Festival: Angono Higantes
This article on Angono Town Fiesta – Higantes Festival, is contributed generously by Angono Art City.
The artistic town of Angono celebrates the feast of Pope St. Clement I every November 22 to 23 of each year. There are times that this coincides with the feast of Christ the King. The celebration starts with the novena mass on the 14th till 22nd day of November, the devotees in prayer and thanksgiving, dance in the church patio after the novena mass. The dancing was accompanied by the Angono band with the the church bell ringing after playing the music.
Photo by themollyjayne
Photo by d2digital
The Bisperas Mayores or the day before the feast day was celebrated with a parade of the marching bands and drum and lyres sponsored by each barangay of Angono, this was held in the morning and early afternoon. The morning parade usually starts in Rainbow Village and ends at the church patio where the devotees again dances in praise and thanksgiving while the marching bands are playing. The afternoon parade are also joined by the higantes, local government officials and employees, commercial establishments in Angono, schools and other Angono socio and civic groups.
The celebration on the morning of November 23 starts with a concelebrated mass with the Bishop of Antipolo. The procession follows after the mass with the parehadoras, higantes and devotees joining the image of San Isidro, St. Clement and Blessed Virgin Mary in a procession leading to the banks of Laguna de Bay in Brgy. San Vicente for the fluvial procession, fishes like kanduli, tilapia and bangus which are caught by the fishermen devotees during the fluvial procession are displayed near the image of St. Clement. The images, devotees and member of the band ride the pagoda for the procession in the lake which will end at the other side of the lake in Brgy. Poblacion Ibaba. The road procession again will start with merry making of parehadoras, higantes and wet devotees that will end in the church. Filipino artistry is truly alive in every celebration in Angono.
Viva Cristo Rey
The feast of Christ the King which was held on the Sunday before the 1st Sunday of Advent usually coincides with the feast of St. Clement. The Viva San Clemente! celebration banners usually includes “Mabuhay ang Kristong Hari !” slogans to remind the people that Christ is the Lord and to proclaim Christ as the King of all nations. This is also a reminder that St. Clement is only a servant of God which somehow does not need adoration of the people because our Lord has already given him the highest honor – a blessing of a Saint – Angono’s patron and inspiration.
Viva San Clemente
Pope St. Clement I was the fourth Pope after St. Peter. He faithfully proclaim Christ during his time and till he was martyred by being thrown into the sea with an iron anchor. The people of Angono celebrate St. Clement’s feast day with a fluvial procession in the waters of Laguna de Bay as a reminder and inspiration of his faith in God.
Higantes of Angono
Higantes – Angono artistry in times of struggle. It was said that the higantes started during the Spanish colonial times, when Angono was once a hacienda and ruled by Spanish hacienderos. The Angono land tillers way of protesting their struggle is by making giant effigy of their landlords whose hands are usually high up on their waist.
The body of the traditional higante are made of bamboo and colorful cloth and its faces of paper mache. The three old higantes of Angono consists of the family of giants – the father, mother and child higante, they traditionally add color and fun during the fiesta celebration. It was in the late 80s when the late Angono artist Perdigon Vocalan brought the idea of the Higantes Festival by going out of the traditional family of giants and advocating having more higantes in the fiesta by coordinating with the barangays of Angono to come up with Higantes that will represent their barangay. At present, the Higantes of Angono can be seen in fiesta celebrations around the Philippines and in national cultural presentations, the major being the Centennial Parade in the Quirino Grandstand for the Philippine Centennial celebration in 1998.
PKTan: The higantes are made of paper-mache. Higantes measures four to five feet in diameter and ten to twelve feet in height. Traditionally, it began in the last century when Angono was a Spanish hacienda. This higantes was influenced by the Mexican art form of paper-mache brought by the Spanish priests to the Philippines.
The traditional parehadoras are group of young girls holding paddles and wearing bakya or wooden slippers and dressed in a colorful outfit which joins the procession in the feast day of St. Clement. They usually march at the beat of the band playing alongside with them. Now with a dying lake, the tradition of the Parehadora is now just a reminder that Angono was once a fishing village and thrives at the harvest of Laguna Lake.
Photo by anton572
Photo by d2digital
Check out more interesting Philippines Festivals.
PkTan is fascinated with this beautiful, complicated country. He loves advising travellers to Philippines and have developed this site to share all his knowledge of Philippines with everyone. Learn more about me [+]