Emulate positive traits of children, bishop tells Ati-Atihan revelers | Inquirer News
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Emulate positive traits of children, bishop tells Ati-Atihan revelers

/ 07:32 PM January 15, 2012

KALIBO, Aklan, Philippines—Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc called on the devotees of the Sto. Niño (the Child Jesus) to learn from and take care of children as thousands flocked to the Ati-Atihan festival.

In his homily at a Mass marking the 800th year of the Ati-Atihan held in front of the St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Tala-oc reminded around 4,000 devotees to emulate the positive traits of children.

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“Jesus is telling us that we can learn from children. Children always tell the truth unless we influence them to lie. They are playful and find joy in everything around them even when the world worries of the many things that happen,” Tala-oc said.

Parents and adults should remember that children are inquisitive, receptive and forgiving, according to the prelate.

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“There is always a child in us. What hinder us are the many conditions that we put on many things before us,” he said.

Tens of thousands of devotees and revelers, including foreign tourists vacationing on Boracay island, flocked to the festival filling the main streets of the town and danced to the drumbeats and the melodic sounds of lyres until the first hour of Sunday. The street dancing, popularly known as “sadsad,” continued Sunday morning after the Mass.

Devotees also flocked to the Kalibo Cathedral to pray before the Sto. Niño. Those seeking cure for diseases joined healing rites known as “pahilot” or “paepak.”

Albert Menez, chairman of the Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Foundation Inc. (Kasafi), said all hotels and pension houses including in the neighboring towns were booked. Many visitors had to stay with friends and relatives.

On Saturday evening, the festivities were centered at the Magsaysay Park where the traditional fireworks display was held around 11 p.m. Thousands also joined the famous “snake-dance” inside the park.

The festival ended Sunday evening with the traditional procession of Ati tribes and devotees bearing images of the Sto. Niño. The procession, which usually took around eight hours, ended at the cathedral.

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TAGS: Ati-atihan, Feast of the Sto. Niño, Feasts, Festivals, Philippines - Regions
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