In the Philippines, fiestas are held to mark the passage of the seasons or to celebrate a patron saint, depending on which part of the country you’re in. We celebrated fiesta with a pig roast and cow sacrifice. On Friday night, a group of locals, with whom we work, loaded up a truck and blasted music. I knew that they were going to pick up the cow, so I asked to jump in. Little did I know that the pick-up would take over four hours long. It was an adventure.
In Calaanan, the balangay in which we are located, an outside dance party was also arranged in tent city. I danced on a Saturday night to the techno music. That dance party truly revealed Filipino culture to me. There was not a person older than 17 at the dance party. IN fact, most of the children there were about my elbow height. Some were drunk. All of the boys, again at elbow height, constantly grinded up on me. I guess that explains why Filipinos have so many children. Seeing the aggressive grinding moves opened up my eyes to the sexual culture of the Philippines. Hmmm.
Apparently, “the roots of Philippine fiestas go back– back to before the Spanish conquistadores arrived in the 1500s. In the old animistic culture, regular ritual offerings were made to placate the gods, and these offerings evolved into the fiestas we know today. A wonderful fiesta season means good luck for the rest of the year. For individual Filipinos, fiestas can be a way of supplicating the heavens or to make amends for past wrongs. In one place, penitents lash themselves with whips; in another, childless women dance on the streets hoping for the blessing of a child.” (Source: About.com)
Every town and city in the Philippines has a fiesta of its own; whatever time of the year it is, there’s sure to be a fiesta going on somewhere!