Remember when you first discovered that Santa Claus wasn’t real? I can’t remember at what age I found out that Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick was a fraud. And, now, alas, the crusty old expat, an American living in the Philippines for almost eight years, has to declare that our island province’s biggest party, the annual mango festival, no longer holds the same allure it once possessed. For me, “Manggahan 2017: The Magic is Gone.”
The Crusty Old Expat, Party Pooper
Have I simply grown too old for all-night parties and shindigs? Why it was only five years ago that my asawa and I would stay out until 2 or 3 am listening to the live bands at the annual mango mash.
While most of those late night celebrations were fueled by way too many bottles of Red Horse, I suppose my present day reduced alcohol intake has something to do with my skipping the big island fiesta. Alcohol does tend put to me in a party mood. Now I get excited if I only have to get up to pee only once during the night.
The current Governor of Guimaras, the island province we call home, has seen fit to dilute the Manggahan Festival by holding so-called Manggahan-related events scattered throughout the province months before the actual main event. I call these other events “Manggahan Lite.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the “old days” under former Governor Felipe Nava when all of Manggahan’s events were held in the capital, San Miguel, Jordan, during the actual main Manggahan Festival which was only a week long.
Old Farts Gather
That said I sent a few text messages to some other old farts on the island to see if they wanted to meet during the first night of the official Manggahan Festival.The usual suspects showed up plus a newcomer to the group, “German Joe” seen in the forefront of the following picture.
We ate at Lisa’s Grill & Talabahan and I only quaffed a few bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen the whole evening. I ordered my usual five sticks of grilled pork from Lisa’s. It was tasty but my spouse thought the BBQ lacked the usual flavor punch it usually packs. I really didn’t notice any difference but did take note the beer wasn’t very cold, which is usually the case at Lisa’s.
Our group left around 10 pm. We had stopped at another hangout that my expat friends frequent on Wednesday afternoons. I can’t remember the name of the joint but the beer was cold.
My asawa took our nieces and nephews (seen in the next shot) to the festival several days later to see some dance group from “Showtime,” the Hash Browns.
Hash Browns Show Up Late
Only four “Hash Browns,” err… “Hash Tags” showed up and they didn’t arrive on stage until 1 am. I was at home sleeping by then after watching two consecutive movies on Fox’s Action Movies; “Shadow Man” with Steven Segal and “Checkpoint” with wrestling superstar Goldberg. Our blue Ford Ranger didn’t pull up into the driveway until a little past 2.
Take note of our niece DenDen, standing next to my asawa and next to her cousin Shaina with the #92 jersey. DenDen can be seen on the cover of my new updated E-book, “The Philippines Expat Advisor.”
Our pretty niece will be starting her last year of high school this year and will earn a cut of the proceeds from the sales of my book to help fund her college education. And, for the first time in years, I’ll be offering affiliates the opportunity to earn some cash by selling my book on their website or social media site. Click HERE for more details.
Can the Manggahan Magic Be Restored?
Can the Manggahan magic be restored? Well, as far as my nieces and nephews go, the magic never left. My ever-patient wife took our kin to Manggahan a couple of times and they had a blast. The crowds were massive, according to my spouse, and I probably would have gotten grumpy if someone had accidentally jostled me. But if you live in Guimaras or nearby Iloilo City, its a party you probably don’t want to miss, as long as you’re not a crusty old expat like me.