Saturday, August 29, 2015

La Tomatina Experience

La Tomatina is a world famous festival in Spain that has throwing tomatoes as its main event. It's not celebration of saint nor thanksgiving to anything, but it has a long history and became an official festival in 1957 according to the La Tomatina info sheet. However,

the first ever fight began in 1945 so this year 2015 marks the 70th Anniversary of this crazy festival. I'm ecstatic to be part of this huge event. I've known of it since I was little and have made sure that my first time in Europe includes the La Tomatina festival.


I attended the event with my equally crazy friend Anthony Z. We bought our VIP tickets (30euros) a month and half in advance to ensure our slots in the event which include bus transfers to and from Valencia and a La Tomatina shirt. If you want to DIY, you can take the train and the cost to get in La Tomatina is only 10euros. This is just to limit the number of participants as crowd can get uncontrollable resulting in people getting hurt.  

Dress for Success

We started the day wearing brand new white t-shirts, shorts and pair of shoes we were willing to throw out after. We did not bring any bag that could get lost so we only brought basic items such as camera, phone, and some money. Of course you would want to bring waterproof camera and phone or pouches that protect them. I thought an underwater with zipper would be perfect to keep money safe and close.

Pretty in Pink

I don't know where his shirt went

The Road to La Tomatina

Our day started at 7am getting ourselves to the meeting place in Valencia where we were issued VIP wristbands and official event shirts. The bus ride to Buñol took 40 minutes.

When we first got to Buñol at 9am, nothing is happening but we were starving so we walked around to grab some eats.

Following the crowd, we found ourselves in the center of town.  Here we saw wooden panels and nets, apparent that they're related to what's going to happen soon. People began to fill up on the street and we can feel the excitement.

I think most of the people are first timers like us. While we know what the main event is going to be like, based on videos and photos on the internet, we really had no idea how it's going to commence.

The locals are having fun watching us from their roof top and balcony. They sprayed water and the crowd cheered. An then the first tomato was tossed and the people went wild. A firecracker popped marking the start and soon tomatoes begin to fly from all directions!

The Messier the Better

There were 5 "downloading" areas in town, and here comes along the first truck! The crowd gone ballistic! First tomato hits me on my shoulder, it was cold! The tomatoes must have been sitting in the truck overnight because it was cold last night.  Second one hits me straight on my forehead, bull's eye! It was a new tomato so it hurts!!!  I'm glad that it didn't leave a mark.

Second truck comes along with more tomatoes!!! It began to feel surreal! SO MUCH TOMATOES!!! I've literally never seen so many tomatoes in my life.

Then there's the third, fourth, and fifth truck! We were on the 4th downloading area, meaning the trucks will be 25% full when it comes to us. They'd tilt the truck bed and unload the content on to the people!!! It's like tidal wave of tomatoes falling on you. The street is flooded with ankle deep of tomato soup!

Food Fight!

It doesn't take long for proceedings to become hectic, and every reveller is covered from head to toe in mushed up tomatoes. There are no winners here in La Tomatina, though the consensus is the filthier you are, the more fun you had.

After all the tomatoes are dumped in the street and people are almost swimming in it. We began to pick tomatoes from the flood of tomatoes and throw at each other. The came from all sides and so you stopped ducking and just throw as much as you can at anyone that comes to your view!

Anthony found 2 cups for us and we'd scoop a cup of tomato sauce into their shorts and shirts!!! hahaha

Yummy to Yucky

The first tomato that hits you is delicious (albeit painful)!  I'd licked my lips because the tomatoes were so juicy and fresh. But then you see people swimming in these tomatoes and shoes floating and maybe people even peeing on it! So you remind yourself to stop licking. Yuck!

Ole! Ole! Ole!

There is a feeling of utmost liberation amidst this festival. You can do anything! Run into the tomato flood, smudge someone's face with tomato sauce, scream, shout, dance your heart out. Release all the negativity and inner demon!

We came with googles to protect our eyes, but I can tell you that you should junk this idea as it's a waste of money and effort. The tomatoes will sting, but it's impossible to hang on to your googles.

All it took is One Hour

The La Tomatina event lasted for one hour. I know you may think, that one hour is such a short time for a festival and that you've been waiting all your life and half your life savings to come to this festival for a measly hour?

But believe me when I say, an hour long of tomato fight is enough! Anthony and I have lasted for 40 minutes, which is actually longer than most people.

A firecracker is fired to mark the end of the event.

By this time you will see shoes and shirts everywhere, tomato sauce on walls and street signs, and needles to say, in every single crevices of our bodies.

The tomatoes sting your eye because they are acidic, but the locals prepared water hoses to shower us with water from their balcony. Senor! Senor! Agua por favor, then he pointed the hose to us to wash our faces. 

We walked to a nearby river to clean up more. How cool is it? Then we proudly put on our official La Tomatina tshirt.

The next part of the ordeal was getting the tomato chunks our of my hair.  No wonder other people had shower caps on, but then again, even if I knew that my hair would look like someone vomited on it, I still wouldn't have put on a cap because the more you're conscious the less fun you'll have!


  1. This really looks so much fun & unforgettable once in a lifetime experience! Spaghetti..anyone??? Hahaha...

  2. This really looks so much fun & unforgettable once in a lifetime experience! Spaghetti..anyone??? Hahaha...

  3. Waaahhh!!! Ang saya! Always wanted to do this! (Someday someday***) Thanks for sharing your experience.

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