MANILA, Philippines – Are you all set for this year’s Panagbenga Festival?
The biggest festival in Baguio City will be held on the weekend of February 22-23, with the theme: “Inspiring the Community for a Greener Tomorrow.”
The festival takes its name from a Kankanaey term, which means “a season for blossoming,” and visitors can expect to see Baguio in bloom at this year’s event.
Here are some tips to have the best time at the vibrant, joyful occasion:
Saturday, February 22, is the Grand Street Parade.
The weather will likely be misty and cold, but it often gets hotter as the day passes. Leave your cars as you won’t find parking space in the central business district.
By 8am, be along the parade route – from Panagbenga Park at the original entrance of Camp John Hay, down to Session Road, turn where Abanao St, Harrison, and lower Session Road intersect, then down to the Baguio Athletic Bowl at Burnham Park.
Remember that people will already camping out at as early as 11pm on Friday at scenic spots like the Baguio Post Office Park and the Session Road sidewalk.
If you arrive around 7am, head to the 2nd floors of nearby restaurants like Patria, Puso ng Baguio, Lopez Bldg and the new City Central.
If you arrive at about 8am or later, go to Athletic Bowl for the finale.
(IN PHOTOS: Panagbenga 2013)
This is the parade sequence:
First to parade would be the “Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom” banners, painted by Baguio volunteers during Valentine’s weekend.
The PMA Band and cadets will come next, followed by the Baguio politicians. Some City Hall employees will be dancing.
Performers from the Taebaek and Gongju in South Korea will also have their moment in the spotlight, followed by the Japanese Association of Northern Luzon.
Next up are street dancers from 9 public elementary schools from Baguio. Students from the Saint Louis University marching band will be performing, too.
Then the show will move on to the competing groups:
The organizers envisioned this category to be a crash course on Cordillera culture and dance 101, so enjoy.
First up will be the “Ayoweng di Gangsa” which will be performing the “galatis” or the voluntary labor done by Cordillera villagers during wedding, house-building and funerals. You would see the performers dance as they cook, play, work and finally give offerings to Kabunian or the Supreme God.
The Baguio City National High School Fort del Pilar Annex have opted to highlight Kalinga culture this year. This is the area of the Cordillera where the people love to wear red, whether it’s via G-strings, tapis or woven skirt, banga, or even pots balanced on their heads.
Following more displays of their culture, there will also be an environmental angle as the Kalinga ecological practices of mangayo (hunting), manakdo (gathering water), mangakup (clearing), and mammura (planting) will be shown.
The performance of Camp 3 barangay of Baguio will depict how villagers tried to reforest the village after parts of it were mind in earlier years.
BCNHS Main School will also showcase the agricultural cycle and their thanksgiving to Kabunian.
Pines National High School, through their Sakusak Traditional Ensemble, will be dancing the “Lubong Ko (Danum, Daga, Angin (My World: Water, Earth, Air).”
Sixth to perform will be last year’s champion, the Kamora National High School of Kabayan, Benguet, where the Bendiyan dance originates from.
The floats will be the highlight of the day.
There will be 19 competing, including the City Government Float and the two Hall of Famers. Baguio Country Club and SM Baguio will also be joining.
3/4 of the design should incorporate flowers so expect a parade similar to Pasadana’s Rose Parade in California.
In no particular order (as it is first come, first parade) are the floats of Gold Dust Creations, Megapines Realty and Development, GMA Network, Taloy Norte Farmers, Department of Agriculture, International Pharmaceuticals, 7-11, Taodharma Inc, Jollibee, Psalmstre, PIDC-TPLEX, MNTC-NLEX, Baguio Ecopark, Beauche International, Smart Communications, International Praise Center, AMA Baguio, MLhullier and last year’s grand champion, Le Monet Hotel.
They will be accompanied by drum and lyre bands of Buyagan, Baguio SPED, Jose Laurel, Dona Aurora, Quezon Hill and Lucban Elementary Schools.
Like the streetdancers, they will be following the same route, with the floats displayed at the football grounds.
Remember, no plucking of the flowers from the floats until Panagbenga ends! – Rappler.com