Tuesday, September 27, 2011
What better way to start a new thread on Floral Arrangements than to feature the recently concluded Grand Marian Procession in Intramuros. By far, the Grandest procession throughout the country in terms of images in attendance and luminaries gracing the event.
Our Lady of Orani, Bataan before the Cathedral
Why do we mark our calendars every first Sunday of December and ensure that we are free to watch the Grand Marian Procession of Intramuros?
I remember before when I was much younger, I would still call Intramuros to ensure when the procession will be...even though I already know way before the event date (thanks to Josephine Darang). And would still be in disbelief after learning that it's just a week or a couple of days away...such excitement. GMP is like the christmas present you want to open but cannot until Christmas Day (by the way advanced Merry Christmas to everyone! Cheers!). For some the answer would be to see the infamous images of Mama Mary that you don't normally see since its miles away from where you live. For others a chance, to look at the finest set of vestments and jewelries one can only expect to see in events such as this. For me, its the carrozas and the floral arrangements I look forward to year after year. (I didn't mention devotion to Mama Mary...should be a given = ) And so far, looking back throughout the years I've been attending the event, I was never disappointed.
I will be featuring carroza's that have caught my attention, my praises and my imagination in this years procession. Ofcourse you may have a different choice so feel free to post your list in this thread as well.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: (1) Our Lady of the Rosary, Orani, Bataan (2) Divine Sheperdess (3) Our Lady of Loreto (4) Our Lady of the Rosary, Hogar (5) Our Lady of Angels
Top of my list (1) is the carroza of Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani, Bataan. (The birds have not landed yet when I took this photo...). I love the overall design, the silver columns, the chandelier crystal details and ofcourse those fine feathered accessories. (By the way I just assigned numbers as reference and not really to rank the carrozas).Moving on to (2) 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 (8) 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.
(3) The carroza of Our Lady of Loreto gets my award for best use of color. I love the way the shades move from blues, to yellows...pinks to violets punctuated by greens...well thought off. Another carroza which made good of use of color is the carroza of the Annunciation unfortunately it didn't make my list since you can't really see the floral arrangement, it needs to be elevated more (although I liked the idea of the picture frames).
(4) 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 and foliage.
(5) 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 (a garden which is not man made, naturally occuring)" 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.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: (6) Our Lady, Star of the Sea (7) Immaculate Conception, Mother Most Pure-Festejada Image (8) Stella Maris (9) Dormition
(6), (7), (8) and (10) all used garlands. Yes, garlands are back with a vengeance. I consider garlands very traditional (look at old photos of carrozas, wall treatments etc...you'll see that, that is the preferred arrangement of the yesteryears) and now they are once again the arrangement of choice. For those planning on using this kind of arrangement in the future, bring it up to date with how you present the arrangement (either hang it loose or super low) and by your choice of flowers and colors (10) as demonstrated by the carroza of Mayor Dolor.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: (10) Mayor Dolor (11) The Holy Relics (12) St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary
Another variation is to oversize your garlands, see the carroza of Our Lady of the Stars. I really liked the huge arrangement snaking around the entire body of the carroza.
Our Lady of the Stars in front of the Cathedral...
(9) The carroza of the 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.)
(11) 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. Lastly, (12) carroza of San Jose, I really appreciate that the arrangement tries to remain masculine for the image. From what I am seeing lengthy/long greens are now the trend for male images.
Last but not the least, and completing my list of favorites is the carroza of Our Lady of Montserrat. This gets my award for best concept/design.
Our Lady of Montserrat as seen from different angles...
All entries are ofcourse beautiful in their own right, however it did not make my list because:
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP: Our Lady of Sorrows, Porta Vaga; Our Lady of the Rosary of Penefrancia; Our Lady of Flowers; CENTER: Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Grace; FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, BOTTOM: Our Lady of Guibang, Our Lady of Fatima; Our Lady of Piat
1. 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 compared 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...)
2. 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 to 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).
3. 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).
4. There's simply nothing new. Other carroza's are as always nicely arranged but it's 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.)
5. Mismatched Accessories. As mentioned above, flowers are already accessories, if you are going to add more accessories to accent your design make sure that it will still feel part of the design and not another arrangement in competition with your flowers. See the carroza of Jesus Meets his Mother. I really liked the floral arrangement, plus the pink gladioli as accent (brilliant) however I wish I could say the same for the "maskara's." The color, the form, the meaning it just does not match.
The carroza of Jesus Meets His Mother or Kapait-paitang Pagtatagpo...
6. 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).
Among the new entries there are two carroza's worth mentioning. Hope to see more beautifully arranged carroza's in the future.
I like the idea for the arrangement, start with a medium or small sized floral arrangement at the front and sides and then gradually grows bigger as the arrangement gets closer to the image...however I believe it could have been executed better with the choice of flower and color...but still beautiful nonetheless.
Our Lady of the Holy Trinity at GMP 2009
I will always be drawn to Intramuros because of GMP and as always and forever shall be anticipating the next year's procession (and the year after that and so on and so forth). At this point, I recognize the efforts of the florists, the volunteers and the parishioners who participated in decorating their respective carroza's. A job well done everyone!