Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Photo Essay: Panagbenga Festival 2011

So this is the Panagbenga Festival... Jovial, multihued, flamboyant. I was able to witness the Grand Float Parade partly because we currently reside in Baguio, and partly because fellow blogger Joel sort of forced me too.

Just so you folks know, I have never featured a festival here (except Oktoberfest which is an entirely different thing!) because I am not a fan of such. I cringe at the sight of huge crowds and usually sprint the opposite way. Since curiosity got the better of me (it always does), I went for it.

This whole shindig started at 2:00 AM for us.

Joel, a pilgrim of the Panagbenga festival, told me we should be up that ridiculously early to score good seats (seats, meaning a spot on a concrete road). We were able to get a cab after 5 minutes of walking along Tam-Awan Route from the house.

The driver dropped us off Burnham Park upon our request. Our ears led us to Rose Garden where inebriated locals were dancing to the beat of native drums. Designer/musician Kate Torralba was a guest and sampled keyboard tunes. My feet giddily stomped.

Burnham Park turned into a camping ground. Woodstock-ish. Brilliant way to cut accommodation cost.

We had a quick brekkie at Jollibee. After which we positioned ourselves at the intersection of Harrison Road and Abad Santos Drive. The breeze was still algid at 5:30 in the morning and we huddled with the family beside us.

Left: Joel snacking on peanuts and sitting on someone else's latag. Hawker lady called out "Libangan!" (pastime) to spectators, referring to her peanuts. Right: Candies. Joel craved for Nips (though they might be a different, cheaper brand)

Drum and Lyre corps gave life to the parade (which by the way reached our area at 8). And the majorettes? Icing on the cake. Personally, I'd like to see more folk dances. A group of kids were dressed up in Igorot costumes, but unfortunately danced to "Waka Waka". I do love Shakira but such combo's just bizarre. And we're not in Africa.

On with the floats...

Panagbenga is a Kankana-ey (Kankanay/Kankanai) term, meaning "season of blossoming".

Joel noticed that the floats didn't have as much flowers compared to the previous years. Weeks prior to the festival, temperature plunged to 9.6 degrees Celsius in the highlands. Could the same frost that damaged crops affected the blooming of flowers as well?

Nonetheless, I've never seen that many flowers in my entire life! And if you got enough flowers to cover 21(?) floats, blimey, that's already heaps!

Probably for some, the floats weren't really the highlight of the event, but the celebrities. Pinay Travel Junkie Confession: I shrieked like a teenage fan alongside Joel (c'mon, admit it!).

Parade was done just before noon. The crowd dispersed instantly. Some proceeded to the grandstand while the others trooped to various restos for lunch.

Joel and I met up with another blogger after the event. Left to right: Joel (who kinda looks drunk here), me and Marcos at Oh My Gulay. Was feeling starstruck for I finally met the man behind exploreiloilo.com! Stole Borrowed this photo from Marcos' FB just to show it off.


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Ian said...
April 3, 2011 at 11:58 AM

I love the pictures but the most striking for me is the plants and zombies-themed picture... maybe because I'm an addict player of the game. Kakatuwa, it gave Panagbenga a fun and pop twist.

I'm also not fond of festivals though I want to see Masskara or Sinulog live.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 3, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Haha! Really, Ian? Haven't tried that game. Maybe I shouldn't at baka ma-addict din ako ;p I'd love to check out Moriones Festival.

Ian said...
April 3, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Nako don't try that game. It has a simple mechanics and repetitive cycle but it is really addicting that's why is so popular... look at Panagbenga, I bet the creators behind those posters are game addicts of Pland and Zombies.

doi said...
April 3, 2011 at 1:12 PM

i like the 1st pic. cutie! ang gaganda ng mga floats! bakit naging mulawin si enchong? LOL.

sino sa kanila ang nakakuha ng pinaka malakas na shrieks from you gay? aminin!!!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 3, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Ian, okay will take your advice. Baka ma-neglect ko si baby. Haha!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 3, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Doi, onga eh. Didn't get the wings on Enchong. Maybe it's the float's theme. Thing is, I didn't even notice the float. Lol. I am not into artistas, actually. But it was a fun experience.

Enchong's a boy-next-door-cutie. He's on the Convergys float. Haha! I shrieked "take it off" when Sam came close... But i was referring to his shades. Laki ng eyebags! Aga siguro call time.

sometimes KIM and sometimes MJ said...
April 3, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Great photos! And yes, don't even start, that game is highly addicting, ugh!:-)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 3, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Haha! Sige, promise I won't try that game. Scary ;p

tina said...
April 3, 2011 at 8:33 PM

ang dameng flowers. :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 3, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Yeah, Tina! Bilib ako sa mga gumawa ng floats!

Joel Aldor said...
April 4, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Bakit ngayon ko lang nakita itong post mo hahahah! Pilgrim talaga hehehehe! :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
April 4, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Joel, I published it late na kasi. Haha! Whatta fun festival! Thank for taking me :)

joan said...
May 2, 2011 at 11:21 AM

WOw, ganda ng mga pics.. :)
Cute po ni enchong.. :)

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