Strange Filipino Festival

The Binalbal Festival is a unique celebration to welcome in the New Year for the townsfolk of Tudela, a town in Misamis Occidental in Mindanao, Philippines. On January 1st people come out wearing strange masks and outrageous outfits to represent what they think BALBAL look like. Balbal in the Bisaya language, are supernatural beings - ghosts, imps, fairy, witches, vampires, ogres if you like,  so this celebration is something like Halloween on New Year Day! Why they celebrate these beings on this day, I don't know and am not able to find out!
Mud People

Posting of recent pictures and videos of the Binalbal (derived from the word Balbal) Festival on Youtube, Flickr and other websites reminded me that I had witnessed this festival way back on the first day of 2004. Here are some of the photos I took then.

Painted Faces

Wild Rabbits

For a change from my usual tropical Asian subjects, in this post (written at 8 minutes after Valentine's Day) I have uploaded two photos of a temperate European animal. Nevertheless it is an animal every Southeast Asian child knows even though it's not a native of our region. The Rabbit. Or to be more precise the European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) from which all domestic breeds of rabbits originate. Well, it is the first time in my life that I have seen and photographed rabbits in the wild. That was in late November of 2004 in the English countryside and it was quite an experience as rabbits are nocturnal and with a torchlight thats not so bright on a cold winter night it's quite a wonder that I managed to take any pictures at all!
What an exciting sight it was to see tens of these fluffy creatures running around in the moonlit field as I shone a light at them. To shoot them I had to balance my camera fitted with a heavy tele-lens and flash in one hand and a torch light in the other.
For Ken who was born in the year of the rabbit :)

Lakbayan Map - Where the dragonfly has landed

My Lakbayan grade is C-!

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Created by Eugene Villar.