How GMA-7 cornered 'Carrot Man'

VIRAL PHOTO. The picture that launched thousands of likes. Photo from Edwina T. Bandong's Facebook page

VIRAL PHOTO. The picture that launched thousands of likes. Photo from Edwina T.

Bandong's Facebook page

(UPDATED) As early as 11 pm Saturday, February 27, local tourists were already lined up at the Post Office Park as well as on the overpass below Session Road in Baguio City.

They lined up flattened cardboard boxes on the pavement so that they would get the best views Sunday morning, February 28, for the grand float parade of the Panagbenga Flower Festival.

They had been doing this for the past 5 years: sleeping on the pavement despite the chilly 16 degrees Celsius weather. Last Friday, maybe the same people also camped out for the street dancing. But on Saturday, some Baguio residents actually decided to sleep on the streets.

Why? Because Carrot Man is rumored to be joining the GMA-7 float. On top of that, Cabbage Man will reportedly join the float.

Carrot Man – Jeyrick Sigmaton – is the newest Internet sensation to sweep the country.

A week ago, he was an ordinary 21-year-old dropout harvesting carrots in their farm in Monamon Sur in Bauko, Mountain Province. All that changed when a local tourist, Edwina T. Bandong, saw him while she was on her way to Sagada.

Bandong, owner of Eriel’s Cake and Pastries in Nueva Ecija, which has an outlet in a coffee shop in Session Road, decided to upload her photos on Facebook on February 19.

Her album included shots of Sigmaton, veiled in fog, carrying a load of carrots. Her photos of the sweaty long-haired Sigmaton in a layered grey sweatshirt, whom she christened "Carrot Man," were shared quickly, garnering 150 shares on February 20, until it reached 1,200 shares on February 22.

Now, Carrot Man and Jeyrick Sigmaton have 10 Facebook pages, including two administered by Bandong.

The local media caught up with Carrot Man on February 23, with some even spending nights looking for him.

As it turned out, GMA-7 was said to have won the bidding war, reportedly getting an exclusive contract with Sigmaton until the end of February. Even the Bauko police had to secure him for the television company.

After that, GMA-7 maximized its time with Sigmaton. He was interviewed by the Jessica Soho team on February 25, and was made to pose in a G-string, together with the Miss Lang-ay (the main festival of Mountain Province).

Meanwhile, the other TV networks had to make do with interviews with neighbors and relatives. So-called copycats like Cabbage Man, Sayote Man, and Patatas Man have sprouted on the Internet, all carrying sacks of highland vegetables.

One of the FB pages attributed to Carrot Man announced that Sigmaton will be leaving Bauko for Baguio, and eventually Manila on Saturday. This sparked the rumor that he will be joining the GMA-7 float Sunday morning during the Panagbenga.

However, he instead went straight to Manila, and did not join the parade. On Sunday, February 28, he was later seen at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. 

And that is why people are sleeping on the pavement of Baguio this Saturday through Sunday. – Rappler.com