2010 Panagbenga Festival Grand Street Parade

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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Session Road
Baguio City, Benguet
27 February 2010

After saying my prayers at the Baguio Cathedral, I went to Session Road to find myself a spot for the parade. The grand street parade would start about 8AM, but because the Panagbenga Festival is one of most popular festivals in the Philippines, a lot of people would travel here just to witness the parade. Taking the lessons I have learned from last year, I positioned myself near the intersection and I was glad because I saw parade organizers setting up a place for photographers. I didn't have a photographer's pass, but then I felt it would just be fine because the groups that were part of the parade would stop near the intersection to perform part of their routine for the photographers.

For some reasons, this wasn't a better parade than last year, because they used both lanes of Session Road (before they only used one lane), and it was so unfortunate that the other side of the lane had the better groups of performers. Well, I called lane I was at quite "lame" because one group would pass, then we had to wait a few minutes (longest being 10 minutes) before the next group passed, whereas the other lane had no breaks in the parade. For a decade, they have used the lane where I was as the main road for the parade, and this year it suddenly changed.

Another thing I didn't like: because of the gaps between each groups, the groups didn't stop at the intersection anymore (but some did). It resulted in lesser pictures taken for this year, and I was quite sad about it. Add to that the problems my camera was having (the images looked dark because it was against the light, but when I turn up the exposure to just one notch - +1/3, it would look way too overexposed). Quite sad.

I still tried my best to take pictures, and here are my favorites:

Fairy. I just loved the costume!

Dance. One of the very few groups who stopped near the intersection to perform. I love the energy of this young lady, she danced with all emotions.

Big Fan. This group was wearing the traditional Igorot (the ethnic tribe living in this part of the country) costume, and they used big fans as part of their routine. They didn't stop to perform, but they danced as they passed by the road.

Lady Korean. I was just in one position, so my way of taking pictures was to zoom my camera in and out. I just took a picture of one Korean quite far from me, so my camera was still zoomed when this lady stopped in front of me to have her picture taken. I wasn't too quick to zoom out my camera, and this was the only part of her that I was able to take a picture of. She was actually holding a fan in both of her hand, and it would be so great if I was able to take a picture of it, too, but yeah, I was sorry. Hahaha.

Colorful Banners. I was sitting along the roadside the entire time and it was really difficult to take pictures at a lowered angle. One of the groups stopped, and as I looked up I saw their colorful banners so I took a picture. This was my most favorite picture from this event.

By the last weekend of February, there will be another Panagbenga Festival grand street parade. I sure hope and pray that this year will be a much better festival experience for me. I am already looking forward to it, because my sister is coming with me, and it would be awesome to be with somebody, as I was alone during this trip.

*** Jenn ***

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