas. Best in Costumes and Props 1st place – Balete, 2nd place – Malay, 3rd place – Nabas.
    This year’s presentation by the DepEd is a quantum leap from previous performances. A total of 1,800 public school teachers exhibited their skills and talents to new heights. We commend Dr. Jesse M. Gomez, Aklan Division Superintendent of Schools for a job well done./MP

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