|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