Big Parties, Fiestas, Fireworks and Parades are an important part of the lifestyle in the Philippines. It always seems that the whole City meets on the streets and everybody invites on top all friends and relatives from the other 7106 remaining Islands.

Dumaguete is famous for the big parades during Kabulakan Festival or Buglasan. Less famous but in my opinion with more spirit and feeling are the small Fiestas in each Barangay. I was invited in a rather basic (not to say poor) Barangay to celebrate Santa Cruzan with them. I was the only “long-nose” there and some looked at me like I have 2 heads and 3 arms. I am usually a quite tough guy, but seeing the love and pride in the preparation and celebration of the Fiesta and the Parade was touching. I could not decide to be happy or to start crying. Actually I had to sweep some tears out of my eyes before I smiled and enjoyed it even more than the big festivals. All the people were in their “Sunday-church” outfit and the girls and women participating in the parade, rented beautiful gowns. It was a kind of strange picture to see them walking proud and smiling through some dirty back-roads of the Barangay.

When I came back home I looked at the pictures I took and went into a very sentimental mood. Many thoughts are running through my mind as I write this article. An experience like that brings me back with my feet on the ground and make me thinking of the way we “exist” next to each other here in that small town. I know many Expats and foreigners here in the Philippines who lost the view for reality. Nothing bad in general, but go out of my way and don’t bother me with your complaints. …Bad internet…. Lazy Philippinos… No coke Light… brownout… and many many more things everybody can listen to.

Serious if you guys only complain …

 …go back where you come from!!!

… Or maybe they can’t as they are looser in their own country and in life. Where else can you be a 55+ year old ugly unhealthy alcoholic, but still have a loving and caring 25 year old beautiful woman with you. (I am also alcoholic, fat, ugly and unhealthy, but at least only 37… hehe). Watching and listening to those guys make me vomit.

But there are exceptions too… Mike Feeney from the Adventure Diveshop in Dumaguete buys for the Peanut-Kids at the Boulevard their school-supply like notebooks, pencils and helps the school on Apo Island. Some Bar-owners in Angeles City organizing charity events to support local hospitals, orphanages and much more. Some don’t forget where they are and try to give something back to this lovely country and the people here, who provide the surrounding for us to be here.

I love the Philippines, the country, the diving, the people. I want to live with the people of this country, participate in their lifestyle, laugh with them and try to give something back, even it is just a fraction of the love and joy I received here in the Philippines….

Amen for today, promise my next article will be funny, insulting and/or about diving again…