Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Flower Festival

“You must see the Flower Festival in Baguio in February,” many told me when I first arrived.

Flower + Festival, oh yes, I’m there!

It worked out that when Margaret wanted to come speak to a couple of her classes, the big events of the Panagbenga Festival (aka Flower Festival) were that weekend. Unfortunately due to convention, I had to leave Saturday so I missed one the parades. There are two, one on Saturday morning, which consists of music and street dancing. The second is on Sunday morning, which consists of the flower floats. I really wanted to see the second one but you take what you get and I wasn’t disappointed by the street dancing.

Saturday morning, Margaret and I got up and got ready, not in any hurry. I needed to get my bus ticket for that night before we did anything. However, the taxi couldn’t get us to the bus station due to road closures for the parade. He dropped us as close as he could get which happened to be right next to a McDonald’s. We stopped in for coffee and breakfast. As we left the second story of McDonald’s we noticed the huge crowd of people lined up along the half wall of the raised walkway looking down onto the street. It appeared this was where the parade was coming through.

Those people must have camped out for hours to get those prime spots. There was no way Margaret and I were going to get a good look at the parade by standing behind them, especially with Margaret standing at 5’2”. I noticed that along the back wall there was a raised flower bed with a thick ledge. People were starting to stand on top of that to see over the first wall of people. There was still room so I said, “Margaret, quick, let’s get up here!”

We scored! I don’t know how we got so lucky! Especially since the parade started at 8am and we got there at 7:50am. By the time the parade reached our location it was around 8:30am.

The parade was your typical parade with marching bands, drums, dancing color guards, but then with some Filipino flare – igorot gongs and traditional dancing, but all displayed flowers in some way. Most of the bands and dancers were from local elementary schools. These kids have talent! They even played some radio hits like Katy Perry’s “Roar.”

While I missed out on the big flower float parade, I’m happy I got to see part of this big, annual event in Baguio! My camera died towards the end of the parade, but I captured most of it on video. I hope you enjoy the photos and video, they’ll give you a better idea of the event!

Thanks for reading!

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