BAGUIO CITY – The city’s main street blooms with local products, florals and greens, and gastronomic delights in outdoor cafes after the streetdancing and floral float parades.
Concerts, with local artists are also scheduled along Session road, still in line with the Baguio Flower Festival’s 23rd year theme, “Celebrating Culture and Creativity.”
The streetdancing parade started at 8 AM from the Panagbenga park and weaved its way through Session road, Magsaysay Avenue, Harrison road to Athletic Bowl where a program went on with Presidential adviser Francis Tolentino as speaker. The parade route was made orderly with volunteers from socio-civic groups, the academe and other institutions, lined up to the performance area.
The main street teemed with tourists eager to be part of the annual flower-themed festival. Estimates place the festival-goers’ number to more or less a million; in the streets, Burnham park and other place of convergence.
Parade participants include the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) color guards, band and cadets; city government officials, Team Lakay sports group, the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) development council, government line agencies, and sister cities delegation from the US and Korea, the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation and the Saint Louis University (SLU) marching bands.
The elementary division streetdancing featured Aguinaldo, Mabini, Dominican-Mirador, ML Quezon, Josefa Carino, Laurel, Central School and Tuba Central School; with the Cavite Marching Band as special guest performer; and the high school division having Remnant International School, Pines City National High School, University of the Cordilleras Senior High School, Baguio City National High School and Saint Louis University Laboratory HS.
The streetdancing open division with the highest number of participants boasted of having a choice from Chom-no cultural performing group, Tribu Bugkalot, Shakrag Sadanga cultural organization, Caba National High School, I-Lubuagen performing group, Saint Louis University, Tribu Rambak, Umili ay Kalalaychan cultural group, Am-among chi umili, Binadang as Batawa cultural dancers, Ayyoweng di lambak and dinamey cultural group, Tribu Tinungbo, Tribo man-apit from Puguis, La Trinidad and Gardener’s tribe. The participants are from Aurora, La Union, Kalinga and Mt. Province, the biggest number so far, according to the festival officers.
Sunday’s floral parade featured ABS-CBN, Department of Agriculture-CAR, GMA, International Pharmaceuticals, Jollibee, San Miguel Mills, Master Siomai Hut, M Lhullier Financial Services, Porta Vaga Mall, Sitel, Taloy Farmers MP for the Big float category; and Coca Cola Femsa, Igorot Man, IPC-APTS, Maybank, Palawan pawnshop and express pera padala, Lubao International Balloon, Saleng garden, and Universal Robina Corporation for the small float category.
The entries assemble in front of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) office and pass through Session road, Harrison road up to the Melvin Jones Football grounds where a program goes on with Department of Tourism Wanda Teo as guest speaker.
The non-competing float of the local government of Baguio, and hall of famers; Baguio Country Club, SM City Baguio and the North Luzon Express, who had their share of three consecutive years of being winners, joins the festivities.
In an earlier press conference, BFFFI ofiicials led by Chairman for Life and Mayor Mauricio Domogan urged locals and tourist, as well as neighboring municipalities to participate and be entertained by all the activities. BFFFI officials also took time to laud the complimentary partnership between private and public agencies working together for the festival.
Pony Boys’ day where equestrian games –gymkhana – are played at Wright Park with Councilor Michael Lawana at helm, is on March 3. Pony boys from the city’s horse stations at Wright Park, Mines View and Country club trails meet to race on horse back and play games showing off their riding skills.
Closing and awarding ceremonies start at 2PM, March 4 at the Baguio Athletic Bowl with fireworks display in five areas at 7 PM.
Other activities include, Tambalang Saya at People’s park, 5 Pm today; Mr. Panagbenga and Miss Fitness Panagbenga 2018 Muscle Showdown, 5PM on March 2 at the Easter School Gym, Little Miss Panagbenga 2018, 5 PM on March 4 at the Melvin Jones Grandstand, Burnham Park.
By: Julie G. Fianza