Eagles in flight
I think the Philippines is the Festival Capital of the world on the first quarter of the calendar year. There’s the Sinulog, Ati-atihan, and Dinagyang to name a few which happens at the same time if not one after another. But to those in the metro who’s not able to fly to those places where these festivals are held, there’s one closer to home. Makati’s Caracol Festival, now on its second year was held on the 20th of January, third week of the month at the same time with Kalibo’s Ati-atihan. It might not be as wild and crazy as the latter, but it does add a color of revelry to the streets of Makati.
The Festival was slated to start around 4:00 in the afternoon, but since it was raining a bit, and the organizers were concerned with the well beings of the children participants, the parade started a bit later. The main parade started the corner of Makati and Ayala Avenue and headed to the event’s main stage at Goldcrest Parking Area at the back or Park Square 2.
Invasion of the Squids!
The word Caracol was derived from a Spanish word “Snail” and the festival’s overall theme is about the environment and how to take care of it. Hence, costumes of participant paraders and performers are based on nature, from aquatic creatures, forest animals to colorful insects and flora. My favorite of the costumes were of those frogs. Those neon colored costumes just grabs your eyes especially on that gloomy weather.
Fish Face she’s not
From the start of the parade I was expecting more loud music, heart thumping drums and some street dancing. I guess I was expecting too much and was rather disappointed. The participants only started dancing when they reached the buildings somewhere near Landmark. It would have been interesting to see if they had street dancing as well.
It’s one of the Flower people
How NOT to shoot a Festival? Bring uncharged batteries and forget your zoom lens. Both of which I did and I was the one who invited Oggie to join with the shoot. Finding my camera already displaying some warning signs was a bit frustrating, still I went to shoot. I was also able to meet up with fellow bloggers Eric and Fernando there.
Groove it Organic Girl
Another major disappointment was the stage setup. Really really bad. Aside from the small stage there were lots of obstruction to the view like the lamp post and some trees. And as for the audience, did the organizers really intend that the people only watch the performer’s backs? What ever happened to audience impact in the judging.
Why the sad eyes froggy?
Anyways, we did manage to go inside the performance area announcing ourselves as part of the media. But we were restricted to shoot only at a certain distance. Shoot, and I didn’t bring my Zuiko 40-150mm zoom lens with me so I had to settle with my Zuiko 12-60mm. But hey, I get to test the len’s splash proofness, but had to cover my camera’s un-splashproof body when it rained a bit. I should really get that new Olympus E-3 body soon so I can shoot even if its raining real hard. I wish. Hehe.
Let’s do the butterfly dance
Another thing on how bad the set up is, there were power interruptions during the performance. When I was there, one group had to finish their routine without music. Pity. And since it was getting dark sooner, it was also a bit harder to shoot. By six we said goodbye to the guys and didn’t finish the performances. I learned sooner there were other power interruptions and another group had to finish their routine without music as well.
The Mulawin walks the street
Caracol is a very promising Festival and has a lot of potential, but bad organization made it really disappointing. Too bad, the participants really had good and colorful costumes. I hope next year the local government of Makati makes it grander and better, learning lessons from this year’s festival.
Dance of the Zebras
Things to improve on? Add more music! Bring in the percussions. Add a street dancing performance category to the contest. it makes the parade more lively. And have a more effective setup and stage.
Protect the Queen
Really looking forward to next year’s Caracol Festival then.
The ugly stage setup
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.