Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Fiesta!

(As a reminder, this is the grant for establishing a second marine protected area-MPA in my municipality.) I am also working on creating a CRM (coastal resource management) plan for the municipality. This has been a task that has been hard to get started on but with the help of another PCV on Guimaras (shout out to you Jensen!) and from my friends at the provincial capital I have been able to really make progress. We are having an upcoming CRM workshop to include community members and other stakeholders in getting their input in the plan and having them participate in assigning the coastal zones for the municipality.

For a non-work update, I joined a volleyball team, which has been a lot of fun! Guimaras has its “goodwill games” every few months and this past month started volleyball season. There is no municipal team this time around so the Governor’s office invited me to play for them. Our team is called Gov’s Crashers and we’re not too bad (not the worst and not the best haha). We meet several times a week to practice and then have games on the weekend. My teammates have become some of my good friends and we have loads of fun playing volleyball and hanging out!

And as mentioned in previous posts, I moved houses. The owner of my last place has decided to make some renovations, so I decided this was as good a time as any for a change of scenery and move into town. It was great living in the rural community, very beautiful and peaceful. But the provincial capital of San Miguel is closer to work (although still a 20 min jeepney ride away) and offers all the convenience of living in town. I moved to a boarding house and it has the local market and many eateries all within walking distance! I also have so many more opportunities to ride my bike around too!

Recently was the Barangay Festival of San Miguel. Barangay Festivals for each barangay occur on the date of that particular barangay’s patron saint day. During a barangay festival, the streets are lined with flags and there is lots of loud music and dance competitions. But the real highlight is the food! It seems as though everyone is having fiesta at their house! The tradition is to go around and visit friends living in that barangay, eating at each of their houses, for at each house is a Filipino spread of food like no other! This year I was invited by about 5 or 6 people to come to their house for fiesta. My first thought was there was no way I could make it to all the houses, but indeed I made it to FIVE houses, eating at all but one (I manage to stay away from the buffet table). Of course my Filipina friends tell me the strategy is to eat small amounts at each house, but this is made to be nearly impossible when everyone is constantly bringing more food items to you and telling you to “eat, eat!” Needless to say I was beyond stuffed by the end of the day and vowed not to have another bite of food for a week! But that is the price to pay for fiesta!

At one of my co-worker's house for fiesta

Filipino favorites! Chicken estufado, pancit canton, pasayan, puto, chop suey and carne!
So Happy Fiesta everyone! (There is another one in a couple weeks so I should start fasting now….)
and Happy eating J

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