The Mardi Gras Competition and Tuna Float Parade of Lights Competition of the recently concluded Tuna Festival 2009 of General Santos City was the most awaited event of the entire celebration.
Of course, the Tuna Float Competition was already a given box-office attraction, more so that it was reinvented. On the other hand, this was only the first time that the MardiGras was conducted for the festival. Judging from both concepts, the Tuna Festival organizers were sure that they had a double whammy winners.
On September 5, the culminating day itself, people from all walks of life and from around the region and elsewhere, trooped to the colorfully-decorated Pioneer Avenue as early as 8 in the morning although the Carousel Parade would only be starting at 3pm. The rest waited inside the newly unveiled sprawling paradise-of-a-park, the Plaza Heneral Santos (fronting the City Hall).
At 1pm, the contingents from six different schools and the tuna floats began assembling and taking their designated places along Pioneer Avenue‘s lanes. This was when photographers (from as far as Manila, the US and Europe) started swarming on the costumed mardigras dancers and awesomely conceptualized tuna floats and clicked like there was no tomorrow. Only God knows how much gigabytes of shots were taken that afternoon.
The weather at this time was cooperating – sun not so hot, a strong breeze from Sarangani Bay was cooling everyone. The generals and a lot of visitors from other localities, were in a festive, jovial mood. The celebratory atmosphere was even heightened when the giant speakers along the sidewalks of Pioneer Avenue and Roxas Avenue began simultaneously playing the new Tuna Festival Theme Song composed and arranged by Martin Leyson.
To tell you more of the story, here is a video by Danny Go, as commissioned by the Tuna Festival Council.
And here are some pictures which will tell you even more about the Tuna Festival Mardi Gras and Float Competitions and other activities during the culmination of the celebration for GenSan’s 41st Charterhood Anniversary. All these were shot by Bariles unless otherwise stated.
Check back for more pictures…