Higantes Festival Angono, Rizal Philippines

Higantes Festival Philippines

Image Source: Behold Philippines

Welcome to the vibrant world of the Higantes Festival! This month-long celebration is held in the charming town of Angono, Rizal, Philippines every November. It is a captivating blend of art, culture, and religious devotion.

We will discuss the fascinating history and colorful traditions of this festival, we’ll discover the deep-rooted significance.

This Festival holds a special place in the hearts of the locals and is recognized as one of the Philippines’ intangible cultural properties.

Continue reading as we explore the grand fluvial parade, the magnificent giant puppets, and the diverse activities that make the Higantes Festival a truly unforgettable experience.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Higantes, where towering figures come to life and celebration knows no bounds.

Key Takeaways:

  • Giant Puppets: The Higantes Festival in Angono, Rizal features papier-mâché giants as the main attraction, symbolizing the town’s artistic prowess and unique cultural heritage.
  • Artistic Town Festivals: The festival showcases the town’s artistic celebrations through street exhibits, parades, and cultural events, drawing in both locals and tourists to witness the grand spectacle.
  • Philippine Folklore: The Higantes Festival is a testament to Angono’s pride as it pays homage to Philippine folklore while also serving as a platform for the town’s creative expression and vibrant festivities.

Facts About Higantes Festival

Festival NameHigantes Festival- The Higantes Festival is an annual celebration held in Angono, Rizal, Philippines.
Brief History of the FestivalThe festival originated from an old tradition of the townspeople creating giant paper mache figures, called ‘Higantes,’ to depict the Spanish colonizers during the colonial era. Over time, the festival evolved into a colorful celebration showcasing the town’s rich cultural heritage and artistic talents.
Brief History of Angono, RizalAngono is a municipality located in the province of Rizal, Philippines. It is known as the “Art Capital of the Philippines” due to its thriving art scene and numerous art galleries. The town has a long history dating back to pre-colonial times when it was inhabited by the indigenous Tagalog people. During the Spanish colonial period, Angono became a center for religious art and culture. Today, it is a vibrant community that celebrates its artistic heritage through various festivals and events.
Location of Angono, Rizal in the PhilippinesAngono is situated in the province of Rizal, which is located in the Calabarzon region of Luzon Island, Philippines. It is approximately 30 kilometers east of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
How to Reach Angono, RizalBy Air: The nearest major international airport is Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. From there, one can take a taxi or ride-sharing service to reach Angono.
By Land: Angono is accessible by various modes of land transportation such as buses, jeepneys, and private vehicles. Buses and jeepneys bound for Angono can be found in different terminals in Metro Manila.
By Water: There are no direct water routes to Angono as it is an inland municipality.
Nearby Famous Cities or TownsAntipolo City: Known for its religious sites and scenic views, Antipolo City is located northeast of Angono.
Binangonan: A neighboring town of Angono, Binangonan is known for its lakeside attractions and art galleries.
Taytay: Another municipality near Angono, Taytay is known for its garment industry and popular shopping destinations such as Taytay Tiangge.
Google Map Link to Angono, RizalMap of Angono, Rizal
Ethnic InformationAngono is predominantly inhabited by Tagalog people, who are the indigenous ethnic group in the area. The Tagalog culture and traditions are an integral part of the town’s identity and are often showcased during festivals and events.
Festival Main Events and ActivitiesParade of Higantes: The highlight of the festival is a grand parade featuring giant paper mache figures (Higantes) adorned with colorful costumes and accessories. Participants dance and parade through the streets accompanied by lively music and street performances.
Art Exhibits: Various art exhibits showcasing local artworks are organized during the festival. Visitors can explore different art galleries and appreciate the talents of local artists.
Street Performances: Street performers entertain the crowd with cultural dances, music, and theatrical performances throughout the festival.
Cultural Shows: Cultural shows featuring traditional music, dance performances, and theatrical presentations are held to promote the town’s cultural heritage.
Festival EtymologyThe term “Higantes” is derived from the Filipino word for “giants.” It refers to the giant paper mache figures created for the festival.
Other Famous Tourist Attractions in AngonoBlanco Family Museum: A museum showcasing the artworks of the Blanco family, renowned artists from Angono.
Nemiranda Arthouse and Atelier: An art gallery featuring the works of Nemesio Miranda Jr., a famous Filipino artist.
Angono Petroglyphs: Ancient rock engravings believed to be around 5,000 years old. They depict various symbols and human figures and are considered as one of the oldest known artworks in the Philippines.
Landmarks in AngonoThe Church of St. Clement: A historic church built during the Spanish colonial period.
Thunderbird Resorts & Casinos: A luxury resort complex offering various amenities such as a casino, hotel accommodations, and recreational facilities.
Related Festivals in the Same RegionPahiyas Festival (Lucban, Quezon): A colorful harvest festival celebrated in Lucban, Quezon, known for its vibrant display of agricultural products-turned-decorations called “kiping.”
Sinulog Festival (Cebu City): One of the most famous festivals in the Philippines, Sinulog is a religious and cultural celebration held in Cebu City. It features street dances, processions, and pageants honoring the Santo Niño (Child Jesus).
Pintados Festival (Tacloban City): A festival celebrated in Tacloban City, Leyte, showcasing traditional body paintings and cultural dances.

Giant Puppets: The Heart of the Festival

One of the most captivating and unique aspects of the Higantes Festival in Angono, Rizal is the presence of giant puppets that take center stage during the vibrant celebrations.

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These larger-than-life puppets, made of papier-mâché and cloth, are a sight to behold as they parade through the streets, adding a sense of grandeur and excitement to the festivities.

The giant puppets, known as ‘Higantes’, play a significant role in portraying the town’s rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions.

Historical Origins of the Higantes Festival: Celebrating Mockery and Freedom

The Higantes Festival, celebrated annually in Angono, Rizal, Philippines, holds a significant historical background.

Originating from Spanish colonial rule in the late 1800s, this festival emerged as a way for the common people to express their mockery towards the wealthy hacienda owners who ruled over them.

During this time, the ruling class strictly prohibited the common people from celebrating except for one designated festival. In response to this restriction, the hardworking common folk created giant papier-mâché puppets known as “Higantes”.

These puppets were designed to resemble the hacienderos, symbolizing their authority and wealth. Through this creative form of protest, the common people used the festival as an opportunity to openly mock and satirize the owners.

Over time, the Higantes Festival has evolved to incorporate the celebration of Pope St. Clement I on November 22 and 23. Today, the festival continues to thrive, with each village in Angono crafting its own Higantes puppets to represent its community.

The puppets vary in size and shape, often depicting men and women in multiple costumes with commanding facial expressions and hands placed on their waists.

The Higantes Festival not only preserves the art of puppetry but also serves as a reminder of the common people’s resilience and their desire for freedom of expression during a challenging historical period.

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It stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of Angono and its vibrant cultural heritage.

The Craftsmanship of Giant Puppets

The craftsmanship involved in creating the giant puppets is a painstaking and meticulous process that requires the skill and precision of local artisans.

From the framework of bamboo and wire to the layering of papier-mâché and the intricate painting and detailing, each Higante is a labor of love that reflects the artistic prowess of the community.

The dedication and artistry poured into the craftsmanship of these giant puppets is truly remarkable, highlighting the town’s unwavering commitment to preserving its cultural heritage and artistic legacy.

Angono, Rizal: The Artistic Town

If you are looking for a town that is rich in artistic heritage, Angono in Rizal should be at the top of your list.

Known as the “Art Capital of the Philippines,” Angono is home to a vibrant community of artists, musicians, and writers. The town boasts a deep cultural and artistic heritage that is evident in its various festivals, art galleries, and street exhibits.

As you explore the town, you will be greeted by colorful murals, intricate wood carvings, and a lively atmosphere that celebrates creativity and talent.

The Town’s Artistic Heritage

Angono’s artistic heritage is deeply rooted in Philippine folklore and traditions. The town’s artistic legacy can be traced back to its early inhabitants who were known for their craftsmanship and creative abilities.

You will find that the town’s artistry is reflected in its unique architectural designs, traditional crafts, and intricate artworks that depict local myths and legends.

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The artistic heritage of Angono has been passed down from generation to generation, shaping the town into a hub of creativity and cultural expression.

Angono is the Home of the Higantes Festival

One of the most renowned cultural events in Angono is the Higantes Festival, which has put the town on the map as a hub for artistic celebrations.

The festival is known for its papier-mâché giants that parade through the streets, captivating onlookers with their larger-than-life presence.

The Higantes Festival is a testament to the town’s vibrant artistic culture, highlighting the creative prowess of its residents and their ability to turn simple materials into extraordinary works of art.

As you witness the grandeur of the Higantes Parade, you will be immersed in the artistic fervor and cultural pride that define Angono as a center for cultural festivities and expressions.

Celebrating Philippine Folklore and Culture

After witnessing the grandeur of the Higantes Festival, you can’t help but be in awe of the way it celebrates Philippine folklore and culture.

The vibrant and colorful giant puppets, known as ‘Higantes’, take center stage in the festival, providing a visual representation of the rich heritage and traditions of the Philippines.

Folklore Inspiration behind the Giants

The Higantes are inspired by the traditions and folklore of the Philippines.

  • The festival is said to have originated from a tradition of the Angono townspeople creating giant papier-mâché effigies to mock their Spanish landlords during the colonial period.
  • Over time, this tradition evolved into a celebration of the local culture, with the giant puppets representing various characters from Philippine folklore and mythology.
  • The Higantes have become a symbol of the town’s pride and a way to keep their folklore alive through artistic expression.

Incorporating Traditional and Modern Elements

The Higantes Festival seamlessly blends traditional and modern elements, making it a unique cultural event. You will witness the traditional art of papier-mâché making, a skill that has been passed down through generations in Angono.

At the same time, you will also experience modern artistic expressions through street exhibits, parades, and performances that showcase the creativity and talent of the local community.

The festival serves as a platform for honoring traditions while embracing contemporary artistic innovations, making it a truly captivating experience.

The Festive Parade and Street Exhibits

Now, let’s dive into the heart of the Higantes Festival – the spectacular parade and the vibrant street exhibits that will leave you in awe.

As you walk the bustling streets of Angono, Rizal during the festival, you will find yourself surrounded by larger-than-life papier-mâché giants and a myriad of colorful art installations.

The Grand Higantes Parade

During the Higantes Festival, the town comes alive with the grand Higantes Parade, featuring towering papier-mâché giants that are as tall as three stories.

These giants, also known as “Higantes,” are paraded through the streets in a lively and vibrant procession, accompanied by music and dance.

You will be amazed by the intricate details and craftsmanship that go into creating these giant puppets, each representing a unique character or theme. The energy and excitement of the parade are infectious, making it an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

Interaction with the Art: Street Exhibits and Activities

As you explore the streets of Angono during the festival, you will have the opportunity to interact with the art through street exhibits and activities.

You can witness live demonstrations of traditional crafts, such as papier-mâché making, and even try your hand at creating your small-scale higante. The streets are also filled with art installations, showcasing the creative talents of local artists.

You will have the chance to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Angono and gain a deeper appreciation for the artistic traditions that are celebrated during the Higantes Festival.

It’s a unique opportunity to not only witness the art but to actively participate in the cultural celebration.

Summary Of Higantes Festival Philippines

NameHigantes Festival
Observed byAngono, Rizal, Angono Rizal Associations Worldwide
Liturgical colorRed, White
SignificanceFeast of Pope St. Clement I
CelebrationsParade of papier-mâché giant puppets
Begins22 November
Ends23 November
OriginThe festival dates back to Spanish colonial rule in the late 1800s. The festival was a way for common people to mock the wealthy hacienda owners during the only allowed festival.Wikipedia
Intangible heritageHigantes-making is supported by the government to preserve the festival and its related traditions.Wikipedia
Puppet ConstructionHigante puppets are made of papier-mâché and bamboo or rattan strips.Wikipedia
Water Sprinkling TraditionDuring the parade, people are sprinkled with water to gain good fortune and blessings.Wikipedia
BasaanThe water sprinkling tradition symbolizes San Clemente, the patron of fisherfolk.Wikipedia
ParehadoresA marching band and a group of young girls in colorful costumes with wooden slippers.Wikipedia
Related TraditionsOndel-ondel (Indonesian giant puppet) and Processional giant (Costumed figures in European folklore)Wikipedia

Related References Of Higantes Festival

Kevin Kendrick Panganiban. Rizal’s St. Clement Parish was declared a diocesan shrine. CBCP News. September 9, 2021. Retrieved November 13, 2023Link
Churches in Rizal. Municipality of Rizal. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
Peralta, Jesus T. (Editor). Pinagmulan: Enumeration from the Philippine Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
Kevin Kendrick Panganiban. Rizal’s St. Clement Parish was declared diocesan shrine. CBCP News. September 9, 2021. Retrieved November 13, 2023Link
All dolled up as giant puppets. The Straits Times. November 18, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
Marcial, Elida Bianca. Home of the Higantes Festival – Angono, Rizal. Municipality of Angono. September 6, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
Andrade, Nel. Angono, Rizal LGU bans visitors to Higantes Festival 2021. Manila Bulletin. November 22, 2021. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
Macairan, Evelyn. PhlPost to issue stamps featuring festival masks. The Philippine Star. November 18, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
Calica, Aurea. Nov. 23 a holiday in Angono. The Philippine Star. November 18, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
Roces, Alejandro R. The Higantes of Angono, the Higantes of today. The Philippine Star. November 23, 2006. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
The Angono’s Higantes Festival for San Clemente. International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. November 17, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
Rodriguez, Fritzie. Angono’s Higantes Festival: How giants are made. Rappler. November 22, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link
Panganiban, Kendrick Ivan. Angono Church was elevated to the diocesan shrine. Business Mirror. May 29, 2022. Retrieved August 3, 2022Link
Angono’s fiesta of higantes. The Manila Times. November 24, 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2022Link
Andrade, Nel. Angono, Rizal LGU bans visitors to Higantes Festival 2021. Manila Bulletin. November 22, 2021. Retrieved August 3, 2022Link
Cinco, Maricar. Angono to dress up ‘higantes’ as front-liners in the online festival. Philippine Daily Inquirer. October 30, 2020. Retrieved August 2, 2022Link

Conclusion: Discovering the Rich Culture of Higantes Festival

The Higantes Festival in Angono, Rizal, Philippines is a lively celebration that showcases art, culture, and history. It features a grand parade of giant puppets made of papier-mâché, symbolizing the past hacienda owners.

The festival has evolved to include the commemoration of Pope St. Clement I and highlight the unique specialties of different villages.

This festival reflects intangible cultural heritage and the government supports its preservation. It involves meticulous craftsmanship and various traditions like water sprinkling for blessings.

The Higantes Festival is a remarkable display of Angono’s rich history and artistic traditions.

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