Tribu Sarimanok of Lanao del Norte joins Sinulog 2013 Grand Parade in Cebu City. PHOTO BY GLBRAIN.COM

IF there is one surviving piece of local culture that never fades among us Filipinos, it would be the celebration of fiestas. Practiced and acknowledged all over the country, they serve as binding knots that tie the community and its people.  It is quite facetious but there are amusing facts that remain along this traditional event which has pervaded the Filipino culture for a long time.

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Colorful banderitas. Lively sounds. Eclectic dances. Profusion of food. The thought of them will most likely make Pinoys exude smiles as the words invoke the beguiling image of fiesta.  This May, it is the time of the year again wherein fiesta celebrations are in queue. More than honoring the patron saints as an appreciation for surpassing another year, fiesta serves as an avenue where people get to gather and rejoice. Relatives come all the way from far places just to join in the celebration. People tend to lay a feast despite having no money by lending or making use of all the known resources. The most exciting part is when people pleat in the disco hall and invite one another to bayle (dance in a slow music) or flock within groups while conjuring wild and bizarre steps. The nights during fiestas are also filled of endless singing along videokes. Of course, it will never be out from the list to share several bottles of liquors or even tuba (a freshly- fetched coconut wine) among peers while crunching and eating spicy nuts and viands known as sumsuman. After a long while of drinking session, a competition of storytelling arises among the groups and sometimes leads to fist fights.

The face of Pinoy Fiesta is indeed exceptional. It is not seamless as it may appear but its spirit continues to leave a significant mark in our history and culture. With this, fiestas endure in the pace of time because we have found the happiness and beauty of being together for a special time and sharing one another what we have. After all, this enduring culture that we value the most, depicts our significant morals and ideals of being a true-spirited Filipino. (April Grace R. Padilla, Intern /PN)

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