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We were in Looc at the beginning of their week-long fiesta celebrations and just like a lot of provinces in the Philippines, fiestas would usually mean the presence of local fairs or carnivals. Going to the local fair was not something I wanted to do. Spending a huge amount of my life in the province, the local fair, or perya as I knew it, meant rickety carnival rides, freak shows and small-time betting games.

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So, yeah, I was a bit incredulous about going to this one; however, one of my close friends was incredibly excited to go to the fair. Growing up in the city, she has never been to one and her excitement-lit eyes were enough to help me keep my usual levels of snark in check.

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It was a good thing that I did though. The fair wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. What they had in Looc was smaller than what I was used to. There were no carnival rides or freak shows, just an assortment of small-time betting games. There were three kinds.

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My friends had taken to the dice game, which for some reason always favored the color red. I didn’t bet on anything, instead contenting myself with documenting the entire proceedings. Expressions of delight registered on all of my friends’ faces. This has turned out to be a pretty fun affair.

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After we made the rounds and my friends have spent their limited betting money, we made our way to the plaza. There was a reunion being held in the open-air convention hall, and numerous food stalls were set up around it. We filled ourselves with bibingka and pop-corn and barbequed things.

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We didn’t stay long, though. Looc was just a pit stop on our backpacking trip around Romblon. We needed to get up early the next day for our next stop, Carabao Island.

***

 This post is part of a series I wrote about a recent backpacking trip around Romblon, with a side trip to Boracay. Check out the other posts by clicking on the links below:

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