Gov't orders phone signal shutdown for Ati-Atihan on January 20

AKLAN, Philippines – Mobile services will be shut down on Sunday, January 20, during the Santo Niño Ati-Atihan festival in Kalibo, Aklan as additional security measure.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered telcos to advise mobile users that they cannot text or call starting at 6 am Sunday.

Site Task Group AtiFest2019 recommended the signal shutdown to enhance the security and safety of thousands of merrymakers and devotees in Kalibo.

Mobile signals in some parts of Aklan and other neighboring areas in Kalibo may also be affected by the temporary network signal loss.

The network interruption will secure the scheduled activities including the transfer of Sto. Niño de Kalibo image from the Shrine to Cathedral frontyard at 6:30 am and the Pilgrims' Mass at 7 am both on Sunday.

Religious procession along major routes in Barangay Poblacion will start after the mass. At 3 pm Sunday, devotees and merrymakers will have their last hurray in a religious and torch parade of Sto. Niño images.

The closing liturgical rites will take place at 8 pm at the Cathedral grounds and the Pagpadungog at 9 pm at Kalibo Magsaysay Park.

Around 45,000 to 50,000 devotees and guests are expected to take part on Sunday festivities to culminate the 18-day feast of Señor Sto. Niño de Kalibo from January 2 to 20.

On January 19, around 5,200 dancers and drummers from 34 Ati-Atihan tribes and groups joined the Sadsad Ati-Atihan contest or the street dancing competition, one of the highlights of the Kalibo festival. – Rappler.com