This is a personal blog contributed by our former writer, Epoy Cubillas. This article and the photos Alva captured out of a witty ‘move’ he did with his camera, will prove once more that Parada ng Lechon is truly merry-making at its best!
It is a feast wherein roast pigs, replete with costumes amongst other effects, are paraded around the municipality.
Oh! The joy of seeing a single, Balayan-made lechon alone could make us froth at the mouth, but imagine standing with thousands of other people under a proud sun, occasional water splashes, and tens maybe hundreds of lechons drive past your eyes. A sensory assault, indeed.
The parade was ridiculously lively to say at the very least.
As a first time attendee of the said festival, I particularly enjoyed the longest bulingan I have ever witnessed. I, together with Alva and Manuel, were practically wetting people until our arms got tired of all the water splashing.
“Salamat po! Salamat po!” a motorbike rider told a man about 40 years old after the latter poured on the former at least a bucket full of ice-cold water. Such is their deep understanding of the feast of Saint John the Baptist.
As said in the 2009 Parada ng Lechon article of WOWBatangas, “Parada ng Lechon tradition coincide with the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, bystanders shower and splash parade participants with water and vice versa. It is believed that by becoming drenched with water, people receive blessings just like the way Jesus received the blessings of the Holy Spirit after being baptized by St. John (San Juan Bautismo.”
Moreover, it was a perfect time for picture taking since the festival is grande, the place is culture-rich, and the gorgeous people of Balayan made taking pictures not so hard of a task.
Funny thing is, Alva forgot to bring his waterproof camera and he had to do the “cellophane moves” wherein he made use of clear plastic and scotch tapes to cover his trusty DSLR. The cellophane moves saved our day.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say my thank yous to Alva of WOWBatangas who invited me to come in this momentous occasion; to Manuel Mendoza, the painter-friend of Alva who warmly welcomed and toured us around, and of course, to the people of Balayan who, through their activities and rich traditions and delicious lechon, cleansed my once severely bored soul.