Fiesta Noises

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How do you celebrate your fiesta in your barangay?

Well, on the dot of the second Sunday of December, our barangay and the other near localities are celebrating the fiesta day of our patron, Our Lady of Loreto. And apart from the Christmas holiday, our fiesta is one of the awaited event here in my very own small community.

So how do we celebrate it then?

I’ve recently made a list of the activities that can be seen during our fiesta and if you’re reading this, try to comment down the number of which is/are similar to the way of fiesta in your barangay.

1. Food. Lots of it.
We surely can’t deny that there are lots of food prepared and served during fiesta. It’s one of the many habits of our fellowmen that they, including me, cannot resist the temptation to eat. Even if there’s a tight budget, still, there will be at least one 1-2 different servings of food. Well, I’m actually saying this in general because I know for a fact that Filipino people has this kind of perception that during fiesta, they should at least have served food in their kitchen table so as to welcome more blessings from their patron. And, I think it has been considered as one of our many cultural traditions.

Yet, it’s not totally required to spend if you’re in a tight budget. What I can advise to you,
if you got the guts to harden your face and visit every near houses whom you think can welcome you, then do not hesitate and not make any further ado, go and grab it!

2. Booze. Lots of it. Too
As the saying goes, “Kung may pambara, dapat may panulak”. Drinking during fiesta, will
not label it as your vice – however indulging to it everyday as if there is a fiesta makes it bad – because just like preparing abundant menus on your table, Filipinos also love to drink it becomes their habit  (and I wish I could too, but having rashes after a while of shots, I sometimes regret it) and obviously not only every fiesta but as long
there is something to celebrate, even if it’s Halloween, booze will be everywhere.

Drinking isn’t only just for self-interest but there’s actually more of it than we know if
we’re doing it with the people we want to hang around with like our families, friends, or even our neighbors. There’s the bond that we share to people we drink with. Like, if today you drank with  your five-blocks neighbor, then you get acquainted with that person and the next day, you both act like you’ve known each other for years (which is mostly evident to the brotherhood).

However, we must admit that not all drinking session during fiesta are turning into a one
night good time. More like, one night shot to kill. You know, some instances when people are having so much fun being drunk, bragging each of their I-don’t-give-a-damn stories and getting pissed from their company, which later might result to knock-out blow from each other’s gay punches.

3. While the booze is set.
It’s actually boring if there’s a cricket sound while you are dozing yourself and your group
with booze. There must be something that can fire you up aside from the burn down your throat, and loud music can give you just the right beat. So during fiesta, there’s the loud noise – mixes of different played songs – coming off in each houses who wants to brag how loud their amps they can wring your eardrums.

Videoke are all around too. And please do not be offended when I say that it is kinda
awful yet still funny because those who sang are already drunk. They’re singing off key, slow or screaming every words. I still remember the news that was once broadcast on TV about two drunk men were fighting over a song, ‘My Way’ and the other one was killed, and ever since then we believe that whoever sing that song will be killed, and basically we all know that’s a bluff.

4. Staged Contest
In our barangay, it is an understatement that when we say ‘stage’, it actually pertains to a
program – a contest, live band, or a show – being held in scaffold literally, although it is only one big rectangular storey with an addition of plywood wall to complete its look.

The program depends on the plan made by the barangay officials, sometimes its’s a mix
of a live local-and-unknown band and a show of magic trick, talents and more of stand-up comedies. And I stayed up late at night just to watch ’em, especially the live bands. I like how loud the guitars and drums played together live with the lead vocal compared to the music played from the amps along our street. It’s like being in a concert with a free admission. The only difference are the name of  the band playing and the type of the audiences.

There are also contests held in the stage, like showcasing the talents of the contestants: singing and dancing. There are also pageants held and gay pageants are what I am excited to watch.

5. Casino on street
You think games in casino are only played by the elite and the affluent, but no because
during fiesta anyone who has a one peso coin can play the casino games. There are those cart men who pushes their carts (not literally cart, I just don’t know what do they call it) loaded with colored little chicks, ducklings, fish in aquarium-ed plastic, draw lots and games. They’re quite in demand to kids who loves to pet those tortured little colorful animals who were also about to die in 2-3 days in their hands, and who loves to bet and play games.

  • Color game
    – there’s two cubed box, whose faces are painted in different color. Now you have to
    bet the probability of the color that will come out once those two cubed boxes fall from their place. And once you guessed it right, you’ll win two times than your bet.
  • Drawlots
    -this one’s just easy. All you have to do is just draw a small piece of rolled paper, and
    once you draw the number that has a thing in it, then that will be your prize.
  • Snap the paper
    -this one’s pretty hard. You have to guess what is written on a paper. It might look like
    it’s blank, but actually there’s a letter or number written in it through the use of a wax. Then kids be like raising the paper to have more light shone in it then they’ll snap it as if something will happen if they’ll do that (telling from the person who had it experienced it bad). Then they’ll bet and have faith in what they have guessed, then they cart men or you yourself will soak it with water in order to comfirm your bet.

I’m not sure if I miss anything, but these are the games that I’d played when I was a kid.
Actually, there are also different games that doesn’t involved money or any betting. Like ‘Palosebo’, where the contestant will have to climb a long bamboo to get the flag at the peak. ‘Agawang Buko’, where the players will be in physical rumble just to have the coconut in their hands. ‘Palayok’, where the players are given a bat or something to use to hit a palayok and are blindfolded and circled for how many counts, then the player will listen to the audiences regarding the direction the player will have to take in order to directly hit the palayok filled with flour and candies.

6. Orchestra in action
Literally, there’s an orchestra playing in the street. There’s a group of people, dressed the same, carrying with them their instrumentals like obviously, drums and DRUMS, lyres, trumpets and other types of air instrumentals. Then this group roams every houses and in turn of their live performance, you’ll give them something in return. It’s like they’re caroling but they’re not singing.

7. Dancers on Fire
So there are gays who were performing in line with the beat of the drummers. Their performances can either be a fire trick show or sometimes, just dancing. And then, they’ll force their envelopes that need to be returned with money.

8. Parades
The church and some other local internal organizations are responsible in the parade. It’s usually a parade of the patron of our barangay along with the church officials and representatives and some audiences together with the orchestra band.

And yes, here’s the list of activities that I’ve experienced during the feast in our barangay. What I like from them all are listening to those live bands who played on the stage. So yeah, that’s it then. Hope my list will be the same as yours too.

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