Towson Filipino Festival
Babes, Beer, Balut and Beats
Against my better judgement, I weathered the Heat Advisory Warnings to partake in Towson's Filipino Festival. Two things are always guaranteed at this annual summertime event that celebrates Philippine Independence Day (June 12, 1898): an abundance of hot-looking (and not just from humidity) babes and equally exotic cuisine.
Babes were in abundance at Filipino Fest
Philippine cuisine evolved from its Malay roots to Spanish colonial influences. Thus, dishes range from fried fish and rice to paellas and cocidos and even balut (chicken embryos - yum!). According to Wikpedia, popular dishes include lechón (whole roasted pig), longgonisa (native sausage), tapa (beef jerky), torta (omelette), adobo (chicken and/or pork braised in garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar or cooked until dry), kaldereta (goat in tomato stew), mechado (beef or pork cooked in tomato sauce), pochero (beef in bananas and tomato sauce), afritada (pork or beef simmered in a tomato sauce with vegetables), kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), crispy pata (deep-fried pig's leg), hamonado (pork sweetened in pineapple sauce), sinigang (pork, fish, or shrimp in tamarind stew), pancit (stir-fried noodles), and lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls). Most of these delicacies were being sold and savored Sunday afternoon in Towson.
Filipino fashion on the other hand, seems to have evolved from native roots to the worst excesses of American hip-hop culture, meaning that I saw lots of scantily-clad, tight-fitting booty wear. This I do not mind at all.
Babes-with-bustage were hotter than the humidity
"Boy, Filipino women are very attractive," my girlfriend Amy observed out of the blue. "Really? I hadn't noticed," I lied. However, both Amy and I did notice a large number of white guys with Filipino babes. We wondered if any "Manilla-Vanilla" couples found each each through mail order dating. "You could have one too," Amy offered, "If you had money." In other words (knowing our combined incomes don't even approach that of a recent college grad's first job): dream on!
Male Order: Can't afford the postage!
On the Chesapeake stage, a succession of pop bands rocked out while unimaginative festival goers dehydrated themselves drinking San Miguel in the fenced-in beer "garden" that looked more like an internment camp. I did like one band that seemed influenced by '60s Britpop (the guitarist played a Rickenbaker like Beatles John and George) and dressed kinda Mod (the bass player wore a Lonsdale t-shirt just like Paul Weller). I think they were called Flowerpot or Flowerpop.
The Mod stylings of Filipino pop
A Filipino John Lennon with Rickenbacker
Evoking Paul Weller's ethos with a Lonsdale t-shirt
Meanwhile, on the Towson Courthouse steps, a succession of dancers and musicians performed more traditional dances and songs.
Amy enjoyed the Filipino stick dance (as shown below), which she fondly remembered doing as part of Phys Ed at Dundalk Senior High School.
This was followed by the flower ring dance...
These were all very entertaining, but the highlight had to be the grand finale "Mail Order Bride Bikini Dance":
Mail Order Bride Bikini Dance
Actually, I made that last bit up. Please forgive a poor joke. No, really, this was a fun little festival on a very hot day that otherwise would have kept me indoors watching Euro 2008 soccer games in air conditioning. I didn't think there were so many Filipinos in the area but the large crowd on this day attested to their Pinoy Proud numbers. Anyway, I'm glad I came out.