BAGUIO CITY — With only 10 days to go before the 23rd Baguio Flower Festival or “Panagbenga” opens, the city has stepped up its preparations, with the executive committee and minor committees meeting almost daily to make sure that the month-long celebration would be held smoothly.
To improve this year’s edition of the festival, the city government decided to stick to its traditional events but enhance the format, City Councilor and Panagbenga Executive Committee chairman Elmer Datuin said on Thursday.
Datuin said traditional activities will remain to be the highlight of the Flower Festival.
He added though that they are still proposals for additional events and activities, which are being studied.
He enumerated the traditional events such as the grand float parade, street dancing competition, “Session Road in Bloom”, market encounter, Pony Boys Day and fireworks display, which are all much-awaited for by both locals and visitors.
Datuin said maintaining these events, which are the selling points of Panagbenga, will add to the value of the event.
It has been Baguio’s tradition to showcase different flowers during the grand float parade. But Datuin said this year they are focusing on improving the concept of the street dancing.
“Our level needs to be higher than those who are also having their street dancing competition,” he said.
The executive committee, he said, is targeting a PHP15-million budget for this year’s Panagbenga.
He added that cash prizes for the street dancing competition and the float parade have been doubled to compensate more for the expenses of the participating groups.
Meanwhile, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said every year it is always their goal to improve the festival and assured that Panagbenga 2018 will be better than the previous years.
Domogan also expressed gladness that major universities have already confirmed their participation in the street dancing competition. For a number of years, only the elementary and high schools had been joining.
“We will make the event happy for our constituents and tourists, and I hope everything goes well with the opening parade on February 1,” he said. Pamela Mariz Geminiano/PNA-northboundasia.com