It’s 7:45 in the morning, Eminem is blaring on the speakers throughout the plaza and nearby streets, there are hundreds of school children and parents walking around while other people pass through on their way to work. It turns out Baguio isn’t the only place that loves street dancing. It seems to be popular among all ages across the Philippines.
The day started at 5:00 when McTery woke me up, a half hour before my alarm was set to go off, to be sure we would get downtown on time. He and Alzera would be dancing in the streets of the city with their classes and we had to be there by 7:00 for them to prepare.
After breakfast, we headed to our usual waiting spot for any kind of transportation to take us the 20 minutes down the mountain to town. Most of the jeepneys were full or not stopping, but eventually we did get a ride on a fast jeepney with a loud radio.
The first stop was the makeup station. Whenever there is street dancing, the performers wear makeup, even the boys. All morning long, I saw boys walking around town with bright red lipstick on. There are usually elaborate costumes as well, but this performance was less formal and was not a competition. In fact, it was billed as a flash mob, to celebrate San Fernando, its schools and its teachers. It was a Tuesday and would also be a day off from school for everyone.
It was nice to see so many familiar faces since I had visited the school the week before. Students greeted me all morning long and almost everyone wanted their picture taken.
I’ve realized that taking pictures of dancers is a really difficult thing to do. I usually capture an awkward moment that makes you wonder if the subjects are even dancing. Still, here are some glimpses of what I saw, plus a few videos. It was another spirited event where the schools and community came together to celebrate their love of San Fernando and their pride in their schools.