January 12, 2018
[caption id="attachment_132094" align="aligncenter" width="1030"] If communication signals are jammed, revelers may have to wait for hours before they can post on social media the photos of Ati-Atihan Festival dancers they took using their smartphone’s camera. AKLAN FORUM JOURNAL[/caption]
KALIBO, Aklan – A task group handling security measures for the Ati-Atihan Festival recommended a temporary shutdown of cell sites around the “festival zones” on Jan. 21.
Site Task Group Ati wanted “zero signal” near Pastrana Park, the cathedral and the street dancing routes. Its request was pending with the National Telecommunications Commission.
Jamming communications signals as a security measure is commonly used to avert the detonation of explosives using remote triggers.
If the signal-jamming pushes through, mobile data, internet and calls will be unavailable to subscribers between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. or for extended hours during the Kaadlawan it Kapistahan ni Señor Santo Niño de Kalibo.
But landlines and broadband internet connected to a communication line could be used for emergencies.
Globe Telecom and Smart Communications are expected to issue advisories if the NTC approves the signal-jamming request.
The shutdown of cell site might affect mobile users in the adjacent Banga, New Washington and Numancia towns.
Activities on Jan. 21 start with the transfer of the Santo Niño de Kalibo image from the Shrine of Señor Santo Niño de Kalibo to the cathedral front yard at 6:30 a.m. before the Pilgrims Mass at 7 a.m.
After the mass, devotees and revelers are expected to converge at Pastrana Park and the main streets for the traditional street dancing and sadsad panaad.
The procession Santo Niño de Kalibo devotees and caros will start at 2 p.m. The closing liturgical rites will be at 8 p.m.
Today, Boracay celebrates its own version of the “mother of all Philippine festivals.”
The festival will open with a parade around Balabag Plaza and the Kabataan’s (Youth) Night.
It is expected to gather high school students, tourists, locals, and establishment employees in the island.
Boracay Ati-Atihan – now on its fifth year – focuses on the devotion of the Boracay locals to Santo Niño, said Malay tourism officer Felix delos Santos. (With Aklan Forum Journal and PNA/PN)