By Cecilia S. Angeles
Sponsored by Camerahaus and Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc., Panagbenga OTS photo contest was recently organized by the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF) after conducting a series of free photography seminar among college students from Baguio City and the various schools of northern Luzon provinces during the Panagbenga festival.
Panagbenga is an annual flower festival celebrated in Baguio City every February, the love month. Flowers this time are in full bloom, and Baguio City heralds this to the world through street dancing of residents wearing flowery outfits highlighted further by floats dressed extravagantly with blooming flowers.
This festive flower celebration has been captured not only by the FPPF photography club members but also the new breed of photographers recently trained by the FPPF team George Cabig and Amir Alba. The following are the winners of the Panagbenga OTS photo contest in no particular order: Alex Javier, Romeo Papa, Gian Paolo Duterte, and Kurt Ernest Tan. Judges of this OTS photo contest were Eduviges Huang, chairman and the following members: Linus Escandor, Vic Sison, Rudy Fontanilla, Ronald Jayme, and Orly Niñon.
Entries captured the festive mood of Panagbenga 2018 displaying not only the happy reactions of participants but also those of the Baguio residents, guests and visitors – all in full colors. Some were dressed in native tribal outfit as they sang and danced to the beat of their drums along the zigzag streets. The audience could not help but also hopped and swayed with the Panagbenga dancers. Very beautiful were also the floats dressed in colorful flowers bearing beautiful models waving to the Panagbenga audience.
Some photographers had captured these exciting moments in their OTS entries. Viewers of these Panagbenga contest pictures certainly can see and feel the excitement of the festival even if they were not in Baguio City during the affair. Some entries captured happy indigenous participants dancing with floral wands or rings. Others displayed floral bouquets on their heads, waists, legs or arms. Despite some guards supervising the neatness of the street performance, many photographers managed to squeeze themselves into the street participants.
Panagbenga festival has indeed etched into the minds of Baguio residents and visitors a happy celebration.