wow, so the last two days have actually been kind of busy!
Yesterday I went to yet another fiesta. Fiestas are done by barangays, which are certain areas of the town. I guess you could kind of think of them as neighborhoods. Each barangay has a patron saint, and when it's that saint's birthday they all celebrate it with a fiesta. The party is drawn out over several days, with each day usually featuring one or two big events. The day that I went, yesterday, was the Mass at the local chapel and then a day packed with eating. People host lunches, snacks, dinners, and more snacks at their homes and people circulate around the barangay, eating the day away. It's a pretty big deal and it's not uncommon for one household to kill 4 pigs and a carabao for fiesta. It's a happy time for Filipinos, not so happy time for the pigs.
Yesterday was also my first wedding in the Philippines. It started with a 2 hour service, which included Mass, and then finished with a reception at the local covered basketball court. There were a lot of similarities between this wedding and American weddings. The bride wore a beautiful white gown, they cut the cake, had sappy love songs playing, and a bossy photographer followed the couple around non-stop.
I did see some things that American weddings don't usually feature. First, the couple had people called "sponsors" who stood up with them at the wedding. These were not the bridesmaids or groomsmen (they also had those though), but were older people from the couple's lives that will guide them and offer support if they ever need it. Second, lechon. Lechon is a whole roasted pig that they set out at every major social function in the Philippines. Again, not a happy day for the pigs. Lastly, the couple's first dance included everyone in the audience coming up and pinning money to the couple's clothes. By the end of the song, they had dozens of peso bills attached to them. I really enjoyed going to the wedding.
Today I visited Inopacan's island, Digyo. It was a pretty overcasted day, so it was shady the entire time...so much for that awesome Peace Corps/Filipno tan! We headed back to the mainland around 3, and hit a torrential downpour in the pumpboat. Not so fun... But we're back now, and I'm eating Dove chocolate, so I can't complain. At least no pigs were killed during today's activities... oh no wait, they had pork for lunch. Sorry piggy.