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Festival: Angono Higantes

Posted by on May 21st, 2009
Filed Under: Featured, Festival, Photos, Rizal

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.

Philippines Higantes Fiesta

Higantes Festival: Crowded street of Angono town
Photo by themollyjayne

Philippines Higantes Festival

Higantes Festival
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.

Philippines Higantes Festival

Higantes Festival
Photo by aspirecaptured

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.

Philippines Higantes Festival

Higantes Festival
Photo by themollyjayne

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.

Philippines Higantes Festival

Higantes Festival
Photo by themollyjayne

Philippines Higantes Festival

Higantes Festival
Photo by themollyjayne

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.

Editor addon

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.

Philippines Higantes Fiesta

Higantes Festival
Photo by aspirecaptured


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.

Philippines Higantes Fiesta

Higantes Festival Parade
Photo by anton572

Philippines Higantes Festival

Higantes Festival: Children posing
Photo by d2digital

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8 Responses to “Festival: Angono Higantes”

  1. Thomas says:

    WOW! these things are HUGE. What an interesting festival, I have to get to Angono someday to experience this amazing festival for myself. I hope that your site will feature an Angono town attractions soon too, will like to read on what the place has to offer other than this Higantes festival.

  2. TL Leong says:

    i’m very interested in how they make these higante. Can you provide some pictures on the internal part of the higante, or if more information on the building of it? Will love to make some of these for a float competition. Thanks a lot.
    TL, Singapore

    • Ryan says:

      Hi TL:

      I found this info at:

      “Giant heads are fashioned from the mold made of clay, which is dried under the sun’s blazing heat. With the rapid growth of modernization and technology clay changed to plaster of Paris and resin. The mold is pasted with lots of newspapers then split into the middle and sun-dried, after which it is then again pasted with the brown paper or Manila paper then split into the middle and sun-dried. The outside body is painted with different designs or dressed with yards of yards of clothing materials and accessories to complete their costume and the inner body is made of bamboo, rattan and thin iron bars. ”

      If you want to learn about Higante making- please contact –

      REYNATO L. CHUA, Regional Director
      Rm. 207 DOT Bldg., T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila
      Tel No.: (632) 524 2345 / 525 6114
      Fax (632) 524 8321 / 521 1088
      Airport Office Tel.: (632) 832 2964
      Airport Office Fax: (632) 832 1687



  3. Jaymie Reyes says:

    pwede po bang mag arkila ng isang higante kse po kaylangan nmin sa school magkano po ba?

    • jeloistraka sanchez says:

      pwede s original maker’s kayo punta just contact mr. Totoy B. Tajan. #09157481352..Mas mura s kanila at maaasahan dhil umulan at umaraw di matitibag ang kanilang work of art!!!!! subok n matibay! dahil orihinal!

  4. Ryan says:

    Please check my Rizal article- I think Toti Argana do Higantes or you may contact the Angono Tourism Office.

  5. allia says:

    wew!! ganda n fiesta :))
    buti nlang taga angono ako :))

  6. Daboy says:

    Hey! It’s that time of year again. We’re inviting everyone to visit our town of Angono for the annual Higantes Festival. Come and have fun!

Leave a Reply to Thomas