A Carnival perya in Pasig
A Carnival perya in Pasig
A perya was set up for the December celebrations just beyond the Pasig City Hall, a short stroll from the enormous market. Visitors to the perya might get an idea of the “fiesta carnival” from a distance simply by hearing. Screams from the Viking ride could be intermittently heard over the roar of passing jeepneys on Caruncho Avenue; listen closely, and you might even make out the bingo caller as he or she yells out numbers to no one in particular.
Pasig’s fiesta carnival is one of the few peryas to be seen in Metro Manila at this time of year; it was organized to coincide with December 8th, the annual Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Eastern Police District Office, which is located close, was also present, as were families, friends, young couples, students, and folks fresh from work on a Monday night.
What can be found in Perya in Pasig
What the perya actually provides for its customers is a little bit fantastical. Anyone looking to kill time without buying anything can enjoy strolling the grounds, but even those on a tighter budget can have a great time for only P20 to P40.
Booths for games like hit-the-can, shoot-the-ball, balloon pop, and coin toss, as well as rides like a haunted house, the Spider, and the usual carousel, may be found among the rows of tables set aside for social bingo. You can win anything from snacks and wallets to dishes and mugs to dolls and teddy toys, all of which were purchased at Divisoria. Each booth is staffed by one or two young adults who spend long hours on their feet in an almost desperate effort to entice passersby to buy tickets and play their games.
A Perya Staff’s Life.
Jayven, a 22-year-old woman, supervises a balloon pop booth while wearing a pink shirt, a pink headband, and fuchsia lipstick. Jayven stumbled into the role of perya in 2015 and now knows how it functions on the inside. He said that he had only visited the perya for entertainment purposes in the past, but that he had since been hired by the perya’s amusement booth owners.
Jayven also noted that the pay wasn’t too horrible, despite being well below the federal minimum. Wage Order No. NCR-22, November 2018, increased the base salary by P25 and incorporated the P10 living allowance, bringing the total daily wage in Metro Manila to P537. On a typical day, Jayven brings in over half of that amount.
Long associated with Christian and biblical figures like Jesus and Mary, as well as saints of the Roman Catholic religion, the perya has been an integral part of Philippine culture and society. During the Spanish colonization of the Philippines in the 16th century, Filipinos adopted the fiesta and the perya as much as the Spanish did. As such, the fourth chapter of Rizal’s “El Filibusterismo” takes place in a perya in Quiapo. on the Feast of the Black Nazarene, and has come to symbolize society’s problems.
The Philippines has seen a proliferation of theme parks over the years, with Enchanted Kingdom and Star City being the two most visited attractions before Star City was destroyed by fire in October of 2017. What the perya may seem to lack in sophistication, it makes up for in nostalgia, charm, and accessibility, and the bigger and better amusement parks may have more to offer, including themed, high-tech, and arguably safer attractions.
It’s sad, Jayven said, that there aren’t as many peryas as there once were, but it’s still a sight that many people hope to see during celebrations and holidays.
The perya is a symbol of joy, good times, and laughter shared with loved ones. Making new acquaintances and connecting with people from different backgrounds is rewarding for Jayven. On the other hand, he must endure the sleepless nights of perya work and the long days away from his family, which he recognizes for what they are and accepts as necessary stepping stones on the path to his goals. Sometimes he’d have to stay at the office till late.
Jayven hasn’t decided what he wants to do with his life just yet, but he has a sneaking suspicion that working in a foreign country will provide him with more security than he’ll find in the United States.
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