Its that time of the year again here in the mountain city of Baguio. Panagbenga Festival according to Wikipedia:
is a month-long annual flower festival occurring in Baguio. The term is of Kankanaey origin, meaning “season of blooming” 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. The festival includes floats that are covered mostly with flowers not 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.
For added encyclopedic information visit this Wikipedia’s link here.
As for me I’ve been watching panagbenga at home since the parade normally is filled to the brim with people from different parts of the Philippines. Tourist wanting to have a glimpse of the parade get to a specific spot as early as 4:00 AM just to make sure they get a good spot to watch. But that during the highlights this year happening at the dates of February 24 and 25, 2018 . The 1st day covering the street dancing parade and the 2nd day covering the Grand Float Parade. But there are other events lined up for this festive month.
The Schedule of Traditional events are as Follows:
You can also check the Panagbenga event for updates here.
The 1st day of the month has already passed and the opening parade became like a teaser for the upcoming things to watch out for. I was able to partially document part of the parade.(I was not early enough to get to the starting point of the parade and it was a bit flat since the sun was not hitting the spot when I got there. Not to complain but I wish there was a better light and I had more time to capture.) It was 14°C that morning and it was an abrupt change in temperature from what it was the previous days. The pictures below are some of what I captured.
Some tips for watching the Grand Street Parade and Float Parade:
- Be there early. People watching the parade flock up as early 4:00 AM and stay there till the parade finishes. If you want to take photos better be there at the starting point but do find someone to reserve a spot for you when you are going to the athletic bowl to watch the parade.
- Find a spot that has a good vantage point. Watching the parade for several years has gave me a good idea of where to position myself. My personal choices are at the starting point since you can see them practice and capture photos of the parade participants still having energy and doing their thing. You can also consider the conveniences like a close by comfort room or a convenience store since it may take some time before you can get out of your spot due to the crowd.
- Bring munchies and drinks. If you can, bring a cooler since it doubles as a good seat and keeps your drinks cold (no alcohol though). Just bring something to drink as it can get very hot. Some food would also be nice since you can be stuck where you are at for a long time specially when the parade is on going.
- Keep your trash with you and dispose of them at the proper place. Please and thank you. Most of the people in Baguio care about the environment, be mindful of where you throw your trash please. (Make sure it goes to the trash can/bin.)
- Wear proper clothing. Baguio at this time of the year can be pretty chilly specially if your not accustomed to the cold weather and at the same time can be hot once the sun comes up. Better bring a cap and a jacket that you can easily pack up once the sun peeks in.
- Be mindful of your things. As with any place, with the influx of people so is the other types. Just a warning to hold on to those dear stuff that hold dear and if you are with a group do buddy system just so that if you get lost in the sea of people that you are not alone.
- Enjoy the Scene, Sights, and Sounds. The festivities is not only for attracting tourist but is also a way to showcase the highland culture that has so prevailed in Baguio, may it be the scenes, the culture and lifestyle, and the beauty through the art shown on the costumes and the crafts that you can see around Baguio.
As of posting several events have already lapsed but do check out the other stuff that may be still on going around Baguio. I won’t be able to cover everything due to the conflict with my schedule but will try to showcase some stuff that I’ll be encountering.