BAGUIO CITY — What will happen to the hundreds of kilos of fresh flowers after the Panagbenga parades are over?

If Department of Tourism-Cordillera (DOT-CAR) Director Marie Venus Tan is to be asked, then it would to recycle the fresh blooms so that these will not end up in the trash bin and further contributing to the garbage problem of Baguio city.

Tan on Wednesday implored float sponsors as well as the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. officials to donate the used flowers so that these can be reused to decorate schools or other public buildings or converted to other uses.

“I hope they will take into serious consideration this request because the hundreds of thousands spent on flowers for the one day parade only goes to waste after,” she stressed.

She said, roses in particular can be recycled into potpourri packs which can then be sold by enterprising businessmen.

When asked whether she is asking too much from float sponsors because they spend thousands of pesos to bedeck their floats with flowers while they can only hope for a minimal amount in prizes, Tan said that her call was more practical than merely letting the flowers end up in the garbage bin.

“The flowers will be discarded anyway, wouldn’t it be more meaningful for the sponsors to donate them instead for the betterment of Baguio and its residents?” she asked.

Meanwhile, Tan believes that this year’s Panagbenga will surpass 2014’s staging of the annual event in terms of tourist arrivals.

She reported that as far as the DOT-CAR is concerned there were 1,115,000 tourists who visited the region in 2013 which became 1,560,000 in 2014.

“There is every indication that the tourist arrivals will increase this year for Panagbenga alone which might bring the number of visitors to the region to over two million,” she added.

The annual Baguio Flower Festival kicked off February 1 with a grand opening parade down Session road, the city’s main street.

The anticipated street dancing parade and parade of floats are set on February 27 and 28, respectively.

Festival executive chairman Anthony de Leon said that these two parades are the most visited by tourists as he boasted that millions come to Baguio to watch these twin events every Panagbenga. Sam Bautista/PNA/