MANILA, Philippines – After two years of being cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Baguio City’s Panagbenga Festival is finally pushing through this year starting March 6 until March 27.
“Let Hope Bloom”, the theme for the festival’s comeback, is very fitting as the country sees a much lower number of Covid cases steadily for several consecutive days – a harbinger, hopefully, of things going back to normal soon.
The Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) has released the official schedule of activities for the month-long celebration.
Anthony de Leon, executive committee chairman of BFFFI said, “What we have right now is when we open the tourism again, we try to revive it. It means we’re learning to stand up again and come up again with new ideas, new ways of doing things under this new normal.”
Easing slightly into the new normal while taking the necessary precautionary measures, this year’s Panagbenga Festival is a toned-down version, without the crowd-drawing events.
Among these traditional events that have been temporarily removed for this year are:
- The usual grand opening
- Street dancing parade
- Flower float parade
De Leon also said that the Panagbenga Open Dance competition at the Melvin Jones to be held on March 20 will have limited viewers.
According to Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the festival will currently focus on landscapes, heritage, and cultural creativity events.
Among the events to watch out for are:
- BCC Blooms Garden Exhibit featuring Korean and Japanese-themed landscpaes
- The re-opening of the Botanical Garden
- Panagbenga Open Landscaping Exhibition “Gardenscapes”
- The Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilya Baguio activities: FUNagbenga Zumba, Open Painting Exhibitions, Kite flying, and Cultural show
- Flower Tee Golf
The traditional fireworks display has been kept in the program, happening on the 27th of March, to mark the end of the Panagbenga Festival that has drawn thousands of local and international tourists annually.
Sources: Baguio City Guide, Manila Bulletin