Panagbenga Festival 2019
Baguio city on Luzon Island in the Philippines comes alive with pomp and flowers throughout February, especially on weekends. The Panagbenga festival blooms the city in all manner of color and was formerly a two-week long event. Of late the Baguio flower festival has manifested into a five-week occurrence. Activities include parades, shows by bands, a Pony Boys Day and even a military homecoming. The opening ceremonies with the drum lyre competitions and eliminations happen on 1st February 2019.
When did the Panagbenga Festival Start?
Baguio city came up as an outpost during the American occupation of the islands. The Panagbenga festival comes from the language of Kankana-ey which means ‘season of blooming.’ The festivities and celebrations in Baguio make it the bona fide summer capital due to its great flowers and all year fair weather. This festival also came about after the 1990 Luzon earthquake that devastated the central island of the Philippines, including Baguio city; with the loss of numerous lives.
After the Luzon earthquake during the rebuilding of Baguio; some inhabitants started a celebration marking the city’s recovery. They intended to spread some bright, colorful cheer and the region’s beautiful flowers were their natural choice. The city’s lack of a patron saint like most of her Spanish colonial era neighbors also necessitated the implementation of some form of fiesta to celebrate life. The activities that surround the festival are held outdoors in February. This month has suitable weather condition such as the Philippines Military Academy alumni.
Who Started the Panagbenga Festival?
In 1995 the festival was made official by the John Hay Development Corporation after being presented to them courtesy of a lawyer named Damaso Bangaoet Jr. A student contest to draw the best logo for the festival was organized by a group of flower enthusiast forming the advisory board as the Camp John Hays Arts Contest, and a spray of flowers entry was selected. This also saw the name Panagbenga adopted and a hymn that drifts all through the festival composed by a notable Saint Louis University professor.
February is a dry and slightly chilly month in the Cordillera Administrative Region where the city of Baguio is found. The Panagbenga festival also falls between Christmas and Easter in the mainly Roman Catholic region of the Philippines. It can’t, however, be dismissed for having common conjunctions with Valentine’s Day since both occur in February and have huge flower power factors.
Baguio was thus made into a premier tourist destination with the Panagbenga festival. Its importance in the tourist and commerce for the country is highlighted by the showcasing of flower varieties that grow in the region.
How is the Panagbenga Festival Celebrated?
A couple’s dance for which invitations are reserved for the honored in society called a Caňao. This dance is performed to get the festival underway. With brightly colored and tribal patterns, the Caňao participants dance to an indigenous beat with a skipping tempo. When the spectators have twice shouted Kankan-ey accolades at the dancing couples; only can they stop. The festival is thereby declared open for all manner of aplomb. A ‘let a thousand flowers bloom’ first-round may involve painting flowers and letting them hang on canvasses all over Baguio’s’ street walls and buildings.
Native dances amidst the floral scents mingle with the festive backdrop of the flowering city of pines. Amongst the spectators, a search for a king and queen of the Baguio Flower Festival continues. The FM Panagbenga Pop Fiesta and Skateboard competition will attract as many tourists as the Dolls of Japan exhibit.
Floral floats parade the city while some festival goers dance and revel in the marching band competitions. There is also a tournament for those who prefer a round of golf or to forage in the food and flea markets. While the Bulaklak Rock Battle of the Bands raises hell for the music connoisseur at the skating rink, Eiga Sai is formerly taking place at the Baguio Convention Center while Kite-fest happens inside the Athletic Bowl. Closing and awarding ceremonies with the earliest fireworks display start at around 7.00 p.m.
What’s next for The Panagbenga Festival?
The Panagbenga cultural and flower fete is under the management of the Baguio Flower Festival Federation and has been receiving massive coverage in global media. This is mainly due to its popularity with the congregation of tourists and locals treated to a display of intense beauty.
The Grand parades will take place much later this year than during Panagbenga 2018; when they were held on February 24 and 25. With the ceremonies taking place in March, the Session Road in Bloom starts on the 3rd and end on the 10th. The closing of the Baguio Flower Festival means Panagbenga festival 2019 celebrations have been extended by nearly a month.
Come to Baguio every February for the Panagbenga flower festival. Fly to the City of Pines from Manila with airlines like AsianSpirit. Travel by road on a variety of bus companies, garage cars, and tour operators that operate the route especially during Panagbenga festival.