Enter the Dragon (year of)

Revellers, Bacolod.
Sunday, New Years Eve of the Year of the Dragon was another fairly relaxed day preparing for the evening's festivities.  When night fell and I went downtown, I could not believe there could have been any more people thatn the Saturday but there were, it was completely rammed.  The security guy recognised me so again it was ramble round at will and take a few photos, some of which I shall include here.  Although the guys above might look like the Philippino answer to Boyzone, they are absolutely nothing to do with the band.  They are merely random members of the audience who jumped up onstage.  Neither the band, roadies nor security seemed in the slightest concerned.  Imagine that happening in UK, not a chance.

Access all areas, Bacolod.
The image above is just to prove I really did get backstage access.  Naturally, the fact that the young lady singing had a pair of skintight shorts on and the posterior to fill them had nothing whatsoever to do with it's inclusion!

Although the photo below is not the best (I hate using flash) it gives an idea of the general merriment and also the Philippine love for posing for the camera.

Revellers, Bacolod.
The young lad here was really getting into the swing of things and also demonstrates an interesting cultural thing in the Philippines.  Ask a young Philippino to pose (they take little persuading as I have mentioned before) and it is about an evens chance they will give a two-fingered peace sign.

Reveller, Bacolod.
I have made enquiries about this and have been given two theories.  First is that it was a sign adopted during the peaceful revolution in the 80's when Cory Aquino came to power and the second is that it is an import from Korea.  Either is possible as there is certainly a big Korean influence in the Philippines.  Only a couple of nights ago I was eating delightful homemade Kimchi (Korean pickled vegetables) in a bar here.  The Korean owner is a mate, but more of that later.
Revellers, Bacolod.
This is just to give an indication of the scale of the whole thing.  This is probably about half of the main street and there was another huge crowd off it beside and around the lagoon, it really was a big deal.  Interestingly, it is not touristy.  If I saw a dozen Westerners all weekend it was the height of it.

The Man, Bacolod.
Age seems to be no barrier to enjoying Bacolodiat.  I saw babes in arms and pensioners about and I simply had to take a photo of this guy.  He just didn't stop all night, he was the original Duracell bunny.   Unbelievable energy which I suspect was mostly Tanduay rum fuelled.

At some ridiculously late hour the festivities were still going strong but I had had enough and took off to walk home.  I had become bored of my usual route and thought I was fairly well orientated so I decided to try an alternative route based on general directions.  How difficult can that be?  Well, difficult enough apparently, although as so often happens to me it turned out to be rather interesting as I stumbled into the public market.  Regular readers will know that I am a complete sucker for Asian markets, I just love them.  The following images show how wonderful they can be.

Fish stall, Bacolod public market.

Fish stall, Bacolod public market.

Fish stall, Bacolod public market.

Butcher, Bacolod public market.

Vendor, Bacolod public market.
I did get some rather strange looks, I must say.  Westerners are at a premium in Bacolod and one of them wandering through a backstreet market at about four in the morning must be unheard of.  Still, the usual smiling, gesturing and generally acting the silly Westerner got me through with a few laughs along the way.  It is incredible how much non-verbal communication you can manage if you need to.

Do not panic, dear reader, I eventually found a landmark, re-orientated myself and got home to a late but welcome bed in good order.

I'm on a roll now, so I'll post more in a little while.

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