My first Bogo Fiesta

Bogo City celebrates its city fiesta every May. When they celebrate, they pull out all the stops! The city was turned on its head for an entire week; with street parties, concerts, discos, parades. We were right in the middle of it all, taking all of them in. I must say, having experienced it for the very first time: the festive atmosphere, the excitement in the air, the infectious mood was so palpable and I like it!

One couldn’t help but notice already, weeks in advance, the first signs of the festivities. Hundreds and thousands of banderitas are festooned above the streets “dancing” to the wind. Every day leading up to the Bogo fiesta week, there was a different highlight. In the daytime, there were street parades, sport events, and religious processions. While in the evenings the city buzzed full of people ready to party. It helped set the mood that the trees along the streets were beautifully lit with lanterns and lights.

On the main city square were held all kinds of beauty pageants, from Miss Gay beauty pageants, to Miss Bogo Tourism; to song and dance shows; and even magicians.

Gigantic blasters on every street corner made sure everyone is included in the party, even kilometers outside the city. It was impossible to not hear the loud party music. Even the ground vibrated from the beat.

I enjoyed every moment of the Bogo Fiesta. But on the other hand, I was also relieved when the fiesta ended because after one week we were starting to suffer from lack of sleep. It only happens once a year though, so we just had to go for it just like everybody else.

Private Fiesta Parties

Fiesta doesn’t only mean street and town celebrations. In fact the whole idea is that families and households who want to celebrate fling open their doors and welcome people to their homes for a feast. Everybody is invited, including strangers.

This tradition is still widely celebrated, especially in the provinces and small towns. Many families and households open their doors (assuming their house has doors, because many huts and structures here don’t have doors) for people to visit them. Some keep the feast simple, while others outdo themselves and prepare huge buffets and offer only the best food.

For some families, that can lead to huge debts. Many save up money all year long in order to host a fiesta party at their home. Some families go even as far as taking loans just to have the honor of preparing a big feast in their house. That’s how deep rooted this Filipino tradition is.

For us, we were invited to a wonderful fiesta meal and celebration at our friends’ place. What a nice party it was. Delicious food, festive setting, nice company, and great atmosphere. It’s no wonder people wait all year long for fiesta to come. As for me, I hope this wasn’t my last.