The Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. cleared up the controversy surrounding the parade’s unannounced floral floats in accordance with the announcement of the Grand Float Competition Winners last Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at Session Road.
The unexpected appearance of a sunflower-filled black box float promoting the new film ‘Martyr or Murderer’ ignited a controversy that drew crowds and netizens’ attention.
Initially, the announced number lined up was 24 floats composed of 2 non-competing floats, two special participants, 3 Hall of Fame floats, and 17 competing floats from the big and small float categories.
Anthony de Leon, who chairs the Executive Committee of BFFFI, clarifies that the float was not the only one that appeared surprisingly during the parade.
According to him, there were two unregistered floats, namely ‘Glamorouso’ and Viva Films’ ‘Martyr or Murderer.’
“On the day itself, on the morning of Sunday, during the grand float parade, we were just as surprised as everyone else because we were not aware that there were two, not one, (but) two floats that joined the lined up in the assembly area and based on the review of our event marshall, as far as their presentation of the floats is concerned it meets the standards of the organizers, that’s why it was allowed to participate.”
Former Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, one of the chairman of the BFFFI, also added that the two floats are not registered, which places them in the non-competing category pursuant to the competition’s rules.
He also highlighted that the competitions for the Panagbenga Flower festival promote inclusivity as long as they follow the guidelines set by the foundation and contribute to the festival’s success.
President of Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI), Freddie Alquiroz, supports the claims of his chairpersons.
He claimed that the addition of the unexpected floats added value to the festival’s popularity due to the special participation of some well-known artists in the industry.
“Nagpaalam naman sila, they did not just come there—nagpaalam sila at tinignan namen kung pwedeng idisplay at hindi mapapahiya ang foundation o ang city, eh pumasa naman sila sa aming mga mata, okay naman pwede ng idisplay, pwede namang iparada pero nga non-competing.”
(They did ask for permission; they did not just come there—they asked for approval, and we observed if we could display it so the foundation or the city would not be humiliated. They passed the standards. They can be put on display. They(floats) can be paraded but are non-competing.”)
Further, as part of the press conferences’ objective, Domogan led the announcement of both the small and big floats categories.
The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) was declared champion of the Big Float Category, receiving Php 500,000.
Avilon Zoo and Sitel Philippines came in second and third place, respectively.
Meanwhile, the first place for the Small Float category was awarded to Zaparita’s Garden, receiving Php 250,000, while runners-up are from Mang Inasal and the Province of Benguet floats. By Via Alyssa Fronda