Bayanihan – Friday Fiction – Celebration

“Bayanihan” mural by Carlos Francisco

It took quite some time when Ricardo and Corazon decided to move to another barrio*. Ricardo’s father recently died and he’d like to be near his mother for her old age. The children Maria and Jose were happy to be living near their Lola*.

When news spread that they were moving, some friends and neighbours volunteered to help the family move to their new place. The day was set and everyone was there. It’s called bayanihan* in the Philippines. It literally means carrying the house to its new location. This was done by putting bamboo poles forming a strong frame to lift the stilts from the ground and carrying the whole house with the men positioned at the ends of each pole. There must be around 20 men carrying the house. The rest of the neighbours helped carry their other belongings. They sang and made jokes as they walked to the new place.

When they’ve reached their destination, the women started preparing for a small fiesta* for everyone – volunteers, friends, neighbours. They cooked rice, adobo*, sinigang* and other Filipino dishes and desserts. Ricardo and Corazon hosted the fiesta. It was their way of saying thank you to everyone. Now it was time to celebrate! Three cheers! Mabuhay!*

*barrio – a district in town
*lola – grandmother
*bayanihan – spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective
*fiesta – feast
*adobo – chicken or pork cooked with soy sauce, vinegar and garlic
*sinigang – sour soup, usually with tamarind or guava leaves
*Mabuhay! – Cheers! (could also be Welcome!)

Friday Fiction – Celebration

Nikki Young Writes

4 thoughts on “Bayanihan – Friday Fiction – Celebration

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