The fiestas we missed in this month of May

Published May 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

E CARTOON MAY 28, 2020 COPY (1)We are now in the last few days of May. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Aeronautical Services Administration  (PAGASA) said there is now a stationary front  over Northern Luzon, an indication of the approaching rainy season in the country.

The front is bringing scattered rains in parts  of Northern Luzon, but will dissipate  in a few days, permitting the return  of the easterlies from the Pacific that bring warm and humid weather.  Then these warm  easterlies  will give way to the southwest monsoon, which we know as  the  “habagat.”

The  habagat winds are loaded  with vapor from the seas  southwest  of us. As they reach our country, they rise to the cooler air above our  islands, then  drop their load of rains, starting in the  western   parts of the country, including Metro Manila.  The  rainy season  then begins in the Philippines – anytime between  this   last week of May and the first week of June.

This month of May  is coming to a close but because of of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that  stopped all normal activity in the country,  the many  fiestas  associated with this month have passed without any celebration  this year.  People cannot even go churches for Sunday Masses; they could not possibly  gather  in plazas and in their homes   for the traditional  feasts, concerts, and marching bands.

Notably  missing  this year were the  Flores de Mayo and Santacruzans  that are so much a part of Filipino life and tradition. In previous  years, in this last week of May, there would be a grand Santacruzan  in Metro Manila featuring some of the  country’s movie queens  as Reyna Elena and other traditional characters of  the evening procession.

We miss many other fiestas  celebrated in various parts of the country in May — the Pista’y Dayat of Lingayen, Pangasinan;  the Carabao Festivals of Angono, Rizal,  and Pulilan, Bulacan; the Pahiyas of Quezon;  the famous  fertility rites of Obando, Bulacan; the pilgrimage to Antipolo, Rizal.  These are only some of the many festivals in Luzon,  Visayas, and Mindanao  that  could not be celebrated  this month.

The rainy season, at  least, will come  as it has always come at this time of the year.  As for the traditional May festivals, it will all depend on how long the COVID-19 pandemic  will last. It may well  still be around for months and years,  until a cure and a vaccine are found.

We hope that it will be soon so that we can begin  rebuilding  our lives. And we can start celebrating our fiestas and our festivals like the ones we missed in this month of May.