Category Archives: Philippine Holidays

Make Your Fiestas Exciting with May Sparkling Grape Juice!

May Sparkling Juice

Fiesta fun with May Sparkling Juice

The fiesta month of May may have gone past, but here in the Philippines, fiestas and merrymaking is year round. We, Filipinos, just love getting together and finding reasons to celebrate.

Let me share with you fiestas in this month of June.

Parada Ng Lechon (Parade of Suckling Pig)
Expect the province of Balayan, Batangas to come alive annually on the 24th of June to celebrate the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. Lechon or suckling pig is a Batangas delicacy and is the main dish for most Philippine celebrations. These lechons are dressed and are paraded in the streets after being blessed at the church. The parade and merry-making are filled with water drenching and feasting on the lechon. Festival- goers are advised to come with an empty stomach as well as a change of clothes to fully enjoy and partake in the festivities.

Pintados Festival
Held every 29th of June, the Pintados festival highlights the rich cultural heritage of the people of Leyte and Samar to celebrate the Feast of the Señor Santo Niño de Leyte. This religious festival is marked with much merriment showcasing the unique and colorful history of the province. The most notable feature of this festival is derived from the look of the festive dancers. These dancers are adorned from head to toe in paint that looks like armors in order to resemble the tattooed warriors of olden times. The province comes alive through a dazzling array of colors, native music and folk dances.

And just to make sure you won’t miss these May fiestas, I’m sharing them with you below so that you can bookmark them for next year.

Pahiyas Festival
Celebrated in thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, the Pahiyas Festival is held on the 15th of May in Lucban, Quezon. Houses lining the streets of Lucban are finely decorated with agricultural produce, plants and colorful rice wafers called kiping. A friendly spirit of competition fills the air as neighbors try to outdo each other’s decorative creativity, although doors are open and neighbors are all welcome to partake of the feasts laid out inside.

Malakawan Pinya Festival
Calauan, Laguna is best known for it’s main agricultural produce, the pinya (pineapples). Held on the month of May, the festival’s colorful reverie is replete with Mardi Gras street parties, pineapple float parades and cultural presentations.

Pulilan Carabao Festival
To honor San Isidro Laborador, the patron saint of Pulilan, Bulacan, hundreds of working animals, most especially carabaos, are led to the streets of the town during May. The carabaos are groomed and decorated in garlands and are made to genuflect in front of the church. This act is a symbolism of thanksgiving for the plentiful harvest for the year.

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Modern-Day Heroes

Today is National Heroes Day here in the country. It is also the day of protest against PDAF (Priority Development Assistant Fund), also known as pork barrel. Dubbed as a Million People March, people trooped to Luneta park to cry to abolish pork barrel. The protest is fueled by the pork barrel scam, where it was found out that some senators and congressmen have allegedly been squandering their PDAF.

These lawmakers made us believe that  they are using the PDAF in legitimate ways only to find out that they are actually donating it to NGOs they themselves own or to fake NGOs. You know of course what this means.

If you were one of those who support this march, I salute you. It is high time that we paid attention to how our public funds were being used.

PDAF in principle is good. After all, the funds were intended to support development projects in the provinces. We should have started being wary about it when we knew that these funds are not subject to audit. Or better yet, when PDAF was started to be called pork barrel, which in technical terms refers to legislative control of local appropriations.

How did PDAF or pork barrel came about? I thought it started with the Marcos regime. But little research told me that it started during Cory Aguino’s leadership. It started out as country development fund (CDF). Read more about its evolution HERE.

Call it apropos that today, National Heroes is also the day of protest. It has become even more relevant because who are considered victims of this Pork Barrel Scam are the modern-day heroes.

Who are the modern-day heroes?

  • Folks who work hard to earn a living and apportion a huge part of their earnings to the government through taxation.
  • Folks who are helping run the economy by spending.
  • Folks who leave homes and families to earn a living overseas and invest/spend their earnings here in the country.
  • Folks who work for a real cause, or supporting a legit advocacy.
  • Folks who work for the improvement of the lives of the majority without the photo opps and publicity.
  • Folks who inspire others to do good.
Who are your modern-day heroes?