Lazada Philippines

Monday, June 25, 2012

We had fun in Balayan!

This may not be that typical festival where the streets are filled with beautifully dressed people dancing through the drum beats. This may not be that typical festival where roads are closed because gigantic floats are passing by the streets. And this may not be that typical festival where people are soaked in sweat to see their favorite artists joining the fun. But despite of all of that Balayan, Batangas Festival is one festival that I'm sure you'd love to experience because it'll not juts fill you tummies with delectable lechons, but it will also soaked you in watery fun through their annual "Parada ng Lechon."

Celebrated every 24th of June, Balayan, Batangas, another province in the Philippines that's famous when it comes to lechon or roasted pig, held their yearly "Parada ng Lechon" or Roasted Pig Parade in celebration of the town's fiesta. And alongside this delectable and truly mouthwatering parade was a pure squelchy fun splash of excitement as they give thanks to one of the town's patron saint St. John the Baptist.

This is my first time to witness this festival, and even though I have this little point of comparison, since I've been to La Laoma, Quezon City's Lechon Festival and San Juan City's San Juan Day, I know that this is gonna be special because I'm with my favorite officemates, Rio and Danica a.k.a Puka Girls. Hehe.

We arrived in Balayan at around noon time a day before the town fiesta. Coming from Manila via private van, which you can find in Pasay Taft, it only cost us Php180.00 and 2 and a half hours to get there. Danica is from Balayan, so our accommodation wasn't a problem at all.

We reached their home safe and sound, and with her family all-smile welcoming us, we had our first lunch courtesy of her aunts - a delectable one, if I may add. :-)

Our itinerary that day includes the Balayan Church, the Balayan ancestral houses (yes, there are some here), Balayan Baywalk and the Perya (yes again, that town carnival).

After our tummy-filling lunch, the group rested for an hour before we headed to our first destination.

Balayan Church, a National Cultural Treasure, was able to stand the test time of time since it was built in 1870s. It's Baroque style was highlighted by its red-bricked belfry that stand grandeur in the middle of the town - a must see in this side of town.

After exploring the church, Danica took us around the town for some ancestral houses appreciation. I honestly didn't know that Balayan holds such a stunning collection of these houses - something that the government should see and evaluate because I find most of them in really good condition and could be a potential tourist destination in this part of the country.

And something to balance those old and truly mystifying sights, Danica also took us to the town's newest attraction, the Balayan Baywalk.

Though, the sea on this part needs more love and care, I think it is a great idea for the local government to turn this place into this really nice-looking breather. The time we got there, there were families and friends enjoying the somehow fresh air and beautiful view that this place has to offer so it was just perfect. We were able to put out feet up and took a rest in the cabanas that were built inside this area - a really plus factor about this place.

By around 5, the group decided to see Danica's other aunt to have our afternoon merienda. Her aunt introduced to us the counter part of Maja Blanca, a famous Pampangga delicacy, the Maja Blanco.

It's actually the same, but Maja Blaco was a little stickier and thicker... The topping is a dried coconut meat called "latik" - the Batangas version of "latik".

It was her aunt who cooked this one, so if ever you wanna try this, I guess, you have to meet Mama Elsa too! Hehe.

The "perya" wasn't still up after our merienda, so we decided to go back home and continue our resting there. Unknowingly, we were already asleep after some lying on our bed, and by the time our eyes opened again, it was already late for dinner.

Some cousins of Danica joined us on our "perya" trip, so it was really fun. We all lost some money in the "perya", but we sure had a hell lot of fun trying our luck there. We ended our night there with some burger and fries bingeing before heading back home again for our final beauty rest.

The following day, the big day, we all decided not to take a bath anymore. Since we all know that we're just gonna be wet, we braved in ourselves walking the street towards the town proper with our whole outfit ready to be soaked in water.

And guess what, in less than 5 minutes outside the house, we already found ourselves dripping. Hahaha! It was like every house the we passed through were ready to splash water unto us. Some are okay but some are terribly cold, making us shiver whiel walking towards the parade venue. 

I tell you, it was one crazy festival. Everyone had their own way of splashing water to anyone. From the typical pale and plastic bottles to the bazooka-like water guns, it was really wet and wild festivity that was soaked it pure watery fun!

After some minutes of waiting, the parade of roasted pigs came into view. There were some local bands marching along with it adding more fun to the parade. 

It was the longest roasted pig parade that I've ever witnessed in my whole life. There were about more than 50 roasted pigs that I've seen that day. Some were dressed in their most glamorous and funny way, while some are just covered in plastic to keep its skin from the splashes of water brought by the spectators who are a great part of this whole fun.


And of course, as a tradition, there are still some few lechons that didn't make it til the end. Hehe. They say, before all of the lechon that are part of the parade are free for everyone to eat. It just recently that owners covered up their lechons with plastic making it hard for spectators to have a taste of their offering. So, I hope that next year, there'll be more of those "free lechon" for everyone to enjoy! :-)

After the parade, the sprinkle of fun continues as the splashing of water keeps on going on every streets of Balayan. They say that this fun continues til the end of the day, but there are still some streets that are safe from the splash, you just need a good guide to know that. Hehe.

It was one heart-warming experience that I would love to do again next year. The heart-felt accommodation and the coolness of everything about this festivity are just some of the reasons why I'm recommending this for everyone to try.

Thank you, Rio and Danica for that wonderful weekend! Til our next escapade!
Thank you too to Danica's family for the wonderful accommodation and stories!
And thank you, Balayan! It was such a pleasure visiting you! Til next year! :-)

Happy rammmpa!


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