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Higantes Festival 2021

Giant puppets parade the streets of Angono


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Higantes Festival is one of the biggest annual events in the Philippines. It's held in Angono, province of Rizal on November 22nd and 23rd and is dedicated to San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen. Therefore, it's also known as the Feast of San Clemente. The main highlight of the festival is the parade of paper-mache giants, some of which are over 3 m (15 ft) tall.

Hundreds of Higantes dressed as men and women parade the street, with an arrogant look on their faces, their hands on the waist. The festival originated over 100 years ago. During the Spanish colonial rule, Angono was a ruled hacienda, and locals were allowed just one celebration per year. They used it as a chance to make fun of landlords by creating papier-mâché puppets. Over time, the number of Higantes has increased a lot with hundreds of artists making them in different sizes and shapes. It takes about a month to make one puppet. It's made of paper, bamboo, rattan and other light materials, so they can be carried easily. Visitors can stop by Blanco Family museum to learn more about Higantes history.

This festival's main procession consists of Higantes and a musical band. There are also young girls in colourful costumes called parehadores. They hold a sagwan or a wooden boat, as a symbol of San Clemente. Many people are also wearing fishing nets and carry other fishers-related things. During the festival, several parade teams compete with each other for the best procession. Higantes Festival has become one of the most well-known festivals in the Philippines.

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