Barangay Fiesta


Today, June 1, 2015 is the fiesta of my dad's hometown, As-is Bauan Batangas. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go there today due to some important job to finish. But though I'm not there to celebrate it, I would like to share with you the kind of fiesta we usually have for our Barangay.

All these photos are from the past fiesta celebrations. I just want to give you an idea of how Filipinos celebrate this yearly event specifically our Barangay.

Sagala



This is one of the common activities for any fiesta in the Philippines. This activity is a religio-historical pageant wherein ladies (and even men) are asked to represent different biblical characters and traditional personifications. Prior to the Santacruzan, a novena is held in honour of the Holy Cross. The procession itself commemorates the search of the Holy Cross by Reyna Elena and her son, Emperor Constantine. After the Holy Cross was found in Jerusalem and translated to Constantinople (now İstanbul, Turkey), there was a joyful celebration for thanksgiving.

In our barangay, we usually have two (2) Sagala's. We have one in the afternoon and one at night. The evening pageant is more known as Santa Cruzan while the afternoon parade is just a pageant of representatives from each Purok.

Kaldereta


I don't know with the other barangays but if you visit the neighborhood of As-is during fiesta, you will always find Kaldereta among the dishes offered to visitors. And because it's the probinsya (province) style, the main dishes are placed in a big tub so it's easier to refill the serving containers in the dining area and/or so they can still cook other dishes. Don't worry, this tub is used for food and never used to wash clothes! Haha!

Family Reunions/Gatherings


Most of the people in the province have moved to Manila for work or for good but because they still have a family house in As-is, they grab the chance to go back during fiesta. This is also the time when families are reunited and special gatherings are held such as christening and the most common, family reunions.

For the younger generations, they take this celebration an opportunity to invite and catch up with their former classmates or batch mates. And to some couples, they take this time to introduce their special someone to the entire family. Hehe!

Luwa


One of the awaited activity during the fiesta is the Luwa. This is like a declamation in honor of the Virgin Mary. The barangay committee chooses who will be doing the speech after the Santa Cruzan. I'm just not sure who makes the speech (poem type). Since most Batangueños are religious, residents proceeds to the chapel after the parade to listen to it.

Other Activities



Unlike the neighboring barangays, we don't really host big shows or events during the fiesta unless it's a special one like 25 years, 50 years celebration, etc. Normally, we will just have contests like Miss Gay beauty pageant, singing/dance contests, battle of the band and so on.

During fiesta too, there are performers going around the houses of the barangay. They often do tribal dances, some extraordinary exhibitions like the photo above, etc. You have to give them something after; usually money.

...

Before, fiesta is one of the events we are all always looking forward to. It all changed when life became harder. Most of the residents are now spending their resources wisely so their food preparations are not as extravagant like before.

At the end of the day, most household are able to pull through the celebration. Besides, it's once in a year celebration and no one wants to be labelled a tightwad. It may not as bonggacious like it used to but it's still celebrated.

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What celebration do you look forward for the month of June?

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