Travel Feature: BAGIUO: Panagbenga Festival


PANAGBENGA Festival (English: Flower Festival) is a month-long annual flower festival occurring in Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines.[1] The term is of Malayo-Polynesian origin, meaning “season of blooming”.[1] The festival, held during the month of February, was created as a tribute to the city’s flowers and as a way to rise up from the devastation of the 1990 Luzon earthquake.[2] The festival includes floats that are decorated with flowers unlike those used in Pasadena‘s Rose Parade. The festival also includes street dancing, presented by dancers clad in flower-inspired costumes, that is inspired by the Bendian, an Ibaloi dance of celebration that came from the Cordillera region.[3]

I am reposting this from my multiply account post when we visited Baguio for the Panagbenga Festival last February 28, 2010.

Since its time for the Panagbenga Festival again (and we’re gonna miss it this year) I wanna share some of my fave shots and story last 2010 when we witnessed the festival. I wanna share too some tips  how to get the best spot and be able to enjoy the event.

For more Photos of the event Click HERE
Its the most awaited event!!! Its always been our dream to be able to watch this Parade. Now that we have a chance I feel so blessed. For this is one of our listed activities to do for this year. =)
We left home (the place we stayed somewhere in Upper Quarry) very early so we could get a very good spot at the park. We were able to position ourselves at Abad Santos St.. A corner at Burnham park where the parade will turn going back to Session Road.

A lot of spectators were there tourists and locals combined. Thank God everyone is disciplined.

We waited almost a couple of hours before the parade started but we didnt mind standing in our places because of the cold weather despite the bright sunlight.

I personally love each of the floats. They’re all grand! Especially the float sponsored by SM Baguio, the 3D Tiger formed by different kinds of flowers.
People cheered for the celebrities that took part in the parade like the Sexbomb Dancers, Pauline Luna, the cast of First Time, Jenny Miller, Valerie Concepcion and a lot more. Its also fun to see the PNP float with the police officers dressed as Igorots. I believe Quillan’s personal favorite would be the float of Jollibee.=)

After the parade, the challenge begins. The challenge to get out of the park. A sea of people covered the whole park. 

When we had the chance to remove ourselves from the crowd, we rested at the Burnham lagoon and took a boat ride.

We walked back to the house because of the jammed pack road and loads of people. Quillan got really tired and fell asleep early. So Cris and I got a chance to work out. We took a walk up to the Our Lady Of Lourdes Grotto. We hiked 248 steps up the altar. Were supposed to go to the scary Diplomat Hotel but it was really dark already so we opted to visit it next time.

climbed 248 steps...up and down = 496 steps...=)

For this year’s Panagbenga Feast below are the schedules

Panagbenga Opening Parade February 1, 2012
Market Encounter February 1 – March 4, 2012
Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom February 11, 2012
Handog ng Panagbenga sa Baguio February 12, 2012
Fluvial Float Parade February 12, 2012
Chinese Spring Festival February 21, 2012
Grand Street Dancing Parade February 25, 2012
Grand Float Parade February 26, 2012
Session Road in Bloom February 27 – March 4, 2012
Pony Boy’s Day March 2, 2012
Panagbenga Closing Ceremonies March 4, 2012
Grand Fireworks Display March 4, 2012 @ 7:00 PM

TIPS

1. Have a light breakfast or have something to warm your tummy because its gonna be a loooong wait at a cool environment. You can also bring light snacks like sandwiches or crackers but make sure you throw your trashes in designated areas. Bring with you a tumbler of drinks because for sure drinks in the area is a bit pricey. Wear 2-3 layers of light clothes, depending on how you deal with cold environment.

2. Be in the parade area early. So you can scout and spot some strategic areas to stay. Look for the nearest lavatory for your emergency needs. Stay on elevated areas because people gather little by little as the time for the parade comes near and people will choose to stay up front to have a good view. Try to stay on the curves so you can see whats coming and what passed by. It is very strategic especially its not only the gigantic floats that will pass by but there are street dances as well that showcases the event.

3. Bring a pair of eyeglasses, fan or umbrella to cover you from the sunlight. Well it depends where you’re standing, if you are staying against the sun for sure its bright enough to control your watching.

4. If you’re with your kids, be mindful of them just like with your valuable belongings. As much as possible always hold them and never allow them to stroll around.

5. Be patient. Expect a heavy traffic of both human and transportation. Be ready to walk. Try to pass time by visiting the other attractions near the events area, like the Burnham park Lagoon, the Cathedral or SM Baguio.

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