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Fading Flames


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I am writing this article as a tribute to the fiesta celebration that we, the residents of Dumaguete City, observed yesterday, November 25. This is just a reminder to those of us who no longer celebrate the fiesta the way it should be done.


Traditional fiesta

In the heart of every town and city, the echoes of a bygone era can still be heard in the lively rhythms of traditional fiestas. These celebrations, once deeply rooted in the solemn remembrance of saints and revered figures, now find themselves entangled in the ephemeral embrace of merrymaking.

The origins of traditional fiestas were steeped in reverence and spiritual devotion. Communities would come together to honor their patron saints, commemorate sacred events, and express gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon them. These festivities were a tapestry of cultural identity, woven with threads of religious fervor and communal unity.


Tradition slipping away

However, as the hands of time have moved inexorably forward, the intrinsic purpose of these celebrations has undergone a subtle metamorphosis.

As we witness the transformation of these time-honored gatherings, it becomes apparent that the essence of tradition is slipping away, and the significance of remembering the saints is fading like a distant memory.

Today, many find themselves drawn to the superficial allure of the fiesta – the vibrant parades, the lively music, the colorful costumes, and, of course, the intoxicating aroma of traditional cuisine. The solemnity that once enveloped these gatherings has given way to a carnival of lights, laughter, and indulgence.


Losing touch

In the pursuit of pleasure, the essence of tradition is becoming a casualty. The stories of saints, once recounted with reverence, are now drowned out by the clamor of modern festivities.

The tales of sacrifice, miracles, and unwavering faith are lost amidst the jubilant beats of drums and the joyous cheers of the crowd. The spiritual core of these celebrations, which once served as a compass guiding communities through the ebb and flow of life, is gradually slipping into the shadows.

It’s not merely the fault of the revelers, for they are but the products of a rapidly evolving world. The forces of globalization, technology, and changing societal values have reshaped the cultural landscape, leaving the once-sacred traditions vulnerable to dilution.

In the age of instant gratification and digital distractions, the patience required to delve into the profound stories of saints has waned.

The consequence is a generation that partakes in festivities without understanding the stories that gave rise to the celebrations. The continuity of tradition, the passing down of stories from one generation to the next, is fraying at the edges. The rich tapestry of cultural heritage is unraveling, leaving behind a mere semblance of what once was.

In the midst of this cultural shift, it becomes imperative to reflect on the consequences of losing touch with the origins of our celebrations. The saints, once revered as beacons of light in the darkness, are at risk of becoming mere names on a calendar, their significance reduced to a day off work or an excuse for revelry.

As we navigate the delicate balance between tradition and modernity, it’s essential to pause and reconsider the trajectory of our celebrations.

Can we rediscover the spiritual heartbeat that once pulsed through the veins of these gatherings? Can we revive the stories that were the foundation of our cultural identity?

The answer lies not in abandoning the revelry but in infusing it with a sense of purpose. Let us reclaim the narratives of the saints, weaving them into the vibrant fabric of our festivities. In doing so, we can ensure that our traditions remain resilient in the face of change, preserving the sacred flame that has illuminated the path of our communities for generations untold.


Author’s email: [email protected]



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