Philippine folk dancing in Balboa Park!

Today I walked around Balboa Park. The House of the Philippines was having a lawn program at the International Cottages, so I paused for a bit to watch Philippine folk dancing.

The performers, I believe, were all from the Samahan Philippine Dance Company. They have two dance and music schools in San Diego. During the lawn program, youth and adult groups wearing colorful dress performed a variety of traditional folk dances.

I didn’t write the name of each dance down. Many contained gentle humor. Every dance and dancer radiated life. I’ll simply present some photos:

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Photos of late afternoon beauty in Balboa Park.

Late this afternoon I took a meandering stroll through Balboa Park. As the sun approached the horizon, its light touched surprising patches of beauty.

I paused for a bit by the reflecting pool, the channels of water that flow down El Prado from the Plaza de Balboa, the International Cottages and the old cactus garden. My camera was out.

Come along with me!

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Vikings invade Balboa Park at House of Denmark!

Playing a once-popular medieval northern European game called Hare and Hounds in Balboa Park.
Playing a once-popular medieval northern European game called Hare and Hounds in Balboa Park.

This afternoon’s lawn program at the International Cottages was presented by the House of Denmark. I swung on by about an hour before the music and dance began, but lingered for a bit to check out several exhibits concerning Viking culture and history. I learned a lot!

Read the photo captions for explanations!

People enjoy a sunny San Diego afternoon outside the House of Denmark among the International Cottages.
People enjoy a sunny San Diego afternoon outside the House of Denmark among the International Cottages.
Poster inside the House of Denmark. Royalty in this oldest kingdom in the world has descended in a straight line for a thousand years.
Poster inside the House of Denmark. The royalty of this oldest kingdom in the world has descended in a straight line for a thousand years.
The House of Denmark had its lawn program this Sunday. Inside their cottage, many treats could be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park.
The House of Denmark had its lawn program this Sunday. Inside their cottage, many Scandinavian treats could be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park.
This very friendly gent was showing everybody how woodworking was done by Norse craftsmen. The Vikings controlled a large area of Europe and used local materials. He was using our own native Toyon for wood.
This very friendly gent was showing everybody how woodworking was done by Norse craftsmen. The Vikings controlled a large area of Europe and used local materials. He was using our own native Toyon for wood.  Soaking the wood in water makes it easier to carve.
All sorts of handmade wooden utensils. Good steel was somewhat rare back in the Viking days, so carving tools were prized possessions.
All sorts of handmade wooden utensils. Good steel was somewhat rare back in the Viking days, so carving tools like weapons were prized possessions.
Some Viking helmets on display along with chainmail hauberks!
Some Viking helmets on display along with chainmail hauberks!
A ceremonial drinking horn, axes, and other fascinating objects collected or created by Viking enthusiasts at the event.
A ceremonial drinking horn, axes, swords, and other fascinating objects collected or created by Viking enthusiasts at the event.
The gentleman with the shield told me all about Norse customs, mythology and history. He is a member of the Guardians of Midgard!
The gentleman with the shield told me all about Norse customs, mythology and history. He is a member of the Guardians of Midgard!

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A fun Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.
A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.

I enjoyed my walk today through the First Annual Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park. The event was sponsored by the House of Chamorros, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Those who spent the day had much to experience, including Chamorro food, music, dance, crafts and cultural demonstrations.

I personally enjoyed listening to a talk about the outrigger canoe Sakman Chamorro and its crew of misfits. This traditional Chamorro canoe, built from a northern California redwood tree, used to be based in San Diego’s South Bay, but is now in Guam. I remember seeing the vessel docked by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and also at the 2015 Pacific Islander Festival in Mission Bay, which I blogged about¬†here.

It appeared to me that everyone at today’s event was having a lot of fun! Hopefully this is the first of many Chamorro festivals in Balboa Park!

Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
The flag of Guam flies at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!
The flag of Guam flies proudly at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

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Balboa Park becomes more beautiful one Friday morning.

San Diego Park and Recreation Department workers paint a wall one Friday morning in Balboa Park.
San Diego Park and Recreation Department workers paint a wall in Balboa Park one Friday morning.

During my walk through Balboa Park this morning, I saw lots of people out and about working to beautify the park. It’s Friday, which means another busy weekend is just around the corner…

Cleaning the Plaza de California near the Museum of Man with a blower.
Cleaning the Plaza de California near the Museum of Man with a blower.
Another worker clears leaves with a blower by the Niki de Saint Phalle Nikigator sculpture.
Another worker clears leaves and litter with a blower by the Niki de Saint Phalle Nikigator sculpture.
Working on some underground repairs in the outdoor courtyard of the House of Hospitality, near Donal Hord's sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec.
Working on some underground repairs in the outdoor courtyard of the House of Hospitality, near Donal Hord’s iconic sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec.
Restoration work if being done on this facade by the reflecting pool. Sadly, a vandal must have climbed the scaffolding and spray painted graffiti.
Restoration work if being done on this facade by the reflecting pool. Sadly, a vandal must have climbed the scaffolding and spray painted graffiti.
Raking between enormous roots behind the Botanical Building!
Raking between enormous roots behind the Botanical Building!
Some work is going on to fix up the front entrance of the San Diego History Center.
Some work is going on to fix up the front entrance of the San Diego History Center.
More leaf blowing in the Plaza de Panama.
More leaf blowing in the Plaza de Panama near the Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden Court.
A Park and Rec worker gathers up some garbage one Friday morning, preparing for the weekend.
A Park and Rec worker gathers up some garbage one Friday morning, preparing for the inevitable weekend crowds.
A tree trimming service removes fallen eucalyptus trees in Palm Canyon. This year's winter storms have knocked many large trees over.
A tree trimming service removes fallen eucalyptus trees in Palm Canyon. This year’s winter storms have knocked many large trees over.
Some of the enormous eucalyptus trunks weigh many tons.
Some of the enormous eucalyptus trunks weigh many tons.
A truck dumps mulch, with the Balboa Park Club rising in the background.
A truck dumps mulch, with the Balboa Park Club rising in the background.
Mowing the green lawn at the International Cottages.
Mowing the green lawn at the International Cottages one quiet Friday morning.

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Fun photos of Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

A dog that resembles a lion with a wild mane is a crowd pleaser during Balboa Park's very popular Halloween Family Day.
A dog that resembles a lion with a shaggy mane gets a lot of attention during Balboa Park’s popular Halloween Family Day.

Please enjoy these fun photos that I took this afternoon during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

As you can see, thousands of people turned out, and I spotted a variety of colorful costumes. There was plenty to see and do throughout the park. Trick-or-treating and having a good time at the annual Halloween celebration in Balboa Park has become a family tradition for many!

A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
Two trick-or-treaters check out one of the many attractions on Balboa Park's El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
Two trick-or-treaters look at one of the attractions along Balboa Park’s El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park's annual Halloween celebration.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park’s annual Halloween celebration.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein's monster.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein’s monster.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass for Halloween. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

A fun peek at the Tartan Day San Diego festival.

Gentleman at Tartan Day San Diego gets help putting on his kilt. The festival took place in Balboa Park on the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages lawn.
Gentleman at Tartan Day San Diego gets help putting on his kilt. The festival took place in Balboa Park on the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages lawn.

Yesterday morning I walked through Balboa Park before heading to the San Diego Padres FanFest downtown. At the International Cottages, folks were preparing for Tartan Day San Diego, an annual festival and celebration of Scottish heritage.

In addition to displays within the House of Scotland, many tables were being set up in the large lawn area for afternoon visitors to enjoy. I took a few photos that provide a fun peek!

Welcoming banner above one tent proclaims Scottish Clan and Tartan Information Center. The Stewart Society, Edinburgh.
Welcoming banner above one tent proclaims Scottish Clan and Tartan Information Center. The Stewart Society, Edinburgh.
The standard of Clan MacDuff, with their crest and motto Deus Juvat.
The standard of Clan MacDuff, with their lion crest and motto Deus Juvat.
The standard of Clan Grant, with their crest and motto Stand Fast.
The standard of Clan Grant, with their flaming crest and motto Stand Fast.
This smiling Scot informed me the clans buried the hatchet long ago. Everyone is on a friendly basis now!
This smiling Scot informed me the clans buried the hatchet long ago. Everyone is on a friendly basis now!
A variety of colorful woolen tartans on display. Each pattern represents a different clan.
A variety of colorful woolen tartans on display. Each pattern represents a different clan.
One table for Tartan Day is dedicated to Scotland's great national poet Robert Burns.
One table for Tartan Day is dedicated to Scotland’s great national poet Robert Burns.
Lots of Scottish gifts on one table include plush bears with tam o' shanters and dolls wearing Scottish dress.
Lots of Scottish gifts on one table include plush bears with tam o’ shanters and dolls wearing Scottish dress.
Two Scottish gentlemen in kilts pass the time at Balboa Park's International Cottages before the Tartan Day festivities begin in earnest.
Two Scottish gentlemen in kilts pass the time at Balboa Park’s International Cottages before the Tartan Day festivities begin in earnest.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!