I thought it was going to rain; on the contrary it was a very hot afternoon. Why did they decide to start the procession earlier? I don’t like being under the heat of the sun for a long time but it won’t stop me from seeing the Grand Sto. Nino procession (of the Nombre) either.
From the newspaper I read that the theme for this year is in accordance with the “Year of the Priest,” thus image owners were asked to dress their Sto. Nino’s in priestly vestments. Well I did see a couple of images who followed the theme; among these, this is my favorite Sto. Nino, see below:
Nice attention to details...check out the angels dressed as altar boys and the items they are holding...
Aside from featuring different kind of Sto. Nino's (an assortment of Sto. Nino titles), one notable characteristic of the Nombre procession are the carroza's or floats used during the procession. Here’s a rundown of the good (okay...), the bad (hmmm...why?) and the grand (Oh...that's why it's here)...
It’s nice that the devotion to the child Jesus is as strong as ever and you see more and more people wanting to take part in this procession, either as a participant or as an audience. I guess, that’s the good part…well for most part that is. However looking at the quality of carroza’s attending the procession I do hope that the participant same the share enthusiasm in ensuring that their carroza's look nice and procession worthy (not parade worthy etc)
I would say that generally most carroza's are decorated rather safely (typical--arrangements on the light posts; shape of arrangement is usually round and color scheme is basically one color etc), which is good. However since this is a Grand procession of course you hope for something extra, more than just the ordinary and typical, nothing similar to what you may have seen a million times here in Flickr.
See carroza of Our Lady of Manaog, an example of a very safe (but nice) floral arrangement.
and San Jose's…
Here's another nice carroza, ordinary floral arrangement however the choice of flower and colors raised to a different level. This arrangement can also be used as a focal point for your carroza (unfortunately judging the carroza overall, considering all sides I feel that the arrangements are not cohesive)
I’m not usually a fan of carroza’s with too much flowers, but as mentioned if a carroza is not beautiful or is flat to start with, this becomes an exception. This carroza is fiery (color that is)...looks nice, a bit chaotic but it still works.
Beautiful image and carroza, but the arrangement is too loose…there’s too much space. The top part is ok, the middle part needs to be re-arranged.
Sto. Nino Overload. If too much flowers on one carroza is one thing I hope owners/florists of GMP reconsider; too many Sto. Nino images in one carroza is for the Nombre Grand Sto. Nino Procession. (Well ofcourse noting that unlike GMP, for example, the Nombre procession is a bit more relaxed in terms of who can join etc).
Here's a typical carroza in last Sunday's procession, one carroza will have more than 4 Sto. Nino images. The carroza's, sad to say look like excursion buses (full of Sto. Nino images). Organizers should really discourage devotees from doing this. There's one carroza with a beautiful Sto. Nino del Passion (I am just assuming since it looks sad and carries a cross) however since there's more than one image on the carroza, you cannot just focus admiring this particular Sto. Nino.
...even with compartments.
A College of Cardinals?
There's too much Sto. Nino to light and the owner taught that hanging a series of light bulbs atop the image will do the trick...well lighting wise I think it will work...bright as ever...unfortunately the presentation is compromised. It looks like a “dance” in a barrio somewhere far far away. Now all we need is a DJ...There are other ways to light up a carroza...
One image per carroza should be the standard so the aesthetic and solemnity of the procession is maintained (Why can’t they choose just one? If they have more than one Sto. Nino why not have it join in next year's procession instead?).
Viva CANDY!?!?. This has been a recurring sad story for me (from the Sto. Nino processions I have seen that just of the Nombre), hearing the people shout or rather scream the word candy most (the second word I heard the most was “pahinge (give me),” the third was “Zesto”) than the name of the Sto. Nino, whose fiesta and devotion is the main reason why we are holding this event. Maybe owners/organizers should rethink giving away candies (or other forms of distractions) in future processions? I just hope that this procession was more solemn and devotional.
Another round of Distractions. A grand procession like this compels owners to be creative to ensure that their carroza get the attention it deserves. Like this image for example, escorted by a dozen of Moriones or Centurions. The Centurions costumes, masks and head gears are all well made. Unfortunately I think the owner forgot about the carroza and image. Unfortunately this is not a Moriones Festival.
The Case of the Misguided Concept. A concept should be a guide, so that all aspects of the design will fit and work together ensuring that everyone else (not just you as the owner or florist) understand what the plan or overall scheme is. Let's take this carroza as an example...
Your background is a capiz window typically seen in a traditional "Bahay na Bato." Your Sto. Nino is dressed like a hermit ala St. John the Baptist. Immediately there is a disconnect...Then you have a landscape design which looks like a typical present-day Pinoy garden (visit your next door neighbor, check out their garden and it should pretty much resemble this). Then look at the supposedly “flooring,” the design (the white and red checkers) is typical for kitchens (I thought this was a garden) and to add color, scatter silver painted coconut husks all around (for what?). Now tell me, how do these elements tie up? What particular concept are you getting as a viewer? (And oh before I forget…what is a heart shaped floral arrangement doing in front of the image?)
Try to be different. Again, Grand processions really tests the creativity of the participants. People tend to be experimental, playful and adventurous. Unfortunately people should also consider if it well...looks good. For example, why use this fabric as sayal? It looks like a child's blanket, bedsheet or pajamas, definitely not for a carroza. Note: Even the sayal can make or break the look of a carroza.
These carroza's, I like to think are the reason why I keep going to Roxas Blvd each year...
The highlight of this procession is the carroza of the Sto. Nino of Atocha owned by Fashion Designer Nolie Hans. The mountain of bread punctuated by yellow and orange arrangements looks splendid, and the exhilaration continues to build as you look at it from bottom to top, culminating in the image under an orange maple tree with ribbons dancing as the wind rushes through (hehehe...try reading this without breathing)
The only thing I did not appreciate is the use of the carroza and the whole entourage as a mini-campaign platform. Note the guy holding an umbrella at the background...
Moving on...another exceptional carroza is the carroza of Sto. Nino De Guerrero (although I don’t like the idea the image is portraying). It’s very simple but tastefully done.
Floral arrangements with Dancing Ladies are hung at four points around the carroza, giving the needed color and decoration but not overpowering and covering the intricate carvings. The hanged grapes atop the image’s Urna add additional color and spice to the overall design.
The carroza of Sto. Nino de Olivas, even though disregarding symmetry (in my previous articles I have identified symmetry as an important factor to consider in a carroza floral design) looked great.
See also the carroza of Sto. Nino of Mt. Carmel. Another carroza decorated asymmetrically as well. For both carroza’s, I loved the choice and use of color and how each type of flower is given its own arrangement/identity. This carroza also used fabrics as an added effect/decore.
A similar attempt is seen in this carroza, unfortunately the size and design of the carroza did not work in favor of this particular arrangement.
Speaking of color, this gets my award for concept and use of color. This is truly a visual pleasure to behold. For most carroza’s the front and middle part are the only sides you really need to see, in this carroza, you will appreciate its beauty from all angles, at different levels.
The owner of this carroza is the owner of GMP's Dormicion
Year after year, I look forward to the arrangement of the Festejada’s carroza. I admire the florist for his (or her) imagination and resourcefulness. This usually is the highlight for me, however this year the huge mask in front of the carroza is a bit too much for me. I think it has already crossed the border of being a parade float and no longer religious. Nonetheless, it still looks nice and well executed.
There are other carroza’s decorated similarly, probably by the same florist or group of florists. See below:
Another carroza I always look forward to seeing each year is the carroza of Sto. Nino de Chinese group. I always like the shape of their arrangements.
Key Take-aways from this year's Sto. Nino Procession
One noticeable accessory this year are tree branches, any type of tree branches will do…see below:
I also noticed the use of dried leaves in the floral arrangements.
I thought I will never say this but I miss the good old traditional and tested floral arrangements, similar to this.
More photos from the Nombre procession
Another carroza using branches
Branches to sticks...
Back side of the carroza of the Sto. Nino dressed as a cardinal with two altar boys at both sides...the back looks really really good
The only carroza I saw with garlands
Fruit , Veggies and Flower basket
Another carroza with fruity theme...Although am not sure kung nakakain ang mga pinya?
I really like the color combination of yellow+blue hues
I've noticed that big fans are always a favorite background for Sto. Nino carroza's...same trend in Malolos
Talk about the future...
Lanterns...hmmm...same carroza, same lanterns? From Nuestra Senora dela Victoria...
Looking forward to next year's procession...
I’ve noticed that the carroza arrangement for the child Jesus is a bit more whimsical, playful and at times crazier and over the top…this has something to do with the notion that it is meant for a child. Unfortunately, this is a religious event and some standards are to be kept in place. But, one good thing about this is the attendance of so many children. And this is always a good thing. Through this event I hope that a new batch of young Catholics and Santo enthusiasts emerge. But in the end, which is more important, convention and tradition? Or the people’s enjoyment and attention?