Cebu and Back to Lezo for FIESTA!!
Trip Start May 31, 2009
16Trip End May 25, 2009
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We headed over to the park, via an ATM, and on the way got to see more of Cebu in the day time. We passed a Lechon vendor and got some great pics...Allan's family is cooking one if their pigs for fiesta too.
The Lapu Lapu monument is not what the one in Manila is, but painted gold and in the sun is a striking stature. Lapu Lapu was the first native to really stand up to the Spanish, and in fact killed Magellan. The other monument on the site is the Magellen monument. Read about it here.....
We then headed over to the airport and after coffee at Bo's again, we boarded our flight back to Caticlan, and then took the long drive back to Lezo.
Its also the start of Fiesta week in Lezo, and on our return we noticed the town is all dressed up in bunting and ready to celebrate. This is their Religious and Municipal festival held every year. May 10 is the Battle of the Bands. Several local area youth bands performed to see which one would win. It went late, so I missed who the winner was, but some of the bands were quite good. It was sponsored by Colt 45, so that brand of beer was for sale...26 peso each..or about 60 cents.
It seems that the entire town shows up for these events, and with this being the first event this year, this was particularly well attended.
After all the travel, the heat, the beers and the music, it was surely time for bed and sleep..There is a whole week of fiesta ahead of us.
The following day, May 11, was designated a relax day- in the evening there was another social, a fundraiser for the local police, where we had bought a table for 1700 pesos
Back to day time though, I retired to the Gazebo, or Rest House as they call it here, and read my book and ultimately napped most of the morning away.
In the afternoon we headed into Kalibo for some shopping, and picked much of the items we would need for Fiesta. Fiesta is both a municipal event and a religious event. Like Christmas, it is a time for family, and everyone cooks a huge meal, and family and friends go around to each other's houses and eat and socialize. No one is turned away, and of course the most important in town, and the best cooks, get the most visitors. The week leading up to fiesta is for nightly parties at the plaza, and other events, as well everyone in town is preparing their homes for visitors.
The grocery store was not to much different than any grocery you have ever been in
Stores here still have fancier displays and we were taken by surprise will a full wall of Noodles. Wall o Noodles.!!!
On May 12 we were off to New Washington, a town just the other side of Kalibo. New Washington is famous as the birthplace of Cardinal Sin, one of the leaders of People Power during the time of the Marco's dictatorship, and one of the men who ultimately led to Marco's being deposed.
It is also the home of the Pink Nuns, and where you will find the Sampaguita Garden's Resort.
Sampaguita is a great concept, right on the waterfront, acres of beautiful gardens, and displays. Unfortunately on today several of the displays are closed, including the Aquarium and the Butterfly Farm.
We did stop into the Christmas shop, which was nicely decorated with Christmas displays - and where they also sell little china figurines that are apparently quite collectable
From there we head to the Pink Nuns, a place that the travel websites had built up, and was ultimately disappointing. The Church and Nunnery is quite non descript, and once we got there we discovered the nuns are pretty much cloistered and never venture into public. There is a small visitors area, where you can talk to one of the nuns, but they do not allow pictures to be taken of their faces. The only pictures are in the church, from behind. We did get a couple of pictures there of the sisters in their shockingly Pink garb, with a simple white headdress, praying at the alter.
While pleasant, I would not recommend this stop unless especially devout.
On the way back to Kalibo, we stopped at the Cardinal Sin statue for some pictures, and then back to Kalibo, where Allan picked up some wine for celebrating the remainder of the week.
In the evening, after dinner, we wandered over the to plaza. While we had no special plans, there was another dance happening, for the Farmers of Lezo. We were somewhat subdued though and headed home early.
On May 13 (Thursday is already here) we had planned a day at Jawili Beach and Falls. Morning was a steady rain though. We decided to head out anyway because the weather in this area is very regional.
At the falls, the weather is clearing! Jawili Falls are a series of falls into picturesque pools that drop maybe 130 feet. We climbed to the top, a bit of a daunting affair because it is all wet and a bit slippery, however we made it, and got a great view in exchange. Andoy is the only one to slip and fall into a pool!!!!
The climb back down was easier, and we bundle all into the Multi cab for the short drive over to the beach.
Jawili Beach is a very unspoiled beach, with any development being private homes, and away from the shoreline. The actual beach looks like it was untouched, and it certainly is not maintained by anyone other than Mother Nature.
The Water is warm and we all go swimming, and I even got a nice nap in. We had a good lunch of pancit and rice.
The beach is pretty fun, it has wild crabs running all over the place (tiny ones) and the kids make great fun of chasing and catching them. They did a huge search for hermit crabs and catch a number of them as well
We headed home around dusk, with just enough time to prepare for the nights party at the plaza, a fundraiser for the school, or as it was called, the DepEd.
This was a dance and search for the Muse of the Night, a type of beauty contest where the winner is one that raises the most for the fundraiser for the night. After an elaborate crowning ceremony, that took more than an hour, the dancing began.
Our table for this even cost another 1700p and again, a case of beer, container of Lechon (pork) Peanuts, Coke and a case of beer. Good fun, but it paled to the Grande Binayle the next night.
May 14 was planned as another quiet day. The family was busy with Fiesta preparations, so we just basically stayed out of the way. One of the pigs was sent off to the cookery to become the Lechon for the next day, and boy, do pigs scream loud. The pig did not like being touched, and screamed from the time it was led from it's pen to the tricycle. They tied it up, hogtied actually, and carried it, screaming all the way. Check out the video attached.
We also walked around Lezo a bit more. This really is a quiet, picturesque little town. The people are wonderful, and so welcoming
We also headed into Kalibo again for some internet, and did some shopping for the event tonight. This time we paid 400 peso for the table, but had to supply the drinks and food ourselves. We bought some chips and stuff and picked up some bbq chicken. When we arrived home, we discovers some family had already arrived for Fiesta and a party was going on. We ordered two cases of beer for about 25 dollars (60 bottles) and were ready for the dance later.
As we arrived a Balot salesman was on the street, so Allan bought enough for everyone (not me) and everyone loved the treat...(not me) Balot, for those who don't know is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors in the regions where they are available. They are often served with beer. The Filipino and Malay word balut (balot) means "wrapped" - depending on pronunciation.
I think they are gross, but everyone there seemed very happy and really enjoyed the delicacy
The Grande Binayle is the penultimate event for the Fiesta, and the dance had a disc jockey and a live band. We headed over carrying our beer and snacks when the sky opened up. As I have noted before when it rains in the Philippines it is a downpour, and within seconds we were all soaked. Luckily the family that were visiting arrived in a Jeepney, so they came and found us, and we crowded in for the short ride to the plaza. We made quite an entrance, all soaked to the skin, hair dripping and looking like drowned rats :)
When we arrived we were surprised by the largest crowd yet, which likely swelled to about 2000 by the end of the night. Our table alone had 12 people, including two brothers who are cousins of Allan's, Darwin and MakMak, both great guys and lots of fun.
We spend the night dancing, drinking and carousing, and we have plenty of video of the big white guy dancing with the crowd. A table of ladyboys sitting next to us also provided a ton of entertainment. The band was pretty good, and they played quite late, with the disc jockey taking over during their breaks. The dance floor was full the entire time.
We headed home after it was all over, about 230 am and stayed up talking to Makmak and Darwin till I could no longer stay awake, Allan stayed up with them until dawn, when they headed home.
Morning came quickly and the family was up cooking and getting everything ready. Around 10 am the Lechon was delivered - the pig was quieter this time - and family started to show up. The food spread was incredible, and well over 50 people showed up for lunch, and family fun.
After lunch we headed around town again, to visit some other families that Allan knows and we had a small meal in each place. Evening was quiet as we were tired, and tomorrow we are off to Boracay!!!