|Literally, a window to the beauty and simplicity of the rural life|
January is the month of festivals honoring the Santo Niño (child Jesus) everywhere in the Philippines. The Barutuan festival is a way of the newer generations to keep in touch with their Aklanon roots. Admittedly, I'm not really into fiesta shoots as love wide open spaces away from crowds. Given a chance though, I also relish looking behind the scenes and observing the rural life.
The charm of festivities like the Barutuan festival is the utter lack of commercialism of the much grander, more popular festivals as well as the rawness of its participants' intentions. Out here, IMO, people do not pose for the camera, they just keep going on about their business. The folks are friendly, not pushy. Curious of the pig head being roasted on a pit on the corner of the big school, I asked the first manong I saw, "nasaan na po yung katawan" ("where's the rest of it")? Already inebriated at 9am, he gave me a funny answer then invited me to a meal later. Mercifully, I was able to create a shooting diversion before he can offer me a swig of Emperador brandy.
|Organic costumes anyone?|
Early on, we found ourselves in the midst of the prep of the team from perennial winner, Taberna. The costumes are noticeably fancier, the moves a notch polished than the other three teams. The other teams do impress me with their creativity especially the team with the kuhol and kasoy (snail and cashew) costumes. While resources may be limited, it goes to show that creativity and resourcefulness do come in spades.
|Facepainting with house paint|
Playing with the dogs, eating kamayan-style, chilling out in Nacpan. It turned grey and windy by the time our van negotiated the deep ruts of the dirt road leading to Nacpan beach some 30 minutes drive away. The overcast and later rainy conditions could not hide the beauty of this twin cove and the tremendous waves that tempted us to body surf. Washing my hands in the sea, I found the sand powdery, nevermind the nikniks (sand flies).
Lunch was wonderful seafood (mussels, fresh fish) served fresh from the grill and worth the rather long wait. The rainy weather and papag (bamboo table and seating) were not really conducive to shooting, hence my lack of images of the cove. The squall also kept us from going up the viewpoint for a bird's eye view of the twin cove (something to come back for in the near future, God willing) but playing with the dogs, having instant coffee (who cares if it's instant), and chitchatting with the friendly owner of the open-air eatery by the beach were enough for me to go by.
|Beautiful Bulalacao falls|
Funny but heading back to the main road, we saw a rather glorious sunset peeking above the trees. It was dark when we got back, the unmistakable redolence of grass and forest soil wafting in the early evening air. It's been a long time since I've found myself on a forest trail at night but I didn't really mind.
Next on Lagalog:
The Charm of Tranquil Corong-Corong