Sunday, February 26, 2012

Makati Caracol 2012 - An Urban Celebration for Mother Nature

Caracol 2012 - Petal Face II
Makati Caracol 2012 - Petal Face participant
It's been years since I last covered the Makati Caracol celebration, billed as the city's Mardi Gras which aims to spread the love for Mother Nature amidst the pomp and revelry.  As a longtime Makati resident, I always thought the celebration is held every third week of January, coinciding with the Feast of the Sto. NiƱo events elsewhere so I was taken by surprise when my travel buddy, Ironwulf, told me yesterday that this Sunday is Caracol Day.  A bit of trivia to share:  Caracol is the namesake of a Mayan archeological site but is actually the vernacular for the kuhol or snail.  I'm just guessing here but perhaps, the inspiration for the celebration comes from the importance of an animal as small as a snail to the overall diversity of Mother Nature.
Caracol 2012 - Zebras in the Breeze
White tigers dancing in the light breeze
This year's festivities carried the theme "Battle of Champions" as this edition brings together the champions from previous years.  In any case, I was too caught up in taking snaps while waiting for the parade to commence (the schedule said 2:30 but it was well after 4pm when the parade actually started) to care about which dancers were with what group as it's easy to get lost in the pageantry.   Any which way you look at it, it's riveting to see so much creativity in the costumes and choreography and inspiring to see zebras dancing in the breeze; flower and bee dancers swaying to a percussive beat; schools of squid and lionfish swimming out of water; and a mini jungle of human trees and plant pots coming alive right there on the asphalt jungle (pun intended) of Paseo de Roxas.
Caracol 2012 - Hungry Lion II
Can't leave a lion famished, can we?
The parade was shorter than when I last attended -- making a short circuitous romp from the monument on Paseo de Roxas to the stage on the intersection of Makati Avenue and Ayala (shades of the Makati 2012 New Year Countdown I got involved in two months ago).  The long waiting time took a bit of a toll on the paraders as most seemed drained (low-batt?) to perk up the crowd with streetdancing by the time the parade got started.  I would've thought the organizers would've learned from previous editions that the earlier the parade gets started and the faster the proceedings would unveil, the better for the participants and guests alike.  As it was a working Sunday for me, we didn't stay long after the participants prepared to perform.  The ambient light was fading anyway.  But it was fun, especially shooting the behind-the-scenes and the people in the sidelines.
Caracol 2012 - Mom Hatters
Mom, not mad, hatters join the revelry wearing their wares


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