I was suppose to write a post about this earlier, but a lot of last-minute things cropped up.
So, welcome to a post about photos of my Christmas Belen 2011. In the Philippines, we usually prepare this thing called a belen, which is basically a presentation of the nativity scene. There is no specific design that everyone must follow, though belens have the usual Mary + baby Jesus in a manger + Joseph and under a structure with a roof, often times people add animals and sometimes even the Three Maji. Here in our house in Dumaguete, my family tries to spruce up the decoration with something more than just adding Christmas lights to the belen, or using really intricately designed figures as Mary, Jesus and Joseph representations.
Enjoy the next few pictures…
The main part of our belen, with a nipa hut like structure.
Because I’m more or less ignorant to the local happenings here in Dumaguete, and I’m not really familiar with fiesta days and the like, I had to hear the sound of the parade and my aunt insisting that I go out and take pictures and watch the parade.
So last November 19, Dumaguete celebrated the Sandurot Festival. So what is the Sandurot Festival all about, and what does it actually celebrate? Because I didn’t fully understand the explanation given to me when I asked, and because the internet has more information on it than I could possibly hope for, I just decided to google it and found something. According to this blog site called Philippine Landmarks, Sandurot is derived from the Visayan word “Pakig-sandurot” which means fellowship and reaching out, which is basically the characteristic of being hospitable – a common Filipino trait. Dumaguete City is actually called the “City of Gentle People”, so being hospitable and welcoming is in the nature of Dumagueteños.
Nowadays you can see many foreigners who both live and visit Dumaguete, but even in the past, a lot of people from other countries would often come and live in various places around the Philippines. Dumaguete City, in more recent times, has been popular because it is a university city. Dumaguete is most known for Silliman University – the first Protestant university and first American private university in Asia. Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of Koreans in the city. It’s amazing how Beijing is full of them, so is Manila, and Cebu, and even here. Makes you wonder if any of them are left in S. Korea. But seriously, it just goes to show how cheap education and a low standard of living can attract foreigners to flock here. Of course, the kind personalities of Filipinos in general is also one thing to take into account.