November 28, 2014

A Higanteng Linis Event with Ariel

Feasts and festivals are famous tourist attractions in the provinces of the Philippines. But in my 30 years of existence in this universe, in this planet, in this country, I have never been to one! I may attribute it to my religious upbringing, but Ariel let me experience a fun feast in the province of Rizal.

20 bloggers, two vans, and gazillion laughter headed to the province of Angono, Rizal in a short 45-minute drive last Sunday . I don't normally go out on a Sunday, but Ariel promised a gigantic surprise to all us.

I thought, is there anything that would be bigger (or taller) than I am? Well.. I got my answer.. TENEN! Higantes Festival!

** Okay, please pop those love bubbles, Ariel is not a person/guy/prince charming but the super power detergent - Ariel that we knew since 1999. :)

Higantes Festival is a feast celebrated in Rizal every 23rd of November where locals parade large caricatures made of paper mache. History tells us that the festival originated in the Spanish era when Spanish priests prohibited celebrations and Filipinos thought of creating large caricatures of their landlords that serve to ridicule them (very much like when there are mass rallies when people create effigies). Who would have thought this old tradition would mean a great big fair decades after?

Ariel joined in the fun by hosting a pre-Higantes Festival event that treated the locals of Rizal with delicious lunch and fun entertainment. It was my first time in Rizal and first time to take part in this kind of boodle fight lunch. I was excited with the thought of knowing more about Rizal, the festival and discovering how people celebrate Higantes Festival. 

We found out little nest in Angono Elementary School
Thank you for adopting us :)
I felt like a real lady beside this #Higante :)

I was surprised to see a looooong table set-up with different food stations. 
From the stage down to the entry point, it was a looong walk but I feasted my eyes on the set up and greens (trees) surrounding the road. I wish all the roads in the Philippines were like this.

When we got to the entrance, we got our t-shirt and food stub!

Here's what greeted us.. can you still see the stage from here?

Fresh, white table cloths covered the tables. I knew that after the event
these immaculate white cloths would be covered with food stain. 

Wow, there was even a big clay pot!
There were already kids and families waiting for the event to start and 
everyone seemed excited for the big feast! 
They gamely posed for the camera showing the Ariel pose
ala Kris Aquino!

  I love this bunch!

Before the big feast, we needed to know what's in the menu?
Hosts, DJ Cha Cha & DJ Charlie of MOR 101.9 joined us 
and showed us what's inside the big clay pot! 
Local favorite dishes were served straight from the clay pot!
 I love how they carefully handed the trays to different food stations. It is good to know Bayanihan is still alive. I hope this is something that we can all practice, with or without events such as this.  There were like 13 food stations to cater to around over a thousand guests who joined us that day. It was overwhelming, especially that it coincided with Pacman's fight in Macau :)

Aside from food stations, there were also wash stations ready to clean up 
the table mess. I adore these lovely ladies who just kept on smiling despite the heat. 
  The most fun part was when the Food Stations were finally opened!
 I would have wanted to joined in but I just enjoyed taking paparazzi shots
of the kids enjoying the feast!

 This boy knew I was zooming my camera and taking his photo,
and he kept on hiding.. I was lucky to get this quick shot after 3 attempts :)

While everyone's having a good time, we had a better time shooting Adrian's
video blog..

I was the criminal who spilled food stain in his white shirt!
Haha! I felt like a real villain! 
Do you think Ariel can make his shirt fresh white again?
Check out @adrianbenepayo to find out!
He was crying like baby! Haha
 The lovely Ariel ladies graciously took the shirt and soak in a soapy bath!
Work it!

While we were witnessing the magic of Ariel, our friends Ning and Ria took part in the program and selected the dirtiest table cloth (aww.. look at those stains!)
Do you think Ariel can make them as white as it was before?
Here are the #ArielLadies, ready to do wonders!

While Ariel did some laundry magic, DJ Cha Cha and DJ Charlie hosted games for the audience. The classic game Bring Me is always a fun game to roll when you are with a big crowd. Winners got to take home cash, sack of rice and Ariel products. 

If you think that Ariel just ended the event with just awesome lunch and games? Well, Ariel also invited Rock Steady for some real rock and roll show! Yo!
It felt like I was attending a cult ritual where people were raising their hands 
and feeling all the glory over this man.. I joined in, and took a few snaps!

Teddy said he was not used to performing in the afternoon, but they were awesome!
It was my first time to see this band perform live and I love their medleys!
Check this out, Rock Steady performing It's Showtime!

While everyone was so engrossed with the Rock Steady, this 
boy clutching a pack of Ariel caught my attention :)
#ArielLadies working  the "after-laundry" result of the table cloths

This is my favorite shot during the event :)
Oh, I am just surprised Nokia is still on the mobile phone game :)
I used my blogger pass to get to the backstage and see the
action on the other side..
Wow, how awesome it is to perform in front of such crowd? 
 Now I can relate how artists find their fulfillment in performing for a bigger crowd,
so much like how we, bloggers appreciate bigger readership :) Teddy said it was such an honor to be able to bring happiness to the locals of Rizal. :) Same feelings for me whenever my readers find my write-ups useful and helpful :) 
Backstage, Teddy is just too awesome to accommodate #selfies and #welfies!
 While, right in front of the stage, the newly washed and dried table cloths were paraded around  the activity area.
 Look at how fresh, white and clean they looked!
It was a long trail down to the end of the road
Everyone was trying to hold the cloth to experience (and see) the 
magic that was brought by Ariel
I couldn't get to the end of the trail but I knew the event ended well with good fun, food and entertainment from Ariel. 

It was tiring, yet fun day. This is something that I wouldn't do on my own. So thank you so much Ariel for having me and letting me experience a feast in Rizal. :)

PS. What do you think of my paparazzi approach in covering the event? :)


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