Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Category: All things Pinoy

Monday Mellow Yellows and Signs: Merry Ati-atihan

Ati-atihan Festival 2016
A street-dancer garbed in colorful costume holds their tribe’s sign for everyone to see. Taken during this year’s Ati-atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan.

The texts on the sign:

KABOG (the name of tribe, meaning “bats” in English)
Kalibo, Ati-Atihan

Kalibo, Aklan

This picture takes me back to the road trip we had in January. My husband, I, and sisters-in-law, with their husbands in agreement, made a last minute decision of going to Kalibo, Aklan to join in the Ati-Atihan celebration. So I gathered my sons and two nieces who expressed interest in going as well and embarked on a three-hour ride to Kalibo, the capital of Aklan.

It was a fun event even with kids in tow! It was mighty hot walking around as revelers, watching the street-dancing and other activities,  but, we were prepared with sunblock, water, and food especially for the kids.  The kids were troopers — they were walking (as the streets are full of merry-makers) and only complained when they got hungry or needing to use the toilet.

We spent the night in one of my sister-in-law’s place. Everybody squeezed in the one-bedroom house. We had a big dinner where everyone pitched in and the hosts also provided beer for the adults. As if we weren’t tired from all the walking and dancing,  we spent most of the night talking and laughing while the kids were busy playing with computer games. It’s rare when we have occasions of bonding like this but whenever we have the opportunity, we always grab it. How about in your family, how often do you get together with your families?

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows: Street-dancing

Hello everyone. I hope you all had a meaningful Lenten season.
And now we resume our regular routines, hence, I am back online 🙂

I am sharing with you a picture of schoolchildren dressed in a traditional Visayan costume: the kimona (thin, cotton blouse) and patadyong (loose skirt) for the girls; and camisa de chino (a collar-less, long-sleeved cotton shirt thought to have come from China) and a loose, cotton pants for the boys.

Schoolchildren from the different schools in Ivisan join in the street-dancing activities.
Schoolchildren from the different schools in Ivisan join in the street-dancing activities.

This was taken during last year’s Buyloganay Festival in my husband’s hometown in Ivisan, Capiz. Buyloganay Festival is an annual festival celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint, St. Nicholas of Tolentino.

The word buyloganay is a Hiligaynon word which means unity and cooperation, a quality that characterizes Ivisan and its people. The festival was held with lots of activities in the town center, including a grand parade that showcased street-dancers from different local elementary and high schools in the municipality.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Monday Mellow Yellows: Gown

In December 5-8 last year, the whole city of Roxas and province of Capiz celebrated Sinadya sa Halaran. It is one of the much-anticipated festivals in the province and one that is steeped not only in tradition but also in fun and merrymaking for all Capizenos here and abroad. This festival is held in honor of the province’s patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A month after the festival, I took my sons and my two nieces to a local resort in Roxas City for a dip in the swimming pool there. It’s a nice, family-friendly resort with lovely gardens. We like going there for some quick R and R.

On our way to the receptionist’s counter, we were greeted by this lovely mannequin at the lobby. It was dressed in a lovely yellow floral gown.

Apparently, the mannequin and some posters that were up on the hotel’s walls were part of an on-going exhibit of sorts displaying the faces of Sinadya sa Halaran.

A mannequin dressed up in a lovely yellow floral gown.
A mannequin dressed up in a lovely yellow floral gown.

The lovely gown features an intricate floral pattern, all embroidered by the skillful hands of the women of Capiz. The butterfly sleeves were decorated in what looked like cowrie shells to me. We were told by the staff that it was the same gown worn by the festival queen. It is really pretty and colourful, but my youngest son got scared of the mannequin he wouldn’t go near it.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Mellow Yellow Mondays: Giant puzzle

A giant puzzle – this is one of the games in ChildFund’s child-centered space in Ivisan, Capiz.

Child-centered spaces ChildFund Capiz
The children of Ivisan learning how to play this puzzle, with the assistance of a ChildFund staff, of course.

The CCS was set up last September at Ivisan’s town center. Many children and curious adults alike came and participated in the different activities. We hope to set up more spaces like this in many other municipalities.

Monday Mellow Yellows

Signs, signs: Self-service?

I’m coming back to Signs, signs meme again as I think I have lots of signs that need posting here. It’s just finding the time to post, that’s all.

Anyways, I was in Iloilo City two months ago for a training. For those who do not know, Iloilo City is one of the highly-urbanized cities in the Philippines, and the capital of Iloilo province. Iloilo City is a two-hours bus-ride away from my hometown, Roxas City, in the province of Capiz. Anyhoo, the training was conducted at a mid-range hotel, and it’s also where we (participants) stayed.

In one of the coffee breaks, I dashed to the loo only to be surprised at the sign waiting for me.

toilet sign

I was puzzled at the sign in the beginning – the “self-service” part, lol. It was only later on when I realized what it meant!


Mellow Yellow Monday 043: Golden Christmas decors

I missed last week’s Mellow Yellow post, my fault. I was still in a lazy mood last Monday (a state I’m frequently in after a weekend’s rest) so I allowed myself to be tossed by the wind, so to speak.

The malls in Angeles are now decked in holiday decorations. I think that the mall management have already been ready with their stuff on the eve of the start of the first -ber month (September). As soon as the clock struck midnight, the sales staff (or elves, if you like) started the makeover in preparation for the holiday -ber months (September – December).

And on the first day of September, the mall was magically transformed! With lots of red, green, and sparkling gold in every corner, the mood there is very festive! Ho-ho-ho!

christmas decors
Christmas decors are already on display at the malls as early as September.

Mellow Yellow Monday 034: Buwan ng Wika

Here is a picture of my son and other members of the folk dance troupe in his class. They performed a Filipino folk dance during the annual celebration of their school’s Buwan ng Wika (The Filipino Language Month).

All smiles as they posed for a picture after a successful folk dance performance.

The celebration of the Buwan ng Wika in the Philippines is celebrated every year in schools, private and public, all over the country. This celebration is held to emphasize the importance to our national language, Filipino, in uniting the Filipino nation.

During this special month, several activities are held in every school. It includes performances of folk dances, poem and essay writings as well as parades. During my time the Buwan ng Wika used to be Linggo ng Wika (The Filipino Language Week). I myself and my siblings used to take part in various activities in our school during the Linggo ng Wika. Watching my son perform and take part in this significant school activity brings back those times 🙂

Mellow Yellow Monday 028: Family mini-reunion


Yesterday, my father and his older sister, Nene Lilia, arrived in Manila for a short vacation. My son and I picked them up at the airport, and was pleasantly surprised to see Auntie Susing, my father’s other older sister, and my cousins Juvan and Benjo there. Julia, my cousin Juvan’s daughter, was also there and she hit it off instantly with my son. It was one impromptu reunion at the airport’s waiting lounge!

Big smiles!! As usual, my son is “monkeying” around, lol.

My Nene Lilia lives with my parents back in Roxas. She went home to recuperate from her illness and recently expressed her desire to be in Manila again to see the ever-growing number of apo-sa-tuhod (great-grandchildren). She didn’t have any kids of her own (she remained unmarried) but we, her nieces and nephews, grew under her care.

I just noticed that there were a lot of people wearing yellow shirts at the airport yesterday. I wonder if they are airport staff or something.

Wordful Wednesday 001: Holy week penitents

Today, I am going beyond my usual Wordless Wednesday posts and actually sign in at Wordful Wednesday – which I happen to discover while blog hopping (again! hehehe). I thought this meme would be more apt since I my Wordless posts are Wordful anyway, tee-hee-hee.

So for my first post, I’m going to talk about one of the Holy Week practices in the Philippines that I witnessed last month in Pampanga province. Pampanga is in — of the Philippines and is known to have the “bloodied” Holy Week in the country. Why? Because of this practice…

It is one of the Catholic practices – handed down by the Spanish colonisers – and done mostly by hooded, bare-chested men to re-enact the sufferings of Jesus Christ. It is a rite done by these men every year as a personal vow to cleanse them of their sins, among others.

Some even go through crucifixion themselves.

It was very disturbing for me to watch it and I didn’t post here other photos that I think might disturb the readers. You can imagine how I cringe at every sound the bamboo sticks made as it hit the bare backs… There were so many thoughts circling in my head – wouldn’t these men get infected by tetanus or something?

Street-dancing in Kalibo’s Ati-atihan

Hello from the green fields of Ivisan, my husband’s hometown and now the place I call my home. It’s been really difficult with the Internet connection here. I’m using Smartbro but it is proving to be a really, really bad choice.  My place is just some 15minutes away from the capital of Roxas City and yet the connection is very unstable. So please excuse my lack of posts and rare visits to the TBE.

This post is almost two weeks late but, since I promised, here are the pictures of the merry-making and revelry in Kalibo. My husband, my son and I, along with the 22-members of the Roxas City chapter’s PhilBiker’s Association, drove to Kalibo. From Ivisan, our starting point, we drove by motorcycle to Sapian, Capiz… then entered Aklan via Altavas, and proceeded to Kalibo passing through the towns of Batan, Balete, and Banga before reaching Kalibo. All in all, the ride was smooth and took us a little over than two hours!

We could already feel the excitement and vibrance of the Ati-atihan festival as soon as we reached Kalibo. And why not? The sounds of drums are deafening, the cheers and laughters were everywhere, and the festive mood is enhanced by the colourful banderitas (flaglets) and banners everywhere.

Shempre, we wasted no time and joined in the merry-making and sadsad (street-dancing) right away. Unfortunately, my battery died an hour after I’ve started taking pictures. Drat. Note to self: dish the old battery and buy a new one.  The following are the ones I’ve managed to get:




I hope next year will be as fun. My sister is so jealous because she has never ever been to Kalibo’s Ati-atihan Festival. This is one good reason for you and R to come home next, don’t you think so? By the way, thanks to my Ate for editing the photos. Well done.

With the Akeanons….

… my husband, son and I are in Kalibo, Aklan, celebrating the Feast of Senor Santo Nino and the Ati-Atihan Festival! Viva, Senor Sto. Nino!

Thank you, dear Sto Nino, for all the blessings; may you continue to shower us all with more in 2011.

Welcome to the most popular, most fun, and the wildest celebrations in the whole of the Philippine islands. The air is electrifying, the sights are festive and awesome, and the loud sounds of percussion instruments pull you to the streets and do the sad-sad (street-dance) till you drop. This is the 2011 Ati-atihan Festival!

batang ati white copy dancing atis white copy

Hala bira!

Ipagwa na ang kapa, kag mag-sad-sad sa plaza.

Hala bira! Pwera pasma!

The pictures above were taken by me in the previous Ati-atihan festival. New pictures will follow soon.