Clark Subic News Section
Posted 11-13-08 – Subic Bay is throwing a Bakasyon Grande (Grand Vacation) party and you are invited. Make your reservations early as the Subic Freeport is sure to fill to capacity for this party. November 28 to 30, 2008 represents the largest event weekend of the year for this resort, getaway bay front town. This festival is a cultural event displaying the unique roots of the Filipino people and their celebratory practices.
This is more than an ordinary street party, yes, this is indeed a fiesta of once-a-year proportions. This event is an absolute Carnival of the Filipino people, their Culture, Roots and the wonderful family-oriented Lifestyle these South China Sea islands of adventure enjoy. If you want to embrace the ultimate in Filipino culture and the fun the Filipino embrace, then Bakasyon Grande is an absolute-must experience!
Below are a few of the events you’ll experience at this grand vacation party. Be sure to bring the kids and and experience a wide-eyed wonder of music, dance and Filipino warmth.
Gabi Ng Tanging Kultura
This event is to be presented at the new Subic Bay Exhibit and Convention Center. It is a cultural show that illustrates many aspects of Philippine culture. This expression of music and dance has been arranged by the Greater Subic Bay Tourism Bureau (GSBTB). The “Bayanihan” National dance company is the major player in the scope of this wonderful presentation. Founded in 1957, this dance company is known for their grace and flawless movements as they interpret folk dances from various areas of the Philippines. A rather interesting aspect of this dance group is that they also perform folk dances native to other countries around the world. For a unique blend of talent, sharing the stage with this dance group, from the Philippine Opera Company, Tenor Juan Alberto Gaerlan, along with Ms. Charo Singzon and Princess Garcia. The Zambales performing arts group, a renowned youth group from Zambales and additional performers will finish-off this grand evening of dance and music.
At home with the Aetas
The Aetas are the native people who have lived in the area for centuries. According to scientists, ancestors of today’s Aeta people, arrived through land bridges that linked the Philippines with the Asia mainland more than 30,000 years ago. The interesting aspect of these people is that they have lived in relative isolation from the general populous, upholding their way of living, remaining very close to their original lifestyles. They have managed to keep much of their societal traditions, customs, practices and values in tact over the centuries. This fantastically-unique activity of Bakasyon Grande, will give the visitor an interesting opportunity to look into an Aeta community and the Aeta way of life. The program will take you into the jungle in Subic, to the protected area of the village of Pastulan. These are some of the same Aetas who worked with the US Navy as survival trainers to assist them to learn to survive the jungles of Vientnam. Several are now employed working in the JEST camp for SBMA to give demonstrations on jungle survival and other native tactics. Visitors will have a chance to walk around the village and meet the people and watch the interesting demonstrations.
To be held at the Subic Bay Convention Center, this event will engage you in tropical delights. The Spanish first brought the Town Fiestas to the Philippine culture many centuries ago in the conquest of these islands. Today, the Filipino people have grown them to very large block parties. Many times streets and entire provincial towns are closed and the party takes priority over everything else. How would you like to experience aspects of a Hawaiian Luau combined with a Philippines fiesta? Well, this will entail many tropical dancers, and a feast of food from pork to seafood. Combine this with a beautiful bikini contest and you have an event of classic tropic nature.
Lunch with Nature
For a change of pace, how about going totally native and enjoy a meal entirely prepared in local jungle bamboo? This is the traditional way of cooking of the Aetas. Here you will enjoy a lunch but with a change of pace. Held at the Pamulaklakin forest trail your lunch will be reminiscent of the indigenous cooked meal, completely prepared in bamboo. Lunch with Nature includes a demonstration of Aeta traditional dances and some knowledge of jungle survival skills.
How about stepping back in time to a bygone-era of romance and a little pomp and circumstance thrown-in. Grand Ball consists of an evening of dinner and dancing in full formal style and setting; bring your formal wear for this one. Since formal ballroom dances were introduced by the Spanish and have been a part of Filipino culture for many centuries, it is only fitting that it is part of Bakasyon Grande celebration. Music provided by a great Orchestra for your dancing enjoyment. If you don’t know how to ballroom dance, there will even be a demonstration of modern ball room dancing. Of course there is always additional entertainment to fill-in the evening. Expect a grand time at a grand old ball.
Special tours and other events
As always, the Holiday season brings with it many special events throughout the Philippines, and particularly in the Subic Bay general area. In Olongapo City, right next door, you will find a great Carnival and Bazaar. And don’t forget to visit the ever-popular Freeport Services Corporation (FSC) Night Bazaar. Olongapo City is thriving with night life and renowned for great bands. The decades of U.S. military occupation enabled a virtual breading ground of talented musicians. Why not make the rounds and discover some incredible local talent.