celebrate town fiesta
(Vol 101 Number 103, September 30, 1993), Toronto, Canada
UYUGAN, Batanes- Las glorias
de Antonino! Las glorias de Antonino! Once again this
familiar refrain extolling San Antonino de Florencia rings the streets
of this town as Isantoninos and Non-Isantoninos alike, came to celebrate
the fiesta of their of their patron saint.
The centre of these celebrations is the community celebration of Mass.
This is then followed by an all-day long religious and cultural presentations
at the town square.
Isantoninos are a hospitable people, but they're at their best at this
day (May10) of the year, when they share their food and drink with guest
and friends. They are always happy to have them, as long as they do not
take their hospitality too seriously and decide to say.
Some Isantoninos greet their guests with a native concoction called "naypudiran."
According to those who have had one cup too many of the stuff, a cup could
send the unsuspecting into space orbit, without even leaving terra firma.
It also gives a peculiar footwork that's known as the "Kayuganan shuffle."
It's said that a step forward is countered by a couple of steps backwards.
Therefore, to reach your destination, you have to head to the opposite
The rights to the natives concoction are owned by the Bartilad family--a
prominent Kayuganan family.
This town is "Bow Oat country" but gone are the days when merely a mention
of the Bow Oats name sends chills down the spines of strangers. Things
are different now-- too cultured to be true-- although there are still
instances where strangers find themselves in awkward situations, and the
only advice you can give them is: Please leave town before sunset!
To those familiar with Uyugan legend, Mr. Bow Oat is that diminutive Isantonino
(barely five feet tall) who was unceremoniously tossed into a lion's den--
an instantaneously split the lion in half with is bare hands.
Subject to the approval of the clergy, a group of Isantoninos are planning
to introduce an "old boys" version of "gozos" next year, to be called
"Forever Young." They haven't decided yet, on the captaincy, but Ka Ipe
is a clear favourite for the position, although Balbao is not far behind.
The two were not all that pleased when informed of their standing, but
both managed a laugh and jointly issued a brief press release: "We don't
actively seek the job, but if offered to either of us, it's too good to
So there you got it--girls and boys!
Las glorias de Antonino! Las glorias de Antonino!