Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 Fiesta of San Juan Batista in Parian, Cebu, Philippines

The Cofradia of San Juan Batista (St. John the Baptist) celebrated it's tenth year this 2014. While our devotion to St. John the Precursor carries through the entire year, we celebrate St. John the Baptist's nativity (June 24) and death (August 29). Louie Nacorda, Val Sandiego and other members keep this lay religious group alive and thriving. 

I make it a point to visit Cebu in June to take part in the fiesta of San Juan. It is not just for religious reasons,but also to reconnect with my roots. The community that celebrates St. John's feast day on June 24 is the Parian in the historic district of Cebu, where many members of Cebu's Old Families once lived. We try to celebrate the fiesta the old fashioned way, as our fore parents did. We wear traditional Filipino clothing, have a Mass, and have a procession with religious images on carosas through the narrow streets of Old Cebu, just as our ancestors did. 

The procession is followed by a celebratory meal. In the olden days, most households had an open house, welcoming all guests into their homes (and feeding them). Last night, some of us dined at the Dona Filomena Building in Zulueta, enjoying traditional foods like pancit molo, lechon, paella. 

A special treat for the night was a harpist, whose wonderful music helped soothe our souls. (I'm going to make a plug for one of Cebu's harpist here, Harpist Paul, cell # 09212650843 -- I do recommend him. I learned last night that there are harpists and harp-makers in Cebu! Our musician Paul also makes harps -- 10,000 pesos, he said when I asked him; and he teaches the buyers. He himself had learned when he was a boy from a very old man.)

That's Louie Nacorda and me in the last picture.

Read also
Cebu's Old Jesuit House of 1730
Historic Parian Updates 2012
A Story of Hope

This is all for now,

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