Pretty pinays were on parade at the 20th Annual Manggahan Festival held in Guimaras last month. Escorted by a posse from the Philippine National Police, PNP, I withstood the early morning heat from my unshaded vantage point to snap the following photographs. This American expat living in the Philippines stood out like Al-Qaeda at a bar mitzvah.
The officer driving this vehicle returned my wave as I approached his police car for a close-up view. I’ve spoken to peace officers of the PNP on previous occasions and they’ve always been a friendly bunch to talk to. Though I was standing in the middle of the street, no one chased me off. One of the participating groups even stopped so I could get a better picture. Only in the Philippines.
Had motorcycle clubs in the mango festival parade. 86% of all registered vehicles in Guimaras are motorcycles. None of the riders were wearing helmets. Republic Act 10054 of the Philippines mandates that all motorcycle riders must wear protective motorcycle helmets while driving. Tricycle drivers are exempt from this law.
However, it’s been my personal observation that laws in the Philippines may be enacted but not always enforced. I’ve noted many motorcycle riders in Guimaras and Iloilo, where we reside, that do not wear any type of head gear.
The Tom Cat, my American expat friend living in the Philippines, and I, have met the young man in the green t-shirt holding the sign on numerous occasions in Guimaras. A friendly, mentally-challenged Filipino that always greets us as his “amigo.” I walked over to him, much to the delight of the members of the motorcycle group, shook his hand and loudly asked how “my amigo” was.
Marching Muslims? Certainly was an entertaining entry in the parade and unexpected to me since Guimaras does not have a large contingent of Islam followers. The majority of residents are Catholic. They were part of a company of street dancers that would be participating in a competition later in the day at the Manggahan Festival.
I was certainly impressed by this move the marchers pulled off. As a 61-year-old geezer, I can barely get up on my own two feet let alone stand on somebody’s shoulders.
Here’s a look at one of my favorite dance groups in the parade. Check out the photos of this colorful crew and I’m sure you can tell why I enjoyed photographing these cute Filipinas.
A gorgeous group of Guimaras girls accompanied by their male partners in traditional tribal dress. All of the participants in the parade entertained the onlookers lined along the main parade route. I flagged down a vendor selling cold bottles of water and plunked down P10 pesos for a large bottle. Though the festivities started early at 8 am, the high humidity and temperatures, already in the mid-80’s, made for sweaty conditions. Thankfully, I was able to take a shower at our home in “The Compound” before starting out that morning.
Here are a couple more pictures of my favorite dancers at the Manggahan Festival in Guimaras. And yes, I probably did focus too much on the pretty pinay in the center with the exposed belly button, but I’m hopeful that my male readers appreciate my effort.
My own beautiful asawa was at her home in Guimaras with her sister, nanay (Mom) and nieces and nephew. Otherwise, I might have felt the sharp sting of a bolo alongside my head had she accompanied me when I went in for the close-ups. But she knew I was “on duty” for the website and no sacrifice was too great for my loyal readers.
Another brightly-clad group of dancers were up next. I got up close to get a better photo of the crew and the cute Filipina on the right flashed a big smile. Guess she didn’t expect to see an aging American expat to be standing in the middle of the street taking pictures at the Manggahan Festival in Guimaras.
The end of the parade route consisted of a couple of commercial sponsors such as Cignal satellite television and the following truck for a local finance company. I approached the vehicle and asked the pretty pinay sitting in back of the pick-up if I could take her picture. I joked to the guys on board that I was sorry but I really wasn’t interested in their picture. They smiled and nodded and the driver even stopped to allow me to take the close-up shot.
Beautiful Filipina protected by the heat of the early morning sun with the pink umbrella. Further proof that indeed, it is more fun in the Philippines.
Didn’t stay for the actual street dance competition but wandered the grounds of the Manggahan Festival looking for some shade and a cold mango shake. Would meet up with American expat friend Tom later in the day. My asawa and I would be taking our nieces and nephews to the carnival and hook up with the Tom Cat and his girlfriend, LenLen, later. More thrills, chills and spills coming up in the next post.