Day 437 of retirement

Hi All

Saturday 16th April:

Busy day today. Up at 8:00am just as Ron arrived for an early morning chat. Once he left we got the Buko factory in operation as Vicki had delivered a bag of coconuts yesterday. As Jas & Mike arrive tomorrow we now have a nice stock of Buko juice for them.

At midday off to see the bride (Grace) and groom (Wayne) over Boac way. Guy doesn’t have a dress with her in the island, so is borrowing one from Grace for the ceremony tomorrow.

On the way home dropped into Joseph’s Mini-Mart to post the blog and Guy have a manicure and pedicure. The lady works out of Joseph’s so works for us both.

In Gasan we dropped in to see Rose to organize her to come to the cottage at 7:30am and do Guy’s makeup for the wedding. Ron and I are picking up Jas & Mike from the airport at 8:00am and dropping them at the cottage then Ron, Vicki, Guy and I are heading to the wedding, which is at 10:00am.

Big bag of Pandecoco for us all and back home in time for a nice cold refreshing Buko juice.

Guy cooked up some food for the next few days for us all and we readied the cottage for our visitors.

Sunday 17th April:

Up early as I’m off to the airport with Ron to pick up Jas & Mike and Guy has Rose, the beautician, coming to do her makeup for the wedding.

The plane was 20 minutes early (arriving at 7:30am) so back at the cottage just after 8:00am. Guy had her make up completed on our return. Got the boys organized with food and at 9:00am we caught a ride with Ron and Vicki to the wedding of Wayne and Grace in by Boac.

It was a civil ceremony at a function centre on the beach so we had a nice sea breeze. I was a Ninong and Guy was a Ninang (sponsors to witness (sign the marriage certificate) the wedding). The ceremony was only about 15 minutes and followed by lots of pics. Everybody gets photographed with the couple and they call you up in groups. Very organized.

Lunch was served and the food was absolutely delicious and lots of it. Following lunch there were the speeches. Once again lots of people spoke and it was well organized as you are called up to speak. The great thing was everybody’s speech was short and sweet, no looonnnggggg speeches.

Then the bridal dance followed where Guy and I had to join in.

The final entertainment for the day was where the Ninong and Ninang’s sat in chairs and the locals sing a welcome song to us. They then present us with a bouquet of flowers and place a tiara on our heads. This tradition is called a ‘putong’, literally translated as ‘crowning one’s head’.

The final part of this tradition is where we throw lots P1 and P5 coins into the crowd for the kids to collect. The kids (and kids at heart) went crazy and loved it. There were even a few P100 notes thrown and man did they make the kids scramble.

No blood or tears from this little activity so all good.

It was a great day and we thoroughly enjoyed the wedding.

Back to the cottage for a siesta followed by a walk up the beach with the boys before dinner.

Monday 18th April:

Up and off to Boac for the day. We caught a Jeepney and an hour later we arrived. The first stop was a new ‘fine dining’ restaurant that opened today above an existing “fast food” eatery. We meet John (the pom) there and we all enjoyed and early buffet lunch. The food was very nice (Filipino style food) including the Buko salad for desert.

We wandered across to the city square and had a look at the Moriones Festival headquarters. We had missed the morning parade but the dressed up soldiers were still out and about.

A stroll up the hill to the 17th Century Cathedral followed. We had a good look round the grounds, took some pics, and then back down the hill to the third floor roof top venue of a local hotel over looking Boac. We enjoyed a nice cold Coke as the day was getting quite hot and humid.

Back down and over to the museum, which has some of the history of Marinduque on display. As it was rather warm now we headed back to the restaurant for Halo-Halo before back on the jeepney for home.

On arrival at the cottage, a quick siesta was in order for us all as it had been a big day out.

A nice cool shower to wash away the sweat with a freshly cooked dinner completed a great day out.

Tuesday 19th April:

Up at 5:00am and we all left to walk to the Gasan market at 6:00am (6km walk). As it is market day we were taking the boys in for their market experience. Was a nice leisurely walk in along the coast road in the cool of the morning.

While Guy and I did the grocery shopping the boys explored the sights, sounds and the smells of the market.  For lunch and dinner we purchased some fresh ready cooked dishes from the market.

We caught the jeepney back to the cottage and had a late breakfast. Guy also bought four freshly cooked crabs from just up the road to try. They were actually very very sweet and yummy or so I’m told. I’m not a crab person I’m afraid.

The boys had a swim to cool off before lunch. A nice long afternoon siesta followed for us all as it was quite hot and humid.

Mike also developed nice big painful blisters on both feet from the walk this morning so he was hobbling about. We called off the early morning hike with Gerald tomorrow morning. Rest day with a sleep in is in order.

Wednesday 20th April:

Bit of a sleep in for us all this morning. Hiking was called off to rest up Mike’s blisters on both feet. After a leisurely early lunch Guy headed for Mahjong and we (the boys) headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for an afternoon of Wi-Fi to catch up on emails, blog, facebook, etc.

Before we left we wandered across the road past the Police station, the now closed jail and the hospital.

We caught a trike in and a very empty jeepney back, which was a nice change from being packed in like sardines. A nice quite evening was had by all, and to top it off, Guy had a big win at mahjong as well.

Thursday 21st April:

It is an Easter public holiday today and tomorrow but not on Monday. Most of the market is open today but closed tomorrow so we will top up our supplies.

Had some light rain this morning but all cleared by 10:00am. We headed into Gasan for some Moriones Festival activities. Today there was a music competition between the schools. The musical instruments were pieces of wood that are various lengths and diameters, which give off different sounds when hit together. The instruments are called Kalutang (pronounced ka-lu-tongue).

Each group played the same song but all had their own little dances to go with it. In the elementary school section we had one school where two boys who were about 8 years old got the dance steps mixed up and ran into each other. The result was that they almost came to blows during the performance, which was actually quite entertaining as they traded insults with each other while still playing.

The crowd enjoyed the distraction and they actually won the elementary school section.

Off to the market for our supplies for the next few days then a jeepney ride back home for lunch. A siesta followed with a little rain falling to serenade us as we rested.

At 4:00pm ish I took the boys for a walk back into them there hills up onto a plateau for a view of Mount Malindig and the coast looking south. Take a slight different turn on the way home and had to do a bit of bush bashing down a spur to get back to the track but all good and made it home just on dark.

Fresh veggies and some smoked Pork sausages all cooked up for dinner with some fluffy steaming rice.

Friday 22nd April:

Up at 5:00am and left for Gerald’s place at 5:45am with Guy in tow. She walked back home from Gerald’s as I stayed and utilized his printer and scanner to print out a form from my bank re the credit card fraud, sign it, scanned it and then email it back to the bank. All done and home by 8:00am.

Lazy morning and after lunch we all headed into Gasan for the day’s Moriones Festival activities.

There was a parade at 3:30am of all the Moriones soldiers going through the streets. We then headed up the hill to the Cathedral for a visit and then back to the port. A visit to Barbarossa for some French fries, Halo-Halo, Coke and beer got us through to dusk when the main street procession of the whole festival took place.

There were about 25 floats all based on the Easter theme. Each one had a generator attached to it, so they were all lit up with lots and lots of lights. Very spectacular as they made they way through the streets of Gasan in the dark.

Each float was basically supplied by a family belonging to one of the two main churches (catholic and aglipayan) in town. Following the float was a large group of family and friends with lit candles. We reckon that there were about 2,000 people in the parade alone with all the streets jammed with on lookers.

It was a very spectacular night and enjoyed by all.

Saturday 23rd April:

Leah our stand in washing and cleaning lady here at 9:00am. She had her work cut out for her today as she had the extra washing from Jas and Mike as well. We actually ran our of clothes line space and as clothes dried during the day, I had to hang the remaining washing.

The boys got to experience their first brownout Marinduque style. Luckily they had made their coffee for breakfast before it went off. It was only off for an hour or so, so not too bad.

Guy and I did a quick trip into the market for some supplies. We had a Buffet lunch today as we had five different local fresh dishes with rice for the boys to try. All good and nothing they don’t like, yet.

Guy off to Mahjong and the boys chilled round the cottage. Later in the afternoon Jas and I went for a walk back into valleys at the foothills exploring and taking pics of the locals. Was a very pleasant walk all be it a little hot and humid. But nice back at the cottage with the afternoon sea breeze.

Relaxing evening as we have another early start tomorrow morning as we hit Gasan for the street dancing as part of the Moriones Festival.

Sunday 24th April:

Up and out of the cottage at 7:00am and into Gasan for the street dancing parade. It was scheduled for 7:30am and started at 8:15am so pretty much right on time.

It consisted of each Barangay having a group of dancers (made up mainly of kids of all ages) and accompanied by drummers. And boy did these guys drum. When they passed by, you could feel your whole body reverberate from the drumbeats. It was great.

They started at the town park and did a big loop round so we got to see them twice. The streets were packed and as each group came along the crowd would part and then merge to cover the road again. No barriers, police, security guards or people getting agro. Just one big happy, friendly, cheerful street party and we all loved it.

It was pretty hot as well and it took over an hour to do the loop but these kids just kept dancing and the drummers just kept drumming. Lots of hot sweaty bodies and it was just starting for them.

Once they were back in the park they then performed once again, one at a time, in front of a judging panel to see who would win the day. We went to the park but left as it was wall-to-wall people and you just couldn’t see or move.

We wandered down to the market for a few supplies then hit the Barbarossa for some well-deserved refreshments, cheeseburgers and a club sandwich.

There was a brownout while we were in town but luckily the power came back on just before we arrived home.

Guy broke out the Karaoke and her and Mike spent some time “singing” and I use that term very loosely. This was followed by a siesta for me and the kids while Guy kept “singing” away.

A further big batch of Moriones Festival photographs will be published next week. Lots to go through at the moment.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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