Monday, March 21, 2011


HALA, BIRA BEAUTY. Queen Crisanta I, the carnival royale of the Kalibo Fair, dated March 1927.

Kalibo, the capital of the province of Aklan, was not to be outdone by its Visayan neighbors when it came to holding its own petit fair. Nearby Capiz had already started its own local carnivals as early as 1924, and Cebu’s own versions of the national event were the talks of the whole Western Visayas region. Besides, Kalibo has had a long tradition of rambunctious revelry and unparalleled merrymaking with its annual Ati-Atihan Festival held in honor of the Sto. Niño.

It was said that in the first Catholic Mass held in the island, ‘sangka libo’ Aeta natives attended, giving the town its name and starting the Ati-Atihan fiesta tradition. Held during the 3rd Sunday of January, this festival never fails to draw devotees, visitors and tourists from all over the Philippines.

And so, in 1927, Kalibo put up its first and only known carnival. Details of the petit carnival remain obscure, and we only have this sole photo as a visual document of that event held in March 1927. Also only the first name of the Carnival royal is known to us, the lovely “Queen Crisanta I”. It would be safe to assume that the people of Kalibo, with their penchant for merrymaking, pulled no stops in making sure that their carnival would be one of the best in the Visayas.


Unknown said...

Could it be that this photo was the 1st and only Kalibo carnival?

Alex D.R. Castro said...

The "Mardi Gras" could have been a separate event; "Carnival" was used almost by all provincial fairs.