Ati-Atihan Festival in Caticlan / Malay

Ati-Atihan Festival in Aklan, Philippines

The Ati-Atihan Festival is one of the most popular and exciting festivals in the Philippines. It is celebrated every January in the city of Caticlan / Malay in the province of Aklan. The festival is a celebration of the Santo Niño de Cebu, and it is known for its colorful costumes, lively music, and enthusiastic dancing.

History of Ati-Atihan Festival

The Ati-Atihan Festival has a long and rich history. It is said to have originated in the 13th century, when Malay settlers from Borneo arrived in the Philippines. They encountered the native Ati people, who welcomed them with open arms and shared their food and shelter. In gratitude, the Malay settlers held a feast in honor of the Ati people, and the Ati-Atihan Festival was born.

What to Expect at Ati-Atihan Festival

The Ati-Atihan Festival is a vibrant and colorful event. Participants dress up in elaborate costumes and paint their faces black to imitate the Ati people. They dance through the streets to the beat of drums and other musical instruments, and they chant "Hala Bir"

The festival lasts for nine days, and each day has a different theme. The first day is the opening ceremony, where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu is brought out and paraded around the city. The second day is the tribal parade, where different tribes from around the region come together to dance and celebrate. The third day is the street dancing competition, where groups compete for the best performance. The remaining days are filled with more dancing, music, and feasting.

How to Get There

The Ati-Atihan Festival is held in the city of Caticlan / Malay in the province of Aklan. The nearest airport is the Kalibo International Airport, which is about an hour's drive from Caticlan. From the airport, you can take a bus or a taxi to Caticlan. You can also take a ferry from Manila to Caticlan.

Where to Stay

There are many hotels and guesthouses in Caticlan and the surrounding area. Some popular options include the Boracay Tropics Resort Hotel, the Boracay Uptown Hotel, and the Movenpick Resort & Spa Boracay.


The Ati-Atihan Festival is an exciting and colorful celebration of Filipino culture. It is a great way to experience the music, dance, and food of the Philippines, and to see the warm and welcoming nature of the Filipino people. If you are planning a trip to the Philippines, be sure to add the Ati-Atihan Festival to your itinerary!