Express Week

Ati-atihan International Festival Night and Coronation of Muses 2014

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In the East Coast of United States, the Ati-atihan International Festival held its 8th Mardi Night and Coronation of Muses 2014 last January 18 at the Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Out of the seven pageant queens, Marilyn Beltran Baquiran-Luchan was crowned Ati-atihan International Festival Queen 2014.

Rev. Fr. Donato Cabardo Jr., founder of Ati-atihan International Festival, said the invocation and welcomed the guests to this annual unique celebration promoting the Filipinos’ special devotion to Senor Santo Niño - the rich religious heritage of the Philippines and the country’s cultural excellence which every Filipino - American should be very proud of. Mary Casa, the organization’s President and Deputy Consul General Zaldy Patron delivered their messages respectively. Dancers of Anabella Gonzales Dance Theater performed the warriors’ dance to the lively beats of the drums rendered by Jeremy Orienza and Jun Lao. 

The funds raised from the Souvenir Journal ads of the event will support the organization’s numerous projects for disadvantaged 'kababayans'. Last year alone, according to Fr. Cabardo, the organization, through its active partnership and close collaboration with Young Professional Volunteers for Social Reforms, hosted in Iloilo City a Special Day for Children with Disability from Guimbal School for Special Needs who were joined by their teachers and parents; has provided gifts - donations to 55 patients at Calinog District Hospital during the World Day of the Sick (on February 14, 2013); has sponsored a Feeding Program to more than 200 people in the town of Calinog, Iloilo, on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes. In the previous years, the organization has engaged in a community outreach ministry to the orphans young girls at ‘Saint Dominic Home for Girls’ and has ministered to the sick and elderly at Asilo De Molo, in Iloilo City; has distributed school supplies and vitamins and has fed many impoverished children at Barangay Calahunan Dumpsite at Mandurriao, Iloilo. In addition, the organization continues to provide financial aid to its scholars and to fund various essential services to our most needy people.

 

About the celebration

 

January is a month-long celebration for several provinces and cities all over the Philippines honoring the Infant Jesus (Sto. Niño).The celebration is meant to honor the historical statue of Sto. Niño – a gift given by the navigator and explorer Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon. It is also considered to be one of the oldest religious images in the Philippines dating back to 1521.

 

The celebration features the rich culture through street procession and parade with participants in bright colored costumes and dancing to the rhythm of drums, trumpets and native gongs which became a popular tourist attraction every year.

The Filipino Express

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