Aside from “Be careful!” advice from concerned citizens whenever we travel, we also hear “Bring extra cash or clothes – just in case!” from them. When we were told that Gapan is going to celebrate Tsinelas Festival the day after we were supposed to leave the town, the advice came in handy. Although we were not able to decide quickly on whether we should stay or not, we thought that we should not miss the chance of being able to witness Tsinelas Festival.
So yeah, we stayed for another day in Gapan to see the Tsinelas Festival.
I wanted to share about a funny story on how we were able to find a place to sleep but I think it’s too personal. What I can say is that if you are not too choosy, there are actually quite a number of cheap places to stay overnight in Gapan.
When visiting a new place, food will always be an interesting piece. Since we were outside Manila, we asked the driver to take us to a cheap and decent eatery where vegetable is available. He took us to Sizzlers which is an apparently famous dining spot for a group of friends. When I got an order, I immediately had an assumption that folks in Nueva Ecija like their meal to be submerged in sauce. Just a thought though!
The Gapan Stroll
Tsinelas, by the way, is the local term for slippers. I can’t believe I didn’t say that at the beginning of this post. Anyway, we thought the festival would start at 8:00 because that’s what the driver said the night before. However, the main event was postponed to 2:00 pm so we had no choice but to kill time by strolling at their market and looking at the stalls displaying colorful and pretty pairs of footwear. We ended buying some of these footwear.
Eat at Luz!
After buying and a little more walking, we decided to eat at Luz Restaurant. Boy, I loooove that restaurant. The price of the food is something you would usually see in other restaurants but they have a lot of staff which makes it almost impossible for you to get unnoticed. What is also strangely amusing about Luz Restaurant is the unlimited supply of drinking water. At Luz Restaurant, you will never be thirsty! Drink your water and in a few minutes, a staff will refill your glass. This would go on until you have finished eating.
Unlike my dinner in which the sauce overpowered the natural flavor of the vegetables, this dish tasted well despite the disproportionate ratio of sauce to meat.
The Slippers’ Festival
Though the fete is not as grand as the other famous festivals in the Philippines, I had fun with Tsinelas festival because of the people. The ones we interacted with were mostly light-hearted. They are in fact, few of the most blithesome folks I have come across in the entire nation so far. I also envy Nueva Ecija’s marching bands. Every barangay in that province seems to have a marching band which is so cool. I wish Davao has a marching band complete with brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments and dashing costumes worn by citizens from different ages and walks of life in every barangay too!
Enough with the talk already! Time for the pics!