BAGUIO CITY – The spectacular two-day major events of “Panagbenga’ 2016 have again crowded the streets of the city of pines as the whole stretch of Session Road down to Magsaysay avenue all the way to Harrison road were filled with enthusiastic spectators,locals and visitors, who took advantage of the long weekend.

Organizers of the Baguio Flower Festival unanimously concluded a victorious and successful festivities, proven by the size of the crowds that waited patiently for the Grand Street Dancing and Grand Flower Float Parade.

In an interview, Supt. George Daskeo, Baguio City Police Director said that the peace and order situation in both activities was generally peaceful but with several isolated cases of picking pockets and cellphone snatching. Supt. Daskeo praised the men and women in uniform for their diligence in enforcing and maintaining crowd-control measures.

Rough estimate of the ranges from 150,000 to 200,000 but, according to Supt. Daskeo, the figures may be higher than those in the past years. The conservative assessment may be blamed to the abrupt change of venue for the viewing of the flower floats, that excluded the newly- refurbished Baguio Athletic Bowl,particularly the rubberized tartan track, that organizers and city officials said could be jeopardized..

Several visitors were disappointed by fowl odors along the streets and Harrison road became a venue for the night market with so much accumulation of garbage and food stains left unattended by some vendors.

The city government has been mulling relocation or perhaps extensions of the said night market so as to accommodate morel vendors seeking livelihood which would be tackled by stakeholders and the city council.

Aside from several people who fainted during the flower float parade, no major accident occurred and Mayor Mauricio Domogan expressed gratitude for the peaceful and orderly “Panagbenga” flower float parade. THOM PICANA/northboundasia.com