Pista na diri!

12:00:00 AM

Last November, I got “stranded” in Dumaguete because of the threat of extreme weather. The night before my departure, Typhoon Signal #1 was raised in the neighbouring islands of Negros and Cebu, which effectively cancels ferry trips and my flight to Manila. But the signal was lifted the following morning after the typhoon changed directions while we were all sleeping. I could have gone home, but because my heart wanted to be stranded, I ended up staying for four more days.

Staying meant I’d be in town for the annual fiesta. It was my first time to be in town for the festivities, and it was definitely worth the cost of rebooking my flight and extending my hotel stay. Haha!
His name is Pista
The entire morning was spent with Andy - we had coffee in Gabby’s Bistro, which is actually becoming our mini-tradition when I’m about to leave town. That’s when I made the decision to stay. So we went to his house to meet up with Tita Margie and Simon, and together we went to our first house for fiesta. 
I’m terrible with names so I can’t remember that of our host’s, but she used to be Tita Margie’s assistant at work. She actually had catering, as though the occasion were a wedding or a debut! It was awesome. I, of course, helped myself to a generous helping of good old lechon. But I tried to control how much I ate because I knew I had other houses to visit. Tried. 

Our friend Miggy picked me and Andy up from there, and we rode with him to the next house, which was that of their other brother from De Molay. The food was divine, but as I was still full from the first house (yeah, I tried to exercise restraint but I didn’t succeed 100%), I didn’t eat that much. The boys were reminiscing on the wild days of their youth, and the stories left me in awe, laughing like a maniac, and appalled. Haha!

Since I extended my stay, I had to do my laundry, so they dropped me off at the self-service laundromat in Daro as they continued their house-to-house journey.  On our way there, we saw a couple of drunk lads fighting viciously on the street. People flocked to watch, which effectively caused a major traffic jam. I know I wasn’t supposed to find it amusing or anything, and I’m sorry because I did: neither were trained fighters and it was ineresting to watch how they threw their punches. 

The boys picked me up again when I was done with laundry, and then we went to our second to the last house - that of Andy’s ex. Haha! They’re still good friends. She’s actually already married to someone else and she has a very young baby who was just super cute! They have a beautiful house and the food they had for guests was delicious. I ate a lot, because by then I was already hungry again.
Partial group photo taken by Nat! :)
Our last stop was, of course, The Belltower Project HQ - Enting and Dabz’s house. That’s where I got really drunk, but with the grace of the Universe and help from dear friends, I made it back to the hostel safe and sound. I didn’t mix drinks so I didn’t wake up with a hangover. Since I’ve been eating all day, I passed up on Pista, the pig that the Trasmontes bought to slaughter for the fiesta. It’s crazy how they named the animal after the occasion they were going to kill it for. Haha!

The fiesta is a big deal for Dumaguetenos. Having grown up in rural Bulacan, I can’t say I’m surprised - Filipinos love their fiestas! I love the spirit of generosity that prevails in each home that can afford to share not just with their loved ones and friends, but also with those who have much less. I’d be happy to be in Dumaguete next year for this occasion!


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