higantes.jpg (15070 bytes)

wpe37.jpg (23538 bytes) wpe38.jpg (3750 bytes)

Adding color and gaiety to Angono town fiesta, celebrated early the 23rd of November, are the "Higantes", paper to mache to giants measuring the four to five feet in diameter and ten to twelve feet in height. The higante 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 amusement 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 dazzling spectacle and a sly 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. Fascinated by the town being divided by a river, he predicted that someday giants would emerge and become famous. True to his words, Angono can boast of two national artists - Carlos "Botong" Francisco in the field of visual arts and Professor Lucio D. San Pedro in the field of music. There are other Angono sons and daughters who are becoming big or giants on their chosen field of endeavor. Paper mache making is an art that is known back during the Spanish Era. The head of the giants is fashioned from a mold made of clay, which is dried under the heat of the sun.

With the advent of modernization and technology clay is changed to plaster of Paris and resin. The mold is then pasted with lots of newspapers then split into the middle and sun-dried, after which it is then pasted with the brown paper (the slit being covered) then sun-dried again and painted. The body is made of bamboo, but other materials like yantok (rattan) and thin iron bars can also be used. Yards are yards of clothing materials and accessories complete the costume of the   "Higantes".   Before, Angono town fiesta features a "Mag-anak" (family) Higantes consists of three figures, the father, the mother and the son. In 1987, Mr. Perdigon Vocalan conceived the idea of having a Higante Festival wherein all the barangays in Angono(13 of them) are to be represented by two to four Higantes symbolizing the industry or the personality of the barangay. This idea materialized with the funding given by the Dept. of Tourism and Provincial Tourism  Office  thus  in a  year  after  a  seminar  and  a workshop in Higante Making , the fiesta was flooded with thirty-nine different Higantes. In that year too, there was a contest among the Higantes, thus one can see them a Higante with a duck on its head and another one a basketful of duck eggs representing a barangay that known for its fried itik and balut-making.

source: http://directorymanila.net/balaw-balaw/arts.html

Back to Tagalog Homepage
Back to Festival Page