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Fiesta Flipsides

If you just picked this paper and flipped to this page, and you’re in Naga, you’re making your way around or avoiding the congestion caused by that massive military parade traditionally participated by a swarm of schools. Feast day would be tomorrow, and would extend until the next day in some barangays. Moreover, it would be a holiday the next Monday. How’s that for a treat?

Is Naga still a dead spot? I remember when I was trying so hard to send my text messages while the Traslacion was going through. Nobody told me that telecommunications companies intentionally shut down cellphone services. So, it felt like being cut off from the rest of the world for some hours which if you were a cellphone junkie or you had to get an important message through, felt like eternity. (I guess, this was the time when Facebook Messenger wasn’t that big of a thing yet. Because had it been so, the shutdown wouldn’t that be big of a deal.) This was the time three years ago when some pyros decided to blow up some explosives in Davao four months before the New Year. Well, I guess, to each his own. Then, authorities supposedly had this theory that Davao was hit because it was the hometown of the President. Following this logic, the next target if it would be a series would be Naga, because it is the hometown of the Vice President. (Then, I guess, the next stop would be the hometown of the Senate President. Whoever he was at that time?) Going back to the present, have there been any explosions lately? Are the voyadores now less rowdy? Past year’s news reports claim that law enforcement has been effective in taming the usually an traditionally raucous revelers.

If we go deeper, an observation by an online commenter Marius goes, “there seems to be a sizable difference between what was probably the real Mother Mary and the porcelain idols that many claim are the image of Christ’s mother with the thought that the latter might actually be something else entirely.” ( But I suppose that’s not Mary, it’s the Lady of Penafrancia. They’re two different persons, aren’t they?

In India, it has been observed that “commotion contamination achieves it crest amid celebrations like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and so forth. The streets are spoilt by shade papers, blooms, nourishment and other material strewn everywhere. Tremendous parades held amid celebration seasons add to road turned parking lot issues.” ( ) Now, why does that sound awfully familiar?

On the other hand, “according to Ingrid Schneider, Director of the University of Minnesota Tourism Center. “Tourism has the opportunity to bring communities together and instill a sense of community pride and knowledge of their history,”. Well, no doubt about that, it does bring the whole community together. For a certain span of time, people seem to forget income brackets and whose political party one personality is affiliated with, or whether a person’s colors fly by yellow or red. Like that musical goes, ’we’re all in this together”. Bicolanos also get a regular flashback that these practices have been carried out for more than centuries, way back when streets weren’t jammed with traffic and they didn’t have to segregate waste. “festivals attract visitors, which stimulates the growth of tourism and other businesses in a town or region.” And here I am wondering why this big bee was blaring its horn at Plaza Rizal when they have a very clear presence in the city. Well, that’s business. Wait a minute, this reminds me of that controversy last year when the city government gave permits to vendors to install shops on the plaza pavements themselves. For a time, I didn’t know where to walk. I had to choose between crushing the bazaar products or getting crushed by tricycles. . It seems they’ve gone off to somewhere else this time. “festivals foster community pride, teach people new things, and strengthen relationships” ( )I guess to some extent, we all get to be proud of this city, for one reason or another. We did learn new things, like deleting the word “Peñafrancia” from the title of a beauty pageant because it really is a bit awkward, not to set beer plaza umbrella tables on already busy streets, and give permits to businessmen on more proper places.

This is concurred to in the study, “Cultural and Economic Benefits of Festivals to Community Residents of Batangas, Philippines” (Gonzales, 2017) in which findings suggest that, “community respondents strongly agreed that a festival helps in the preservation of local culture and traditions”. I just wonder why “those who belong in the high and average class have a more positive response compared to those in the lower class”. (

“What will you do on the day of the appointed festival And on the day of the feast of the LORD?” Hosea 9:5

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