Friday, November 19, 2010


This coming November 22, Monday will be the start of Angono's HIGANTES FESTIVAL in honor of San Clemente.

The tradition began last century, when Angono was a Spanish hacienda. The hacienda owners concerned about costs prohibited all celebrations except for one annual fiesta. The townspeople concerned about enjoyment decided to make the best of a bad situation. Using an art form brought from Mexico by Spanish priests, they created larger-than-life caricatures of their Spanish landlords. In typical Filipino fashion, the fiesta become in equal parts, a stunning spectacle and a tricky inside joke.

There too was a story that a French man happened to pass by this coastal town of Laguna de Bay as he cruised from Manila Bay. Captivated by the town being divided by a river, he predicted that someday giants would come out and become famous. True to his words, Angono can show off of two giants, national artists - Carlos "Botong" Francisco in the field of visual arts and Professor Lucio D. San Pedro in the field of music.

On Monday two worlds will collide in the field of music and visual art as the gigantic sons and daughters of Angono - The Neo Angono Art Collective will host a music summit in honor of their hometown (this will be their 7th year of doing this musical event). Featuring the local ska heroes Neighbors with guest bands from punk rock to indie to experimental and ska. Featured on this summit will be renowned punk rock veteran and established art painter Bobby Balingit of the Wuds under the guise of Juan Isip. And also on the bill will be the experimental noise band Elemento, political punk rockers Einstein Chakras and from the ashes of Tologuez Death Squad Distrungka, trad ska band The Strayguns and ska punk band PinkCow and many more.

If you wanna see the Higantes march the streets or browse some exhibits from the local galleries (the place happens to be the capital of the Philippines for all things art related) and catch the bands play please do carry with you some protective gear like an umbrella, an extra clothing in hand and some waterproof protection for your cameras and of course lets not forget your tolerance because as tradition goes there will be a splash fest ala San Juan Town Fiesta without the free for all water fight during the course of the celebration.

Professor Lucio D. San Pedro and Levi Celerio's well known composition Sa Ugoy ng Duyan performed by Calasiao Children's Chorus. (Above)

Carlos Francisco's apprentice Salvador Juban talking about the artist known as Botong (Below)