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Higantes Festival 2013

Written By Jane Miranda on Saturday, October 19, 2013 | Saturday, October 19, 2013

Higantes Festival 2013
Higantes Festival, also known as the Feast of San Clemente, is celebrated every November 23 in the town of Angono, Rizal. Angono’s joyous fiesta in honor of San Clemente whose image, resplendent in papal investment, is borne by male devotees during a procession accompanied by parehadoras devotees dressed in colorful local costumes or fishermen's clothes, wooden shoes and carrying boat paddles and higantes, giant paper mache effigies measuring 10-12 feet in height and 4-5 feet in diameter. The street event culminates in fluvial procession at the Laguna de Bay amidst revelry that continues until the image is brought back to its sanctuary.

The streets of Angono are filled with locals and tourists waiting for the grand parade of the higantes, majorettes, bands and floats. The higantes were wearing a colorful costumes and dance gracefully in sync with the drum beats of the musicians that following them. 

As folklore would have it, peasants of Angono made the very first higante in protest of unfair treatment from their Spanish landlord. Formed to resemble their landlord's face, the higante was said to have had big bulging eyes, an unsmiling mouth, and a dour, hands-on-hips stance—exactly how the modern-day higante looks like. The angry peasants then paraded it down the streets in mockery.

Apart from the popular race that involves the Higantes, other notable events during the two day celebration include a specially sung mass, song contests, art exhibitions and not forgetting the local custom of spraying participants and passersby with water using any means possible.

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