St FX gym explodes with Ati-Atihan Santo Nino pandemonium

Ati Atihan Day celebrants in Vancouver Jan. 9.

Ati Atihan Day celebrants in Vancouver Jan. 9.

The Saint Francis Xavier gymnasium on Great Northern Way was pandemonium last night as the Filipino community gathered nearly 70 -strong for the 28th annual Vancouver celebration of Ati-Atihan Day, organized by the irrepressible Jojo Quimpo and his capable crew at the Akalanon Association of Vancouver.

A unique Mardi Gras style celebration of Santo Nino, the Christ child, Ati Atihan Day has been gaining ground as the first, largest and craziest Filipino celebration of each year.

Mayor Gregor Robertson’s second annual proclamation of Ati-Atihan Day made global news with this coverage in Manila.

In the view of Councillors George Chow and Kerry Jang, who issued the proclamation as deputy mayor, it’s time for the Vancouver festival to move outdoors, where it belongs. For a sample of the Philippines variety: