!!!!BARRIO SANTA MARIA FIESTA!!!
(By Matthieu Petrucci the Assistant Director)
Wow…today is the Bario’s celebration of their patron saint, and I assure you, the Filipinos do not hold back!
This morning I woke up to the sound of Lady GaGa blaring from a marching band at 7:30am…that was just the start. Next they played a series of catchy American themed music ranging from 80’s hairband pop to newer mainstreamed music. Then came the traditional march of the fiesta, whose tune is inevitably stuck in your head for the entire day.
After a short mass the whole town paraded around carrying floats of the Mother Mary and Jesus whom blessed the crowd as they passes by. As soon as the festivities started my crew and I were welcomed into the town as more than just an outsider looking in, but as a fellow companion.
Once lunchtime came around the parade dispersed and everyone invited each other back to their houses to share meals. The feast that awaited us was more than my stomach to take in…there was every meat known to man on the table, complete with rice and even Filipino made Pasta Carbanara (my favorite!). My mates and I ate to our hearts content and then were forced to eat more for fear of disappointing Kenny’s Grandmother…
Slowly but surely, we wandered back out to the street to partake in the festive games. The games ranged from gambling pesos to win a baby chick or goldfish, to swinging at “piñata like” pots for candy, or defend your karaoke title to see who has the best voice in town. During which the streets are covered with cheerful hearts that are willing to share a beer or two with you in the spirit of celebrating the saint.
As the festivities turned into night, the town lit up with a glow of old arrangements of Christmas lights, randomly strung light bulbs, and smiling faces of all ages. The crowd gathered again to parade around the town and bring the celebration to a close.