The Fire Dancers of Puerto Galera
25 November 2010
Puerto Galera is best known for its marine biodiversity. Local and foreign divers frequent this town in the island of Mindoro to dive, snorkel, and generally enjoy the water sports that this top tourist destination offers. There is another thing though, that Puerto Galera offers visitors: that of a lively nightlife.
In White Beach on Friday evenings up until the weekend, a group of fire dancers converge. Most of them are ladyboys (gays, homosexuals, or in the Filipino language, bakla), and when you get to see them dance, spinning around with a fire poi or meteor, or handling fire hoops with ease, you can only be filled with admiration at their skill, and the hundreds of hours they must have spent practicing their craft.
For fire dancing is a craft. You cannot handle the lighted tools without getting hurt, if you don’t spend enough time learning and mastering it.
Fire dancing is a skill hard-learned.
There are single performers, as in the woman in the pictures, but there are duos and groups as well. On a clear, moonless night, seeing these fire dancers weave their magic can indeed make your stay in Puerto Galera all the more memorable.
Photos ©Tuan TrungVu.
Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Facebook
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