All roads lead this long weekend to the town of Liliw in the province of Laguna as it celebrates one of the frequented festivals around. Already on its 14th edition, the Gat Tayaw Festival is a celebration in honor of its forefather as well as its prime product: tsinelas. For me the equivalent term ‘slippers’ does not capture enough the connotations of the word Tsinelas. Tsinelas is Liliw, and Liliw is tsinelas.
This year’s festival is a five-day fete which started on April 29 and will end on May 3. The long weekend helped bring in more people to Liliw to see the events and buy their tsinelas. Our past visits to the festival were usually on weekends but the volume of the people on those times was nothing compared today.
The activities for this year were as follows:
Day 1 – April 29
08:00 am – Mass
09:00 am – Flag Ceremony/Flower Offering
10:00 am – Opening Ceremony/Motorcade
01:00 pm – 05:00pm – Painting Workshop / Bingo Social
07:00 pm – Barangay Night
Day 2 – April 30
04:00 am – 08:00 am – Media Coverage/Indak Turismo
08:00 am – Painting Workshop
01:00 pm – 05:00 pm – Cocktail Mixing/Cooking Contest
07:00 pm – DepEd Night / Philippine Festivals
Day 3 – May 1
08:00 am – 12:00 nn – Tourist On-the-Spot Challenge
02:00 pm – 05:00 pm – Grand Parade Bailete / Tsinelas Queen / Photo Contest / Disenyo
07:00 pm – Tsinelas on the Ramp / LTC in Concert / Street Party
Day 4 – May 2
08:00 am – Tourist On-the-Spot Challenge
03:00 pm – Zumba Marathon
08:00 pm – Street Party / SanMig Night / Fireworks Display
Day 5- May 3
08:00 am – Exhibit’s Display
01:00 pm – 03:00 pm – Lukayuan
07:00 pm – Mutya ng Liliw Coronation Night
What made the festival for this year different is its street décor. Those different colored umbrellasput one’s visit to the main street, Gat Tayaw, in a new level. The umbrellas are a symbol for the sultry season and for the merry atmosphere of the festival. The person or group behind the idea of using umbrellas should be given a bonus of some sort. It may not have equaled the usual banderitas in the ability to provide shade but they nevertheless provided a nice backdrop for those who are quite addicted to selfies and photos.
The Still Elusive Arabella
Food stalls and ambulant vendors selling different native and branded food are found along Gat Tayaw Street for the visitors to indulge into. However, my constant target is Arabella. But again, we had to wait for our turn to eat inside. The queue proved to be too long for us so we decided to visit instead Chef Mau Restaurant for our meal (see my post “Food for the Trails: Chef Mau Restaurant in Liliw, Laguna”). Not bad, considering that we had the place to us together with a group having their reunion. But I still desire to experience the food in Arabella.