Friday, January 02, 2009

The BINALBAL FESTIVAL is a unique celebration of welcoming the new year for the townsfolk of Tudela. In this particular celebration, people wear masks and outfits that would represent their own definition of BALBAL. BALBAL from our dialect refers to a supernatural genus of strange-looking lifeforms: imps, witches, ogres, and the likes of them. With its origin, I'm not familiar. But judging from how they fancy the idea makes their Halloween a twofold celebration in a year. Should they just celebrate Christmas twice instead than something creepy and paranormal?

Anyhow, we drove 15 minutes to the town to watch the program --but no matter how bright the dwarfs with their outfits were, or how the rest boasted of their elegant props--the program disappointed me. The weird costumes urged me to take a few shots somehow with their blend of bright and eerie outfits. Some were irrelevant and stupid, while the rest showed a piece of hilarity that somehow made me stay for a couple of hours.

Yes. I also don't understand what makes Muslims "BALBAL".

And I also don't get why these guys were wearing such outfits. But I'm sure the first one loved to be a honeybee for a day.


alex said...

ang cool nung eagle costume!

parang halloween party ah ang galeng

at buti na lang puro "A" at hindi "U"

yung nasa BINALBAL

jue said...

oh, i guess that was fun. nice festival, unique!

dylan said...

kakatawa naman to.. HAPPY NEW YEAR! :D

irine said...

thanks for posting these from tudela but im out of the country already so i missed the 2009 binalbal. i enjoy the festival so much. so i see, i ddnt change that much.

sendzki said...

@irine...ah taga tudela ka? i was there and i found it boring haha, pero nalingaw ra ko sa ubang mga kabuang sa costumes. but duh, farout gyud ang uban hehe ^_^ anyway, hope there will be changes next year

Anonymous said...

it's always far out.. that's what makes it fun! the one in the bee costume is a very good friend who won!

irine said...

And I'm back. I was home during the Binalbal 2011. Yes, I am from Tudela...well I grew up in Tudela but I don't spend a lot of time there so except for relatives, I know no one from Tudela.

It was DISAPPOINTING, to be honest. This festival was a lot more fun when I was younger. There were really nice arcs on the highways during the entire christmas season (it was a contest and every barangay would create wonderful arcs that were made of indigenous materials). Then there would be a masquerade ball before new year's eve and it was just like a big costume disco party. At the morning people wearing costumes would roam around the town bringing cans or anything that would make noises (that's before the parade begins). Then the best part would be the parade. I realized from watching this festival almost every year that the celebration isn't just about wearing costumes. It's more like a way of saying goodbye to the 'balbals' (a representation of the bad things/events) of the past year and a happy welcoming of the new year, the reason why you see people dressed as muslims/abu sayyaf, politicians, etc.

And the participants of the parade are grouped according to categories. There will be the individuals: such as the gays, robots, giants, monkeys, or just about anything; then the groups: dwarfs, knights (similar to sinulog), zombies (who paints their whole bodies white), floats, etc.

What makes the festival more fun is that you don't have to join the parade to join the celebration. A lot of people would paint their faces or wear costumes during this time. When I was younger, we'd use old lipsticks to paint our faces. And as years went by I noticed that more real guys dress like gays for the festival. People find this really odd. I do too but looking on the bright side, maybe it is just because Tudelanhon guys doesn't really mind, they just wanna have fun at least once a year. This year (2011), there were even more male KIDS who dressed as gays.

Oops that was quite a long comment. I'm stopping here.