Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hermosa Festival in ZAMBOANGA: My Birthday Invite!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Zamboanga City also known as the "City of Flowers" takes center stage in October as it celebrates the grand, colorful,most awaited Hermosa Festival!

Hermosa Festival or more popularly known as Fiesta Pilar is a nine-night procession and month-long cultural celebration in October held in honor of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pilar at the legendary Fort Pilar! Festivities include fireworks, an ethnic parade, a cultural show, the Miss Zamboanga, musical concerts and the Regatta de Zamboanga where the colorful native sea boats called vintas race to win the title.

I am definitely going there in October! And I am psyched!

Yes, you read it right! I am joining the Hermosa Festival and celebrate my Birthday the Chavacano way!!

October 1 is my natal day! And being a sucker for huge birthday party, I have thrown a lot of big ones - fun, themed, organized parties to show my gratitude for this wonderful life I am blessed to have! Well,that was until I was 31 years old, my last chance to be in the Roman calendar!

With the "Captain Hook" theme, I celebrated my 31st birthday like it was my first birthday. Deep down inside though, I was almost certain it would be the last big one I will share with lotza people!!

And so it was. Turning 32 suddenly became anticlimactic. It was a struggle between my penchant for big birthday bash with lots of people around having a great time and my timidity (as most single women are) of telling my age!

But a great idea hit me before the clock ticked for my 32nd birthday six years ago! To satisfy my need for grand celebration without revealing or calling much attention to my age, I thought of spending my natal day in any place where October 1 is celebrated in a big way. That was how the "birthday-trip-to-China" tradition started. Yes, my natal day is China's National Day and being celebrated in Beijing, (mainland China), Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau with variety of festivities, including fireworks and concerts!

This year I will definitely ditch China for Zamboanga City. I am excited to experience the Hermosa Festival and I hope you can join me. Here's an open invitation to ALL of you out there -

"I am turning 38! And I want to celebrate!
How about a Latin themed birthday party at Asia's Latin City?
No need for gifts, No need for wine
Just book a ticket through www.airphilexpress.com
To Zamboanga in October
Come one,Come All!"

"Experience MassKara Festival, Hermosa Festival and Lanzones Festival this October. Airphil Express flies daily to BACOLOD, ZAMBOANGA and CAGAYAN DE ORO from Cebu and Manila. Visit airphilexpress.com to book!


  1. I find this post very inspiring. Most don't celebrate their birthdays when they age unlike you. At may theme party pa! Our birthdays are special, and we should celebrate it.

  2. I find this post very inspiring. Most don't celebrate their birthdays when they age unlike you. At may theme party pa! Our birthdays are special, and we should celebrate it.

  3. thanks Roman for dropping by and leaving me these comments..wow twice mo napost, so that makes the comment the more special.i'm glad na inspire ka and you share the same thoughts about celebrating birthdays! birthdays indeed are really special kaya i want it grand so i see to it i celebrate and plan also the birthdays of everyone in my family.
    so when is your birthday? thanks

  4. I wish I could also embrace the additional years in my life with open arms. That's really living life to the fullest. I will be looking forward to your story about that big day Atty Mhe :)

  5. This poem entitled Birthday Blessings by Joanna Fuchs helped me embrace the added years with open arms (to borrow your words!)

    Instead of counting candles,
    Or tallying the years,
    Contemplate your blessings,
    As your birthday nears.

    Consider special people
    Who love you, and who care,
    And others who’ve enriched your life
    Just by being there.

    Think about the memories
    Passing years can never mar,
    Experiences great and small
    That have made you who you are.

    Another year is a happy gift,
    So cut your cake, and say,
    "Instead of counting birthdays,
    I count blessings every day!"

    Thanks Claire dear for always dropping by and leaving comments. It is such a joy I count as another blessing!

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