Even from Kalaw Avenue, I can hear the sweet beatings of drums from afar. It means one thing, it will start in a while. I just had my lunch, quick lunch actually, from a fast food, and my plan of coming earlier than 12 noon did not materialize. I arrived a little past one, and when I reached the mobilization area, it was some sort of de ja vu: participants with their full costumes sitting or lying or eating under the shady area of the park, photographers unloading their gears, some vendors making good business, floats on the nearby street.
I do not know what's with me, I should be taking pictures already but I thought they all look the same hence I was not taking much. After a few clicks, I stand on platform like an animal waiting for a kill but I did not see anything. Or maybe I wasn't looking much.
I made my way to the parade area, I saw the floats and some participants, yet I did not take any shot. Maybe it's the heat, or maybe I am disappointed with my sunblock that makes me smell like the beach hehehe. Pass the floats, and I came to the Festival Queen's tent, I saw one contestant leaving the tent and yet I just look at her and saw her smile at me, or to the person next to me. What's wrong with the trigger happy me? Yeah, it must be the heat. Or the sunblock.
A few steps from the tent is the photographers area. Like last year, it's still small and hot. And counting only the long lenses crowding the area, it is already full, but not as crowded as I thought it would be as I only saw two rows of monoblock-standing photographers. I was on the third row and I can still see some space between them. To my surprise, the person in front of me gave up his chair, walked away and did not come back. Opportunity knocks only once so I grabbed it! And learning my lesson from the pyromusical competition, I didn't let go of the chair.
And from then on, I stand there for about five hours, never mind the heat (hey, my sunblock worked!!!) and the water that I brought with me was enough to quench my thirst. For the first time, I got the watch and shoot all the performances (21 of them!!!) and clapped and whooped with the crowd for the best Aliwan Fiesta street dancing competition ever. Ever.
It then I realized the reason why I did not shoot that much in the participants' area because I will be needing my three year old Zeus' memory card to its full capacity. And how full it had become...
To be continued...