BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) will be launching the various private sector-led and government-supported activities for the 22nd staging of the month-long Panagbenga on Monday, November 14, 2016, during the regular flag-raising ceremony at the city hall grounds.
Anthony de Leon, general manager of the Baguio Country Club (BCC) and co-chairman of the Panagbenga Executive Committee, said the launching of the city’s premier crowd-drawing event will help promote the flower festival as a must-see event among foreign and local tourists come February and early March next year.
The traditional events for next year’s flower festival include the grand opening parade on February 1, the market encounter that will run for the whole duration of the festival, the grand street dancing parade, the grand float parade, the week-long Session Road in Bloom and the grand closing ceremony and fireworks display.
The BFFFI official claimed organizers are inclined to invite diplomats from various countries to help promote the annual flower festival in their respective countries and to attract more foreign visitors.
He claimed the grand opening parade, the grand street dancing parade and the grand float parade as well as the closing ceremony and fireworks display will all be held at the Melvin Jones grandstand instead of the Baguio Athletic Bowl to prevent issues from cropping up on the use of the sports facility that will result in unforeseen damages to the rubberized track oval among other facilities in the area.
By inviting diplomats to attend the main events of the flower festival, he claimed it will provide an opportunity for the festival to be given sufficient international exposure that will translate to more foreign visitors to the city.
Organizers will continue to introduce the needed innovations to the major events to help attract more people from different parts of the world to watch the activities that were lined up for the month-long festival.
The flower festival was named Panagbenga, which is a Kankana-ey term for the blossoming of flowers, because the festival is being held right in time for the blossoming of flowers being produced by local flower growers in the nearby towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay.
Organizers are spending close to P12 annually to bankroll the various activities lined up for the festival with P4 million being spent by the local government for the prizes of the winners in the different contests of the festival.
However, it is the local government that disburses the amount which is directly given to the winners of the different events. The foundation does not handle the city’s counterpart in the staging of the festival.
By Dexter A. See