March 24, 2015
March 17, 2015
Related post: Panagbenga 2015 Grand Float ParadeThe Panagbenga Festival is always a crowd drawer, with thousands of visitors heading up to the "City of Pines" during the weekend of the parades. Hotels and lodging houses, especially those near the city center, can be fully booked months in advance. Baguio can be very crowed at this time and getting around could be a challenge. But with a little bit of luck and good timing, I was still be able to see some of what this popular destination offers.
Mines View SunriseMines View, Panagbenga or not, will always be crowded. But come here at dawn and you'd be able to experience the very reason why this spot is a popular viewing area. Dawn is the best time to see what the view in Mines View is really all about.
Veteran TreeDown the road from Mine's View stands a very old (over 100 years old) picturesque Benguet pine tree called The Veteran Tree. It has survived the elements for as long as it could, but finally succumbed to it. The tree was declared "dead" in 2011 and local artists transformed it into an amazing work of art. Not sure how long this will last, go see it if you have the chance to.
Wright ParkPerfect place for a morning horse ride. I could not understand though why some of the horses's hair are dyed pink. To make them more appealing to the children maybe?
Baguio Public MarketPerfect place to sample Baguio's delicacies and shop for souvenirs. A friend and I stumbled upon this longganisa section while walking through the market trying to dodge the horrendous traffic.
Burnham ParkThis is one of Baguio's most recognizable landmarks in the city center. And with the horrible traffic during the Panagbenga weekend, we found ourselves walking most of the time and passing through the park. Might as well take some photos.
Baguio SunsetBest place to catch it if you are stuck in the city center is at the viewing decks of a big mall at one end of Session Road. The mall guards are usually touchy about you taking photos inside the mall, specially with a tripod and that "professional looking" camera (they have funny ways of defining how a camera can fall into this category, but they leave you alone at the viewing decks.
Baguio Cathedral at dawnThe Cathedral is lighted beautifully during the Sunday dawn Mass. The façade lights are turned off immediately after the first mass. I took these before heading out to Panagbenga park where the floats are being prepared for the parade.
March 4, 2015
2015 baguio festival panagbenga
11:05 AM to Read ( Words)
|20 years of blossoming together|
They say the Panagbenga Festival (Blooming Flowers Festival, "panagbenga" means "season of blooming") get grander each year since it started 20 years ago as way to promote Baguio (after a devastating earthquake) as well as the culture and tradition of its people. This year's theme is "Across 20 years, Blossoming Together".
It was my first time to witness the festival first hand. I was excited and woke up before dawn, and before the sun rose, my friends and I were already in Session Road (one of Baguio's main streets where the parade will pass through). You might think we were early, but we are not. Folks line the parade route as early as 1AM and the prime spots are occupied well before dawn.
A friend based in Baguio was able to help me secure a photographer's pass, so I had a bit of freedom and can get really close to the floats.
Imagine a kid in a candy store full of all sorts of colorful and sweet goodies - that's how photographers were that day. To actually see the floats up close is surreal. The explosion of colors and patterns and designs is simply overwhelming. You haven't seen flowers until you see them on a Panagbenga float.
Some would really stand out, like the Baguio Country Club's (BCC) float which was inspired by the movie "How To Train Your Dragon".
Another float is inspired by Pixar's animated movie Epic, featuring "leaf men" and bird riders.
|where is Nemo?|
Its beautiful float after beautiful float for a good hour or two, longer if you follow the parade as it goes through Session Road, then to Harrison Road, and finally to Athletic Bowl beside Burnham Park
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