The Walks of Kulot

The Parade of the Higantes

It was raining hard that Tuesday morning and I am having second thoughts if I should push through with my plan of attending the Higantes Festival in Angono. The cold weather wouldn’t allow me to get out of my bed but my mind was telling me to go. I was so lazy to get up that I kept on pressing the snooze button of my alarm clock. Around 11 am I have finally decided to go on with my trip and for once experience the festival. It wasn’t actually my first time to visit Angono (Check out my previous blog entry about Angono here). The last time I visited, we checked out the Balaw-Balaw restaurant and visited a few art galleries around town. When I knew about the Higantes Festival I promised myself that I will go back and witness the parade.

The Miraculous Rain

When I arrived at the San Clemente church in Angono, the rain started to pour. I was a bit late for the Higantes parade so I just decided to wait outside the church for the procession to come back. I talked to some of the bystanders outside and told them that the celebration would have been better if it didn’t rain. I was surprised when one of the old ladies told me that the rain was actually part of the feast. “Naku! Hindi piyesta pag walang ulan. Taon-taon umuulan. Kasama yan sa biyaya ni San Clemente sa bayan. Kaya okay lang mabasa!”  (It wouldn’t be a feast if it didn’t rain. Every year it rains. It’s part of San Clemente’s blessings to our town. It’s fine to get wet!”) she said. That moment, I felt I was lucky to have experienced such miracle and be blessed by the rain.

The image of San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen (below Crucifix). This is the altar/retablo of the San Clemente church in Angono Rizal.

The Patron Saint of Fishermen

According to stories, not long time ago an image of San Clemente was found by a fisherman in the Laguna de Bay which is the main source of livelihood of the townsmen of Angono. From then on,  St. Clement was hailed as the patron saint of the town and every year a feast is celebrated in honor of him. The feast usually coincides with the feast of Christ the King which is another important celebration in the church calendar held a week before the first Sunday of Advent.

Higantes Festival 2011 Banner

A marching band that leads the procession.

A group of majorettes joined the parade and showed their skills in flag and baton twirling.

The Parade of heroes, political icons and cartoon characters

Church bells started to ring to signal the end of the procession. I was waiting eagerly outside the church to witness the parade of the Higantes as it went back to the church. This Higantes tradition was actually an addition to the celebration of the Feast of San Clemente. It was the idea of Mr. Perdigon Vocalan, the owner of the Balaw-Balaw restaurant to invite more visitors to the town of Angono during their town fiesta and showcase the creativity of different barangays in higante-making. The original Angono higantes were images of a mother, father and a child and these giants have remained to be popular Filipino icons. Around 50 different giant higantes were part of the parade. But during the parade I was surprised that different images of heroes, political icons, cartoon characters and even local politicians of the town have their own “higante” representation. It might be a “creative” attempt to showcase different images but I was a bit disappointed most especially with the cartoon-type higantes because the authenticity of the Higantes festival got tainted. Seriously, Kekay (an alien from a local TV Series) wearing a higante costume? Weird. Just weird.

Nevertheless, the Higantes festival was a visual feast. It’s not every day that you see giants walking and dancing around the streets of Angono. Here are some photos from the Higantes Festival 2011.

The Parade of the Higantes

Around 50 giant higantes were part of the procession.

WBO Boxers, Kekay, Erap, Cory and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as higantes! What do you think?

What a coincidence. A giant GMA with her neck-brace joined the Higantes Festival.

Pinoy Heroes and Obama? I find Philippine heroes more appropriate to be included as Higantes rather than politicians and cartoon characters.

A giant higante outside the San Clemente church.

Sponsored Higantes c/o the Universal Robina Corporation. I think it's a good marketing strategy most especially for their Pinoy Kendi products.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

hehehe… mali po ung caption ninyo sa first pic… si san isidro po yan… san clemente po ung may hawak na anchor, nasa gitna po siya ng retablo FYI lng po

Comment by gian

Hi Gian,

Thanks for the correction. Pinalitan ko nalang yung photo. Pero bakit may carosa din si San Isidro nung fiesta? 🙂

Comment by walksofkulot

ndi ko na rin ma-explain ng factual pero sabi nga ng matatanda dito sa amin, magka-berks daw sila… isang patron ng mangingisda at isang patron ng magsasaka… hehehhee pero celebrated rin naman talaga si san isidro pag summer…

Comment by gian

Hahaha! salamat sa info.

Comment by walksofkulot

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