Me, through the Fiestas that Passed
Talking about the traces of Spanish colonization in the Philippines, fiestas, I think are the most visible. Filipinos, until today, we’re able to keep that tradition alive to honor their local patron. Yes, we celebrate fiestas and we love it!
And today, my town is celebrating one of those. Going home is not as hard as before, but still, it is a long and bumpy road. I actually felt a little guilty not being able to be here at least a day earlier. Out of time, we run mostly a 100 kilometer per hour.
“Gosh!” I told myself while we’re on the way. “How dare me missing all the fun!” And when I say fun, it usually means washing dishes, mopping the floor, talking to visitors, helping cooking (sometimes), fetching water and of course, the best thing – a chit chat with my mother, father, sisters and brother about anything under the sun. I usually enjoyed making them irritated.
Like all other fun stuff, fiestas are quite tiresome too. Too many people to serve, people too many plates to wash, too costly, too many people to talk to… Just imagine my friends are there, my sister’s friends (please multiply it by 7 because I have 7 sisters, by the way), my father’s friends are there, my mother’s friends are there, not to mention my brother’s friends and my relatives, my extended relatives and the friends of my relatives. Surely, that was a lot and my family has always been so thankful for all the blessings. We are able to host a feast every year.
Well, not all year is a good time and I remember there are times we were not able to host a fiesta. At one of those unlucky times, a truck full of people arrived at our doorstep. My mom was speechless and my father almost cry. We have no food for our visitors. We don’t even have a decent house to live in. I was in my early 20s back then and everything is so scarce. From that day on, my father swore that every fiesta is a reunion of all our friends and relatives. And from that day also, I and the whole family has been dragged to my father’s vow. So, wherever we are in this country, all of us really need to go home and help every January 26 like we did today.
This day, like any other fiestas that passed, everyone is so busy and eventually, felt so tired. Good thing, we have lots of help this fiesta. I just ended up managing some things. It is like hosting a birthday party with 10x the number of visitors or like a wedding party with 8x the number of visitors. The good side is I have to see my friends, old friends, old neighbors in my small old barangay in Rizal, my relatives. Oh, I am so happy today! Everyone is shouting out of joy seeing us again.
Now, I am listening to the sounds of the music from the gymnasium, I remember the days when I and my friends agreed to meet at the disco after the whole day of food trip. I remembered our rule: DON’T YOU DARE ABSENT and everyone is so damn afraid like there’s a fine. I am laughing at this thought.
Well, it is the only time we could get together. No homework, no quizzes, no oral recitations, just us getting together. I missed those days and definitely, they all do miss it as well. Most of us are married now and we stay at different places, where seeing each other is a f*****g miracle! As the night gets deeper and everyone is sleeping, I just keep reminiscing. I asked, what if today is one of those days where am I now at this hour?
Answering this question, I can’t help but smile. My answer is straight and clear: I am laughing with my friends now holding maybe a beer in one of my hands with, the lights gone crazy and the music gets louder. We dance like there’s no tomorrow. We don’t care much back then. We, even, get an argument because one of our friends got into a fight. “Ahhh, those were the golden days”, I said.
Things I missed doing during my town’s Fiesta
After helping my mother set up everything in the house, I have the license to go out. I don’t really go out not until the horse fighting starts. I love the thrill it gave me every time I watch them biting, kicking and running in the plaza. The rush and excitement come in whenever I see them coming to me and I run so fast like I am the target without knowing the horses didn’t really come after me (Hahaha)
I don’t really bother looking so dumb running around since all of us are doing it. We all s really look crazy at that moment.
Food trip with my friendsAnother thing I really, really missed is our food trip with my friends. So, we eat from houses to houses and we visit all our classmates and friends, which I think is AWESOME 🙂 We were all so full yet nothing can stop us.
Barbecue love! ( But this one is everyday too!)
Even after the food trip, whenever I saw a barbecue stall I still stop and buy. I don’t know why, but barbecues, for me, are killers and I cannot really control my appetite for this food. I so love it! I can eat it with anything.
I remember the days when I held the barbecues in my hands, I eat while I walk and I walk so slow savoring every bite. I felt so melodramatic about it. Well, I don’t have lots of money to buy to need so savor it to the last piece (hahaha).
Disco with my friends.
Disco was our final stop. After eating the whole day, dancing was like burning the thousands of calories we consumed. The good thing about my friends is that they are so cool about dancing for hours.
Seeing my grandma waiting for me on the balcony
Who would open the door for me? Well, no other than my beloved grandmother, whom I loved and I missed a lot. I, most of the time, secretly asked her to open the door for me since I will be home a little late and she was very supportive about it as long as I am with my friends and I am totally honest with her. No words can tell how much I love her and I missed her so!
Photo Credit for Featured Image: Yalah Zamboanga