Wednesday, January 21, 2009

saying hello without goodbye


Hello,
I was out for a week but was not able to say goodbye. Well, nobody seems to have noticed because I did not receive any inquiry. Anyway, I had to attend to some family matters in the province and didn't have a chance to say goodbye before I left.

I'm back today and I wish to share with you one of the photos I took while I was in the province. I was lucky my trip happened to coincide with the Ati-atihan festival there.

The festival is like a mardi gras but with a religious flavor. People paint their faces black, wear colorful tribal costumes, and dance in the streets while carrying statues of the Child Jesus.

The activity commemorates the agreement of peace between the Christians (Spaniards) and the original natives called Atis or Aetas (dark-skinned people). The Christians gave a replica of the Child Jesus (Sto. Nino)to the natives while the latter gave food to the Christians.

Anybody can join in the festivities. The frenzied beat of the drums usually makes even timid souls forget about inhibitions and just join in the fun. Somebody once commented that the festival gives license to anybody to go crazy and nobody will mind (as long as you don't hurt yourself or anybody else in the process). So the festival is a good stress reliever.

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