Version 2 of Article: Grand Marian Procession 2009
Top of my list is the carroza of Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani, Bataan. I love the overall design, the silver columns, the chandelier crystal details and ofcourse those fine feathered accessories.
The carroza of the Divine Sheperdess, I like the simplicity of the carroza but on the other hand you know it was carefully designed.
Another simple but very beautiful carroza is the carroza of the Stella Maris. This is a perfect example of how one should decorate an already beautiful carroza. No need to go over the top (as the saying goes only someone who has lots to hide covers her face under layers of make-up). And besides, with an exquisite centuries-old image such as this, you will no longer care about the carroza. You already can't take your eyes off the image.
The carroza of Our Lady of Loreto gets my award for best use of color. I love the way the shades move from shades of blues, to yellows...pinks to violets punctuated by greens...well thought off.
The florist/owner of Del Hogar never disappoints. Here is another simple floral arrangement using expensive flowers (can you still call that simple then?). Here's a good way of showcasing expensive flowers--you don't drown it against so much blooms.
The carroza of Our Lady of Angels almost did not make my list because of the baskets around the carroza...you don't know why it's there? I don't see the merit of the baskets as accessories. Also being empty makes you think that the carroza was unfinished. However the saving grace of this carroza is the centerpiece and the floral arrangement atop the wooden bas relief of Our Lady. I imagine myself being at a "natural garden" as if that's how you would expect blooms to behave in the wild--natural beauty, I mean nature is still the best teacher in terms of floral arrangement and this carroza captures just that.
The carroza of Dormition is another simple carroza covered mostly in greens and exemplifies the natural beauty I discussed above. A tranquil garden befitting our sleeping Mother. (I sort-of met the florist of this carroza, "sort-of" because even though I try to open my mouth and start a conversation no words are coming out. Nastarstruck ako...his carroza's have always been my favorite year after year and meeting someone you admire...wow! Admittedly, greens are not my forte. But this man really knows what he is doing. I was observing how he completes his arrangements. This was the Mga Aral sa Paggagayak ng Carroza class for me.)
The carroza of the Holy Relics gets my award for fresh concept for a rather common accessory, just look at how the sticks came to life.
There's something about the color scheme. For example the carroza of the Porta Vaga, last year's all yellow arrangement was truly a sight to behold as the year before that's all white arrangement). This year's arrangement, there are just too many shades of color that I don't see it actually complementing each other...it's too busy you have different shades of red, then purple and violets, then white, then blue, then green, then yellow, then orange, then gold. Although when I was viewing the video clip I took (during the actual procession as compated to the shots I took using my camera during the day), it looked ok. I guess there are really arrangements and colors that work best for a day procession, and for a night procession. (Intriguing...)
There's too much flowers, "the carroza cannot breathe." Flowers are just accessories and I really like that it stay as such. Don't waste a beautiful carroza especially if its silver pukpok or ornately carved. Show the design, the style and shape of the carroza. Also when decorating the carroza, make sure that arrangements are not too close with each other that you can no longer see the overall design, allow some space for the butterflies and bees. Who said that a moving tower of flower looks good? In other words avoid overcrowding the carroza with too much flower as repeatedly seen for the carroza of Our Lady of Piat. I gave a sigh of relief seeing that Our Lady of Mediatrix is almost past this stage (this carroza would have made my list if the middle part of the carroza was not covered in garlands).
Inappropriate add-ons. Do not use the carroza as a platform for propaganda or advocacies, see picture of Our Lady of Guibang. At least, this was a tamer version compared to last year's earth float (reminds me of UP Lantern parade...please...I am all for saving Mother Earth but GMP is just not the venue for this. I hope the organizers would see it my way. There are other ways ofcourse, more subtle like handing out flyers or leaflets as what most groups do. The carroza should entirely be for the image).
There's simply nothing new. Other carroza's are as always nicely arranged but it the same thing as last year...and oh, the year before that: same flowers, same arrangements, same presentation etc...like the carroza of Our Lady of Fatima, the carroza of De las Flores (the palio was not even able to do the trick) etc...Unfortunately, many of the carroza's fall under this category. Although please do not misunderstand that I prefer over the top and outlandish arrangements. As I stressed in my favorites, you can opt for a simple arrangement, less flower but still make an impact. However as an enthusiast I of course want to be surprised, amazed, and enthralled (just like the carroza of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Pablo in last year's GMP and the carroza of Our Lady of Montserrat during the 2007 GMP, these carroza's are forever etched in my mind.)
The carroza of Our Lady of the Rosary of Penafrancia gets my award for risk taker of the year (well year after year they have always been innovative) but this year they've gone even further...by day the carroza, well, for lack of better term...(silence)...but at night it was transformed. It really looked nice and you start to appreciate the bottles, the tivoli lights, the tulle and the fans. Ingenious but very risky...kids please do not try this at home!(especially if your procession starts around 3 or 4pm or earlier).