The 1987 Guinarona Fiesta

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Mano Panyong Balidio was that year’s Hermano Mayor–and his celebration was one of the most memorable for us.  It was one year after the so called EDSA Revolution, and the Philippines was in a political funk, which was carried out to our work place.  We were in a funk as well, because our boss, who was a Marcosista, was deported by the new government.

Feeling funky or not, we just had to carry ourselves to Guinarona for the 1987 fiesta.  As was the wont of most Guinaronanhons in Metro Manila, we arrived on ante vesperas, the 15th of May.  For you would feel useless, if you came on fiesta eve, May 16, especially if you belonged to the choir, which would perform during the fiesta high mass.  That way you could still catch up with the rehearsals.

Mano Panyong was special in the sense that he was a…

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Coming to Terms. . .

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. . .With One’s Mortality

When you reach the half-century mark, consider yourself blessed and ask your inner self what more you could do to leave an imprint once you finally go. Although it could only be downhill from today, and considering that you have outlived some of your relatives and friends, feel blessed still. And for sure, there must be a reason for your longevity, foremost of which is the nurturing of your legacy. Granted, man does not live by bread alone; granted, man’s sole purpose in life is to help his fellow man–might it be that you are tasked to spearhead a project for the community or just be one of the “cogs in the wheel” of such project? (Hint: Ang hindi lumilingon sa pinaggaligan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan, which translates to: Those who do not nurture their roots will be cursed of not reaching self-realization.)

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A Rendering. . .A Flashback

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For all intents and purposes, we were still a baby and would not even be allowed to step out of the house without an o.k. from our parents.  But we do remember and how!

That was a time for playing, a time for mandatory siestas.  We would play fiesta–yes, ersatz fiesta with imaginary food–with cousins living in different areas of Guinarona, but who would converge in our yard.  Our image of San Pascual Baylon was from a talc tin, and we would fashion a wire to form San Pascual’s halo.  Funny, but Feli Cardante was our “priest”, and he was mumbling silly words during “mass.”

We remember:   Obdulia Aragon being the host of Guinarona Fiesta 1956.  And we remember that she mounted the San Pascual image on top of a 50’s van (rendering below).


We remember how we would scramble to find candles as the procession was passing by…

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