Also known as Flower Festival, Panagbenga Festival is an annual celebration in the Philippines every month of February. A famous month-long event in Baguio City, a lot of local and international tourists come to the summer capital of the Philippines to witness the parade of fresh beautiful flowers and street dance in Session Road in Baguio City.
The word “Panagbenga” is from a Kankanaey term which means ‘season of blooming’. This flower festival is supposed to reflect the history, traditions and values of Baguio and of the Cordilleras as a whole which aims to boost the tourism of the region.
While the festival happens in February, people starts to visit Baguio as early January when the flowers starts to bloom. But it’s in the last three days of February where the grand celebration takes place with colorful street dance and parade of floats full of fresh flowers of different designs.
Photo Credit: http://www.iweb.ph/panagbenga-festival-2016#
The celebration opens with a parade that signals the start of Panagbenga which is participated by contingent volunteers. A short opening program follows along with competitions between drum and lyre including street dancing. The street dance is participated by people wearing colorful costumes, some in native clothes which represents the indigents of Cordillera while some are in contemporary clothes made if recycles materials.
Photo Credit: http://filipinolifemagazine.com/philippine-fiestas/
Then there are trade fairs and bazaars at the Burnham Park where you could buy a lot of souvenirs from the event. You will be at awe at the various products that are native to Baguio that are really worth buying and bringing back home.
The grand float parade comes after which showcases the Filipino ingenuity in designing awesome floats using various colorful fresh flowers. The parade opens with rose petals being showered along Session road while marching bands play lively tunes that set the festive mood of the occasion.
Session Road will be closed to vehicles as flowers and stalls together with side walk cafes and food outlets are set up along the road. Selected areas are going to be venues for street and musical entertainers.
Panagbenga Festival then shall have the closing ceremonies by featuring field demonstrations and exhibitions and then a spectacular fireworks display in the evening.
There is no doubt Panagbenga festival is one of the most sought after festivals in the Philippines. Personally, witnessing this kind of events brings me an overwhelming feeling of hope and happiness. The sight of so many fresh, beautiful, colorful flowers gives me that feeling. That’s why it was said that it’s best to start your day with a fresh flower in the morning; it starts your day right, happy and hopeful… like a fresh beginning.
If a single rose can make feel good already, imagine what an enormous number of fresh beautiful flowers of different kinds and colors all around me can do!