Wednesday, February 14, 2007

First time

They say there is a first time for everything. True and I’ve never done so many firsts in one day until I got here in Alilem.

It was the town fiesta last weekend and unlike any fiesta that I have witnessed, fiesta here is a municipality-wide affair. Every single person in this municipality participates, which includes the municipal employees, which by the way, includes me.

I vowed never to put myself in embarrassing situations when I get to a barrio. Embarrassing situations include joining a parade, dancing in front of an audience, giving speeches or even judging beauty contest. I grew up thinking that all of that is jologs. It was easy avoiding all that that when I was in the city because really, there is never an opportunity for kajologan. But here in a municipality where fiesta is such a big deal, I could say I failed miserably to detach myself from all these fears.

For the 1st time, I join a parade (right behind the municipal leaders), judged a beauty contest (it can be real confusing) and danced waltz with a Board Member (yes, he’s a good looking dad). Just thinking about it now makes me cringe but I never thought it was going to be that fun. Embarrassing but fun.

I will always remember what my friend Monsi once texted me, “If you have the choice to dance, I hope you do.” I’m glad I did because dancing with that politician was embarrassing but most enlightening. I realized a lot of things in that 5 minute waltz – that not all politicians are evil, waltz is fun and that when you are really embarrassed, just think that nobody is watching nor gives a shit about you. It works.

By the way, I am in the mountains right now, on Valentines Day with no plans at all because dining out would mean a 2-3 hour travel, one way. THIS is another first for me.

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