BIR chief lauds Panagbenga for preserving culture

BAGUIO CITY— Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay on Saturday lauded the locals for their continuing effort to preserve the region’s culture and sharing it with others through the Panagbenga festival.

“I believe that we should continue to nurture and to showcase these traditions, this culture, not only for today but for the future, for the benefit of the succeeding generations to come that they will never forget the culture, the traditions that we have as a people,” Dulay told thousands of locals and tourists at the Baguio Athletic Bowl for the street dancers competition.

He recalled his boyhood in Benguet as he grew up at the Lepanto mines in Mankayan, where his father used to work.

“I grew up with the mayor, watching the culture of the Cordilleras. It was nice to know that we have a lot of visitors from other countries because we are able to showcase our culture, our traditions and it is true, I might repeat, positive of the fact of the love of our people for this country,” said Dulay, who was guest speaker at the annual event.

Dulay said the festival is an exhibition of the living and lively culture of the Cordillera people and the Filipino tradition in general.

“What better evidence we have of this display of culture and tradition. What better proof of our nationalism, patriotism and love of country when we do not stop showing our culture and our traditions,” he said.

Panagbenga is a Kankanaey word meaning “blossoming”. It was conceptualized in 1994 to help Baguio recover from the devastation left by the 1990 killer earthquake.

The Baguio flower festival is a product of the unity and cooperation of all sectors and a clear show of the existence of public and private partnership to boost the city’s economy.

Dulay also urged residents to continue preserving nature, the natural attraction and habitat endowed to the city and the rest of the Cordillera, which is the reason Panagbenga is thriving.

“The blessings that we have now, everything that we enjoy, all come from a supreme being whatever you call it- our creator and creator of all things,” he said.

The grand street dancing parade is one of the two highlight events of the annual Panagbenga with the flower float parade on March 3. PNA – northboundasia.com