There is no place in the world where every city or
rural community has a fiesta gathering almost all
weekends of the year. What is fiesta? It is a day
of merriment, joyous occasion and celebration.
If there are several hundreds of saints in the
Christian calendar, that's also the number of
fiestas in the Philippines.
If the name of the town is San Antonio, its feast
will fall on June 13. Likewise, many towns are
named after Blessed Virgin Mary that all of her
feasts will also be celebrated by towns bearing
its name. But why? Aside from Brazil of South
America, the Philippines is one of the countries
having the most number of Catholics.
The Filipinos are not only Catholics but very
devout Catholics. The focal point of the fiesta is
a grand Mass in the local church or cathedral.
You will see women in the church carrying their
beads and they do not only say a rosary a day.
The "manangs" or the respected elderly ladies
exhibiting exemplary piety can recite three
mysteries of the rosary in a day excluding their
rosary at Angelus.
But it's not all religion. The fiesta is also a time
for young people to gather in fun especially those
who are romantically inclined. These are the days
where dances are held; it's not only a social gathering
but a part and parcel of the knitted community.
Suppose that it is fiesta day and you and your friends
just happen to pass by a street. You will be invited by
all the household in that street and it's considered to
be bad manners to refuse. It's a great mark of Filipino
The tradition of fiesta originated from Spanish culture,
imbibed by the Filipinos along the three centuries of
Spanish rule. It is an intrinsic part of Filipino legacy.
Whereever Filipinos are in the world---most likely
there are fiestas. I just love fiestas!