The moro-moro seems to have its origin from the crusaded which, according to history, was a combat between Christians and Muslims. Its characters were drawn from the royalties of both protagonists who were kings, emperors, queens, princes, princesses, and respective warriors who wore costumes that glitter in the evening.
On the other hand, the zarzuela is woven from the common Filipino plot involving a girl from the elite and rich, and a poor but good-looking boy who fell in love with each other against the good wishes of the former’s parents. Among the commoners, a zarzuela is rated as good it is could make them cry.
Between the two entertainers, the elderly folks prefer the moro-moro to the zarzuela. They readily forked out their contributing to the assessment for the fiesta provided that the entertainment would be a moro-moro which lasts for five to seven nights of presentations.
The nightly entertainment is a welcome interlude of the young people of opposite sexes to see each other. Especially from the female gender, it is a good excuse to give to their parents, to go out in the night under the pretext of seeing the moro-moro or zarzuela.
The highest point of interest in the moro-moro is the so called encanto because it showed colorful and varied fireworks. It usually drew a huge number of spectators, coming even from neighboring towns.
The encanto was spawned by the fight between the hero and the forces of evil, consisting of giants and their minions, who called for the lightning and thunder as aids to the combat. Then, after the smoke and fury of the firefight, the hero proudly stood as the victor against the monstrous and fiery villains and allies.
In recent years following my retirement, I visited my native place. I was sad to note, however, that while there have been still the nine-day novena, solemn mass, grand ball, and procession, there was no more diana, bispera, moro-moro, and zarzuela.
The membership of the town band, otherwise called Macrohon Veteran Band which did the early morning Diana, was dissipated because of death or migration to other places for greener pasture. The old members passed away into the great divide while the younger ones migrated in search of better livelihood.
The grand ball or baile in the dialect, was no longer held in the open air municipal tennis court but in a covered court constructed in front of the area where our ancestral house used to stand. It was erected in place of the old and dilapidated school building which, according to our elders then, was constructed by the Japanese.
Well, enough of childhood memories but by the time I was finished reminiscing, the arrival area of the airport announced the new balikbayans. I was excited to meet my cousins and share with them my fiesta memories. In time, they too will form their own memories to share with the rest of the family.