Saturday, June 30, 2007

Perya


I was about three or four years old when I rode my first Ferris wheel and I can’t forget the sensation, it felt like my intestines were being removed from my stomach.

Those were the days when the traveling fairs (or perya) that visit towns during their yearly feasts were the provider of the nightlife of provincial towns. I remember my elder siblings bringing me along to these peryas. They were throwing coins and balls hoping to win prices like glass tumblers and porcelain plates that they can bring home, while I was busy munching on popcorns and chicharons.

I remember I was crying on the ground while my siblings were threatening to leave me there, alone, days when white ladies floating around the Kalachuchi trees were the boogeyman used to scare the gulaman out of us.

The peryas broke the monotony of life then. Mothers with their toddlers would be sitting on the bingo bench while the announcers crack jokes, here and then someone would shout “Bingo” and off they went home with a set of plates, or pots and pans, or anything that can be useful in the home.

Mothers were laughing and babies crying and fathers were shouting and boys and girls running…

I took this picture during Taytay’s fiesta and it’s not the same. The lights of the perya were not as bright as they were during the days when street lights were non existent. The jokes of the Bingo announcer were drowned by the noise of jeepneys passing, of videokes. Once in a while I could see people on motorcycles collecting money from the poor Pinoy Gypsies running the perya.

There were less people, there were more dogs.

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