Preps for Baguio Flower Festival 2019 begin

BAGUIO CITY — Preparations for the famous Flower Festival, also known as Panagbenga, have officially started in this mountain resort city.

The city government launched the February festival by earmarking PHP20 million for the grand event, which has for years been proven to be a tourist draw for the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

“Panagbenga shall always be Baguio’s grand celebration of life, proud fiesta of the best in our city’s floral wealth, joyfully shared with our visitors and guests for their fullest enjoyment of the best there is in Baguio,” said Pangabenga executive committee co-chairman, Councilor Elmer Datuin, at the sidelines of the launching program on Monday.

“Panagbenga”, a Kankanaey word meaning “blooming”, was conceptualized in 1995 as a recovery measure after the 1990 earthquake in North Luzon and was first staged in 1996.

Datuin said traditional activities will remain to be the highlight of the Flower Festival, although universities in the city will present cultural shows to present the culture of the Cordillera.

Datuin also said the grand float parade, street dance competition, “Session Road Bloom,” and fireworks display are still included in next February’s festivities, which both locals and tourists eagerly look forward to every year.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan, lifetime chairman of the Board of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI), said that with the influx of tourists on the last days of February, the city government and the BFFI have decided to adjust the schedule of the grand street dancing and float parades, as well as the closing program of the festival.

The grand street dancing parade and grand float parade, held every last weekend of February, will be moved to March 2 and 3, while the weekend after will be the closing program.

The flower festival formally opens on Feb. 1 of each year.

The mayor also underscored the importance of sustaining public-private partnership in handling the activities lined up for the 2019 Baguio Flower Festival.

“A full-pledged public-private partnership event for 24 years, the Panagbenga is a proof of the synergy between the government and the private sector, including the city residents who always take part in the highly publicized, biggest crowd drawing event in northern Luzon that attracts tourists from many countries around the world,” the mayor said. (
Pamela Mariz Geminian