Travels in the Philippines | Fiesta and Fluvial Parade
A strong desire to reconnect to my roots and introduce my children to some simple pleasures that I enjoyed in my youth is my motivation to travel home. The basic plan was to get there in time for the village’s thanksgiving day or Fiesta, to visit a couple of islands, celebrate Christmas with the family and take pictures in between. When we got there, some of the plans changed, we are still weary from the 25hour (stopover included) trip so we missed some of the celebrations. I forgot how completely crazy drivers in my city are, that limited our trips and we are completely dependent on our driver. I am a competent driver but when everyone on the road do not follow the rules of the road or even respecting lanes, lights and signs, I erred on being cautious.
We missed the parades and street dancing but we did not miss the food and the fluvial parade. Fiesta is an equivalent to America’s thanksgiving, only in the Philippines, it is celebrated on the day of the town’s patron saint. Homes whether they are rich or poor, opens their doors to guests and serves them food and drinks. Some welcomes total strangers and others open their doors to just friends. I like being the guest instead of hosting. I completely forgot how tiresome cooking several dishes was that when all was ready, I just took the kids to a shopping trip in the mall! I had to cope with the heat and humidity too.
So what is a Fluvial Parade? It is a boat parade/procession with the figure of the patron saint. I believe it’s only done in the Philippines. It’s one of those days when the whole fishing community come together. After the main celebrations, the community will head to the village/town port in a procession with the images of the patron saints. A short service (mass) is held to give thanks and ask for an abundant year. The boats will then travel from one edge of the town to the other lead by the biggest boat. Then the priest will bless (holy water and prayers) the fishing boats for safe and abundance. It is a sight to see!
These smaller fishing boats followed the lead (large) boat I was on. It was great fun! It’s a great event to see friends, make news ones or to simply enjoy.
On-board entertainment.. greased man
Agutayan white island photography by katebackdrop
For our dip, we went to the beach over an hour away from the village! Knowing that the town will be going to the local pools and beaches including the white island, I figured far away makes more sense. And indeed, we had more fun with loads of room to play as well.
Images taken with OLYMPUS OMD EM5M2 with 40-150mm ƒ/2.8 and 12-40mm ƒ/2.8 lenses.