The No Food Barrio Fiesta

Today is Barrio Fiesta. There should be bandaritas decorations along the street, banda ng musiko and ati-atihan passing by, an entertainment show (singing/dancing/beauty contest  and comedy show), peryaan and parade of Saints. On the contrary, there is nothing but a bunch of fiesta goers.

The Barangay Captain declared a no celebration fiesta. Everyone was encouraged not to prepare any foods for the expected visitors. The reason. The construction of barangay chapel was not even half finished. It was stopped temporarily due to lack of budget. The result – no budget left for fiesta celebration.

Barrio and town fiestas or the fiesta patronal. A celebration dedicated for a certain saint or virgin. A tradition as influenced by the Spaniards. A part of Catholic Religion. Succeeding generations have forgotten its true meaning. It seems.

For the residents they see this:
1) Reunion with relatives, friends, officemates, classmates and boss.
2) A proof of family’s financial capacity. More menu on buffet table, the better.
3) Show of a newly built/refurnished house.
4) Obligation. Save money in order to prepare an array of menu. Must get a loan if the current budget is not enough.

Some common words:
1) Please come inside! Don’t be shy!
2) Common! get your plates! Get as many as you can and eat comfortably.
3) Please bring this small pack of foods on your way home. We felt very sorry because that’s all we could afford!
4) Thank you for coming!

You took all the handwork and spent lots of money to treat the visitors like they were in a first class restaurant. I think saying “thank you!” is okay but saying “sorry” is not

Fiesta goers see this:
1) A copied reason – reunion with relatives, friends, officemates, classmates and boss.
2) A place to eat a lot of free and delectable dishes.
3) A place to watch free entertainments.

Then everyone was secretly talking about the poorly prepared dish and only few acknowledged the delectables.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

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