Monday, January 25, 2016

Festival Week

This week in San Ildefonso they had their yearly festival.  It's called the Bulak and Gulay Festival, which means Cotton and Vegetable Festival.  There was a parade and dance performances, and a carnival and markets, and food stands, and all kinds of festivities during the week.

 Here we are at Umbrella Park in the main center of San Ildefonso.

 We saw birds for sale, some of which were dyed in multi-colors.

I tried an egg-shell filled dessert.  We don't know what it was made of, or how they made it; but inside it had a gelatin custard type of filling with a white part and a yolk part.

 They had a big parade down the main road that we watched.  There was also a dance competition between local high schools at an auditorium of one of the colleges.

 The parade had lots of dancers and floats.  It was very crowded with spectators lining the streets. The people watching really crowd right up to the people and floats, so close you could easily touch them.

 One night at the outdoor stage in the town square they had dance performances from 10 different high schools.  We went to see one of the YW from our Branch, Eliza, in the middle.  We sat with her mother and grandmother and watched all the performances until late at night.

 One day in the mall we saw a Bustos (another near by town) children dance group dancing down the main aisle in historic Philippine costumes.

 One day I went on a service project.  We were helping the caretakers of this mansion, which has been empty for about 10 years.  They live in the small home in front here and take care of the grounds and watch over the house.

 The grounds had gotten so overgrown they would probably never have gotten caught up.  I worked there all morning with 18 of the missionaries as we pulled and cut and raked weeds.

 They had some banana trees in one part of the yard.

Also on Friday it was my birthday.  I'm 61 years old.  We had a birthday party at the church.  Sister Swift cooked food for everyone and we had a great time.  It was also nice on my birthday to get to talk by phone to all my children and grandchildren back home in America.  I'm so lucky to have such a great family.