An Waray Party-list once again produced this year’s tuba festival, aptly billed as the “3rd Oktubafest” last October 23 at the Leyte Park Convention Center, Tacloban City.

Hatched as part of the continuing efforts to promote the region’s cultural heritage and the coconut and the tuba industry in Eastern Visayas, the Octubafest showcased the local coconut wine, tuba.

The day-long affair also featured a photo essay contest, the on-the-spot kawit (tuba container) painting contest,  a tuba wine tasting contest, a cooking contest featuring tuba-infused dish and kotil and several other entertainment numbers.

The festival saw the participation of several municipalities from all over Eastern Visayas with their respective tuba exhibit booths.

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“They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.”

~Ernest Hemingway

About the quote: from “Notes on the Next War,” published in Esquire Magazine, 1935.

Are there still (war) stories left untold?

October 20 came a-rollin’ and it was time again to celebrate Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s fulfillment of his war promise to return to the Philippines and liberate the country from the foreign invaders.

When you consider 66 years and start doing mental calculations, you come to realize only those who are 76 today or thereabouts (they would have been 10 years old then – kids!) are the ones who experienced those weary times and are still alive to recount them, or whatever childhood memories they have retained.

As in previous anniversary celebrations, ambassadors from the major war player nations came to lay floral offerings for the war heroes and gave messages of peace and hope for everybody.

Prayers were recited, in unison as well as in silence. Testimonials were given, stories told by weary veterans and their children; a siday was read; songs of love, peace and hope were sung; and candles lit (albeit a real challenge against the strong winds coming from the Pacific Ocean).

The war veterans association has now been overtaken by the VFP – Sons and Daughters Association, Inc. which formed the majority of those who came to celebrate this year’s anniversary at the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Candahug, Palo, Leyte.

I noticed the predominance of old women among those who came to the anniversary celebration – widows of war veterans, together with their children and their children’s children.

I’m sure each one of them has a story to tell about the war… if anyone cares to listen to them at all.

And I bet there won’t be much told… about the follies of war.

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Due to the nature of their work (they are both cabin crew attendants of an international airline) Fresa and Mike are oftentimes crisscrossing the oceans and can be anywhere in the globe at any point in time.

But even when they decided to tie the knot in Manila, they took time to come home to Tacloban days later to celebrate a postnuptial party with family and friends.

Naturally, there was going to be some fun time and a funshoot!

View slideshow I presented during their  postnuptial celebration party held October 16, 2010 at the Le Jardin, Tacloban City:

Fresa+Mike Postnuptial Funshoot from Gerry Ruiz on Vimeo.

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It was a magical time, a dream come true for Sheila and Ralph!

We had the prenuptial shoot at the beach at Brgy. Telegrafo and at Tadyaw Beach Resort in Tolosa, Leyte last September 17, 2010.

The wedding was solemnized at the Fatima Parish Church at Marasbaras, Tacloban City on October 08, 2010.

Thank you Sheila and Ralph for making us document one of your momentous occasions of your lives!

And may you be showered with more gifts and blessings for all the years to come!

View slideshow presented during the wedding reception:

Ralph Patano – Sheila de la Cruz Nuptials from Gerry Ruiz on Vimeo.

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© 2013 gerryruiz photoblog mark II Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha