Every year around March, we go to Pangasinan, specifically at San Nicolas to celebrate its fiesta. My father’s family is from San Nicolas, Pangasinan. His siblings that are here in Manila will have a reunion at our house around March then we set off to Pangasinan at wee hours so we would arrive there at morning. His other sibling, my aunt, still lives there at San Nicolas, and that’s where we stay temporarily while we stay there. We stay there for at least a week.
The fiesta at provinces is really different compared at the cities. I’m not even sure if we have fiestas here in Manila. There, everyone cooks early in the morning and then around noon, anyone could go inside anyone’s house to try and taste whatever they cook. Then at the afternoon, we stay at the side of the roads to watch the parade. This is my most favorite part. The parade is lead by a live band. There are girls dancing, trumpets, and xylophones. I’m amazed that they could also carry those big drums and tuba (if that’s what it’s called. The big, bass trumpet.) And how they play different songs, it’s just wow. They’re really skilled. I’m a musically inclined person myself so I know how to appreciate these things. They play both local and international songs. Then after the live band, there will be different schools showing a certain theme. And wear the same color scheme, and dance while walking. There are a lot of schools; from elementary to high school. Once the live band is already ahead, and you’re unable to hear their songs anymore comes another live band. The difference is their costume is different, and of course, the song they play is different. But it’s fine since the other band is far ahead already. Their music won’t collide.
In the evening, there is a “perya” at the plaza. There are lots of small stalls of stores; stores of clothes, food, and anything you could think of. There are also local rides. The lights are very bright and twinkling. I had lots of pictures with my cousins before, but it was saved at our broken PC so I didn’t have any remembrance at Pangasinan, just memories. We stay there until midnight because it’s a walking distance from where we are staying. Our parents lets us because they know the feeling since they lived there when they are in their puberty. They also want us to experience it. And for me, it’s a very memorable experience.
These are the only vivid memories I have left in mind since we haven’t visited Pangasinan for almost 2 years already since the death of my aunt; dad’s sibling where we stay at. And because of my studies and the hard life here in Manila, we barely find time to visit there. Even at the time of UNDAS where we annually visit, too, we weren’t able to go back there at Pangasinan.
At first, I find it tedious to go there, that it was a waste of time. I enjoyed my stay but I like it better here in Manila. But then I realized that it was the only time where we can be whole as a family. Those were the times that we were really close with each other, especially two of my cousins. Those were the times that we bond as a family and talk about anything under the sun. Today, we couldn’t do it anymore since everyone’s busy. My dad’s busy working. I’m busy in college. Two of my cousins that are very close to me are also busy with their work. All because of the hard life here in Manila. Now, we miss those times together at Pangasinan. Those events, those parades, and our very own tradition of coming home to San Nicolas annually.
I couldn’t include pictures since there aren’t many picture that could be found in the Internet to show this wonderful event.