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Wrong ‘Carrot Man’ shows up at Baguio flower fest parade

/ 12:00 AM February 29, 2016
PEOPLE cheered when a float featuring this man rolled down Session Road during the 21st staging of the Baguio Flower Festival’s floral float parade on Sunday, believing he was social media’s “Carrot Man.”  EV ESPIRITU/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

PEOPLE cheered when a float featuring this man rolled down Session Road during the 21st staging of the Baguio Flower Festival’s floral float parade on Sunday, believing he was social media’s “Carrot Man.”
EV ESPIRITU/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

BAGUIO CITY— Thousands of people descended on downtown Baguio on Sunday to see their favorite stars and celebrities grace the annual grand float parade, and to get a glimpse of social media’s latest sensation dubbed as the “Carrot Man” of Mountain Province, who was reported joining the festivities.

But the cheers of some people who lined Session Road turned to groans when they saw a float glide by with a man in gray hooded sweatshirt carrying a huge vegetable basket called “kayabang” on his shoulders.

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He was not Jeyrick Sigmaton, 21, the vegetable farmer from Barlig town in Mountain Province, whose photograph on social networking site Facebook made him an overnight celebrity.

The picture that made Sigmaton famous showed him carrying a kayabang filled with carrots. It drew attention because he resembled a Korean actor. A Facebook account described Sigmaton as a “handsome and overly photogenic farmer from the Cordillera.”

People who watched the parade expected a float (featuring Sigmaton) from a television network that had supposedly secured an exclusive contract to run his story. The network did not join this year’s parade, however.

The online chatter over Sigmaton buried the fact that upland farmers are forced to carry loads of produce down Cordillera mountains because farm roads are often vulnerable to the weather or are built using standards applicable to lowland terrain.

Sunday’s parade saw 24 floats decked with blooms from Baguio and neighboring Benguet province roll down Session Road. One of the most popular floats featured costumed “mermen,” or fish-faced men, who stood beside dolphins and sea creatures made of flowers.

But the float stalled and had to be repaired along the parade route.

Another float featured Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) stars led by Asi Taulava of the NLEX Road Warriors.

The loudest cheers went to the float featuring popular television soap, “Ang Probinsyano,” and its stars Coco Martin and Maja Salvador and child actor Simon “Onyok” Pineda. Reports from EV Espiritu and Jessica Tabilin, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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TAGS: Baguio, carrot man, Float, Flower Festival, parade, Session Road
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