Frabjous Times

Gone ethnic

Time now to take my one chance at expressing Filipino heritage all year at the Philippine fiesta in the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ.
10:30 am Mass celebrated by a young priest visiting from the homeland. He gave a surprisingly non-ecumenical homily on the doctrine of Transubstantiation (I paraphrase). It was evidently well-received, as so many lined up for Communion that he ran out of consecrated hosts and had to satisfy a large crowd with a "spiritual Communion of Jesus in your hearts." About half the music (though none of the readings) were delivered in Tagalog so I had to do a lot of faking.
11:55 am Santacruzan procession, with a couple dozen girls and women dressed as angels and queens historical and symbolic and their attendants.
12:56 pm Aggressive selling on the part of financial consultants on the floor. I slightly mangled my address.
2:11 pm Folk dancing by the group Performing Arts of the Philippines of Jersey City.
2:42 pm Fiesta Idol competition finalists. Oh dear for the one who was manifestly eliminated on the basis of faulty pitch.
4:12 pm Got up and took another turn around the booths. Spent a long time looking at the books but didn't pick up any more anthropological or martial books. Big crowd around the Chess pavilion where they were giving away t-shirts to anyone winning or drawing against the chess master in ten way simultaneous play (I don't think anyone collected one this way in two days) or by solving the posted "Mate in 2" endgame problem.
4:54 pm Mo' music. For some reason it's all pop and rock, not a hint of hip-hop as I've seen in past years. One excellent cover of Etta James's At Last.
Originally published: 2003/08/17 18:41:07