Ever witness a Higantes? Have you any concept of what they appeared to be like? Our parents used to read us fairy tales and even take us to see them in theaters when we were young. However, giants, also known as higantes, do exist. You can see them at the Rizal Higantes Festival in Angono.
Because of how distinctively the people of Angono commemorate this holiday, Higantes Festival is one of the most anticipated occasions in the Philippines. Higantes, or paper-mache giants, parade throughout the entire town at this time. These enormous creatures come in different sizes and are so exquisitely decorated for the Higantes Festival with vibrant clothes.
In this article, we’ll discuss the Higantes Festival’s activities, what is Higantes festival, and the reasons why so many people throughout the globe are drawn to it. Continue to read:
Where and when is the Higantes Festival held?
Annually, the Higantes Festival takes place in Angono, Rizal bringing the town to life with vivid colors, energetic crowds, and a sense of community for the inhabitants.
The celebration, which takes place on November 22 and 23, was originally planned to coincide with Pope (St.) Clement’s Day. The parades of towering paper-mache giants, some of which are as tall as fifteen feet, have to be the distinguishing feature of this festival. The use of paper-mache is a manifestation of the creative nature of the community.
Higantes Festival 2022 Activities Schedule
As a result of the anticipated large turnout for the Higantes Festival 2022 this year. The municipal council of Angono has begun to put safety precautions in place for tourists, visitors, and locals who will flock to the nation’s capital of art to take in the town’s most vibrant and energetic event.
Mayor Jeri Mae Calderon issued an order to the local government to get ready for the Higantes Festival 2022, which will feature a magnificent parade of the town’s “giants,” or “higantes,” on November 20.
Vice Mayor Gerardo Calderon, who supervised over the meeting on November 10 at the town hall, urged the heads of local government offices, the police, rescue workers, and barangay peacekeepers to make sure that the holiday will be joyous but safe and adheres to the health protocols established by the national government.
This month, a number of events are planned to commemorate the town’s greatest and grandest festival, which honors the Higantes or inhabitants who have made notable contributions to their various fields of competence.
On the local government’s official social media website, a schedule of the higantes festival’s activities is given.
Activities that Could Occur at the Upcoming Festival:
- The Grand Parade of the Higantes
- Water Play Activities
- Competitions for Street Dance
- Nightly novenas (one of the church activities)
- Musical festival
- Singing contest
- Fireworks display
- Palaro ng Lahi (Venue: In front of Barangay San Isidro Hall, Time: 2:00pm)
Higantes Festival Meaning
The Municipality of Angono created the secular festival of the Higantes as a way to thank its patron saint, Saint Clement. The parade of giants takes place on the Sunday before the town feast on November 23, and the festival is open to all.
According to local legend, during the final years of Spanish colonization, when Angono was a hacienda, the “Higantes” was employed as a symbol of agrarian revolt (large tract of lands).
What is Higantes Festival and it’s History?
The event has its roots in Spanish colonial times, in the late 1800s, when the affluent ruling class who controlled Angono as their hacienda rigorously forbade the poor people from celebrating, save for one festival every year. The hard-working common people employed the higantes puppets in their annual festival, making the papier-mâché giants resemble the hacienderos and making fun of the proprietors all during the celebration. The common people were claimed to have acquired the craft of papier-mâché from Spanish friars through unspecified means. The enormous puppets show a man or woman dressed in various outfits, their faces issuing orders, and their hands are on their waist.
The Higantes Festival is based on the tradition of the Angono region, which tells us about “Higantes,” or enormous paper-mache sculptures created by the peasants as a form of protest against the Spanish Inquisition. And now, the Higantes Festival incorporates amazing paper mache sculptures. San Clemente, the town’s patron saint, is honored at this celebration. In order to celebrate the feast, the locals welcome guests into their homes and restaurants. Each barangay has its own 10 to 12-foot-long paper mache structure.
There are several various traditions taking place during this time, such as basaan, where participants are doused with holy water for luck during the higantes procession. Angono is frequently referred to as the Philippines’ capital of art because of this festival.
One thing is certain: the Higantes Festival has grown to be a significant part of the culture and tradition of the people of Angono, despite the conflicting origin legends that have been put forth for it. In addition, the higantes, or enormous puppets, are now thought to represent the aspiration of their people to excel in their chosen fields and make a positive impact on the expansion and development of their community.
How are Higantes made?
What materials make up these higantes? They are paper-based. The mold for giant heads is constructed of paper-mache, which is then dried out under the scorching sun. Clay gave way to plaster of Paris and resin as modernization and technology expanded quickly. The mold is first pasted with numerous newspapers, split down the middle, and dried in the sun. It is then once more pasted with Manila or brown paper, split down the middle, and dried in the sun. The inner body is comprised of bamboo, rattan, and thin iron bars, while the outside body is painted with various designs or covered in yards of clothing fabrics and accessories to complete their costume.
Paper-mache is known as piata in Mexico and taka in Paete, Laguna, where we are from. Higantes are ten to twelve feet tall and have a diameter of four to five feet. According to legend, it started during the previous century, when Angono was a Spanish estate. The paper-mache art from Mexico that the Spanish missionaries brought to the Philippines had an impact on this higantes. Their Spanish landlords are shown as life-size caricatures. Another tale had a Frenchman who, while sailing from Manila Bay, just so happened to pass by the municipality of Laguna de Bay. He found it fascinating that a river divided the village of Angono. He foretold that the settlement would become well-known and that giants would one day appear. The Frenchman’s prediction come to pass. Two National Artists were created in Angono: Professor Lucio de San Pedro, a musician, and Carlos “Botong” Francisco, a visual artist.
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