Less time at the cemeteries

We went to Amadeo, Cavite for our departed paternal grandparents and other relatives last October 31, then to Sta. Maria, Bulacan for our maternal ones last November 1. We didn’t do much at the cemetery. It would seem to me that we’ve been spending less time at the cemeteries the past few years. It’s not like the way it used to when aunts, cousins and relatives from all over spend an entire afternoon together at the family mausoleums for Undas. The atmosphere around the cemetery, especially in Sta. Maria, is as festive as usual. Undas always feels like one big fiesta at the cemeteries, with food stalls and marching bands roving around playing religious music.

I killed time by reading a book and taking photos of Tisay, who at one point, just suddenly began posing in different manners, without coaching, much to our amusement.

Sta. Maria town fiesta 2008

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If my birthday doesn’t fall on the day of our town’s fiesta, it falls a few days before or after the celebration held every first Thursday of February. I spent some hours during the day in Sta. Maria, Bulacan last February 7 before going to my late afternoon class and took it as an opportunity to stroll around and take some pictures. Traffic in the poblacion, and in the highway around the Bocaue area is terrible whenever it’s fiesta day. Ambulant vendors, flea markets and thousands of pedestrians are all over the streets. It can get pretty frustrating, especially when you’re driving into and out of town, but it actually makes the environment feel quite festive.

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After my late afternoon class that always last four hours into the evening, I invited some friends to come with me back to Sta. Maria and have dinner at our place. As expected, we were stuck in heavy traffic on our way. However, watching the spectacular fireworks display that went off while we were on the road made the wait in traffic and the frustrated hunger bearable.

Welcome, 2008!

January 1, 2008. Similar to last year, I celebrated the New Year with the family in our good-ol’ family grocery in Bulacan. In the land of firecrackers, fireworks aren’t necessarily those beautiful fiery explosions in the sky that one would normally imagine, but they’re definitely heart-thumping and loud. Just when the year was about to change, the bomb-like explosions of the strong firecrackers went off and it went on for a quarter of an hour, with no half a second of silence. A little past twelve, I went up to our top floor and watched the landscape flicker in chaos. Tens of thousands of mini rockets exploding everywhere across the Bulacan landscape. It was quite amusing–I imagined it as a scene from a war, with thousands of anti-aircraft missiles flying in the air to fend off a foreign invasion.

We went back home to Quezon City at around 1 in the morning. It was an interesting sight. There were no other vehicles in the expressway except ours, seriously. It felt like we owned it. Or we were the only survivors of my imagined New Year’s war.