And new curtains. We always had new curtains on fiesta day. Towards the end of November, every morning when I woke up I would peer out of the gauzy mosquitero and check the windows. If I beheld a new pattern of dainty floral prints on thin Chinese cotton on the windows and bold foliage on heavier linen on the doorways, then it was a sure sign that indeed fiesta day had arrived. Yes, every doorway in the house had its own curtain, too.
And then there was the carnival. The carnival would come to town every fiesta time and I just so fervently loved it. It was so magical for me. Night after night I would beg, plead, cajole my grandparents to please take me to the carnival and knowing that they did not have a lot of money, I promised to ride the train only once and the caterpillar once, also. And no snacking, even. I just wanted to be in the carnival place.
And then high school came and my friends would come and hang-out the whole long day. I figured, since there’s so much food in the kitchen anyway, why don’t we start with breakfast and work our way through dinner by visiting other households that were also celebrating the fiesta? And so we did. It was such a fun and memorable time for all of us because Silliman is a Protestant school and fiestas are a Catholic tradition so it was an activity that crossed religious party lines, so to speak. We even had a classmate who was a practicing SDA and who ate pork, in the form of lechon, for the first time in her life.
And then adulthood came and I became a doctor and learned that eating all those artery clogging dishes was not good at all and the accompanying ethanol extravaganzas were even worse. The hospitals are actually on alert during fiestas because this is a time when there are a lot of DUI vehicular accidents as well as cases of GI upsets. Not to mention the occasional stab wounds or mauling and the falling-into-the-canal because of drunkenness.
And then the carnival lost its magic. After having experienced Disneyland and the like, I wanted to weep the first time I went back to my fiesta carnival. The carnival that I so loved seemed so dismally pathetic compared to the first world theme parks.
And then my uncles left. My Uncle Felix, whose birthday it is today, is now based in Houston. And my Uncle Nonoy, whose birthday it was yesterday, has passed away after a stroke several years ago. Which brings me to this link, two 15-second video ads made by my friend, Bonnie, for the Philippine Stroke Society.
As for my curtains, they're colored cream, just like my walls. They have been like that since forever. My sister whines, don't I have plans of changing those curtains? Like, ever? Sure, I said. When the threads have more or less unraveled, which could be anytime soon, in the next few years.