Panagbenga 2012: What happens after?

It’s the last Saturday and Sunday of February 2012, and here in Baguio City (Philippines), these days would be the grand street and grand float parades in celebration of the annual Panagbenga (Season of Blooming) or Flower Festival. Now on its 17th year, and surely, yes… there will be an 18th one. 😉

I stopped watching the parade after my high school, since (1), you’d rather walk a thousand miles than have your butt glued on the seat if you are to watch. Traffic flow is so terrible just before and after the parade. Two (2), since you’ll already be late, all you would see are heads or shoulders (even feet, depending on where you placed yourself), and occasional glimpses of the parade. So unless you have planned and reserved your viewing spot, it would be better to watch it on TV instead.

As mentioned earlier, watching the parade wasn’t that much fun (for me at least) anymore. Well, maybe I just got bored with the same dance and parade routines. Or even maybe…

It’s interesting though that I’ve been part of the parade twice already. First, when I was still young and innocent, and I knew how to, or rather was forced to, memorize the exact bars to hit on the lyre. Second time was when  I was the water man (hehe!) of a group of young souls advocating for a cleaner and greener Baguio. Anyway…

…which brings me back to another reason why I may have stopped watching the parade. At the end of the show, you’d feel somehow disappointed, exhausted and puzzled. After all the sights and sounds that flooded and excited your senses, you’d stand there and witness the outcome brought upon by the reason you were there in the first place. That after the parade, the celebration, all the oohs and the aahs, would be the sore and noisy background of emptied packs, trash, some not even inside waste sacks.

My camera was all set early Monday morning to see what’s still on display (or littered) at Athletic Bowl, where the street dancing and float parades end. These floats (the ones still left, as there were more or less than 15 floats that Sunday) have been there all night, ready to be dismantled later that day.

The popularity of Panagbenga invites participation all over the Philippines. Here you could see a float from Batangas (Angkan Batangueno)…

Parts of the floats have been vandalized, and sadly, not just the floats, but the entire cityscape. Taking the pictures below reminded me of the sore and noise; the feeling of being disappointed, exhausted and puzzled after the eye-fest. The thought of wanting to say that, “Hey, it’s good to watch, but please, manage your waste.”

Of course, all of these can’t be cleaned up immediately by these guys, unless you join them. 🙂 So where ever you go, manage that waste. Consume less, waste less. Don’t litter, hold it on a pocket until you see a sack/bag/bin. Festivals are filled with things that please the eye, not with tumbling plastic bags and empty food packs.

Until then, happy Panagbenga!

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