BAGUIO CITY – City officials and organizers of the Panagbenga, popularly known as the Baguio Flower Festival, are open to the proposal of some sectors to put lyrics in the festival’s official hymn as part of consolidated efforts to improve the various facets of the city’s major crowd-drawing event.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, chair of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI), said that there was a previous proposal by Dean Macario Fronda, the composer of the melody of the Panagbenga hymn, to place lyrics to the tune of the festival but it was overtaken by his untimely demise.
He disclosed there was even a small group formed by Dean Fronda that included him as a member but the preparation of the lyrics that was supposed to be in English did not push through because of the time constraint experienced by the members during meetings.
“We are open to proposals to place lyrics on our festival human in time for the staging of the twenty fifth edition of the flower festival and will form part of the overall efforts by the government and the private sector to continue improving every facet of the festival every year,’ Domogan stressed.
See hymn beeing performed: Baguio City National High School performs the Panagbenga Hymn
He also supported some proposals by concerned stakeholders to subject the placement of lyrics to the festival hymn to a contest among interested song writers and composers inside and outside the city to add up to the entertainment that will be offered in future staging of the flower festival.
According to him, there was a draft of the proposed lyrics prepared by Dean Fronda but it was never opened for publication as there were numerous suggestions being considered by the committee that time but the revival of the proposal to do so will be studied by the foundation and announcements on the said plan will be announced later.
Domogan pointed out that it is important for city officials and organizers to continue preserving and protecting the gains of Panagbenga, especially its significant contribution to the robust growth of the local tourism industry, and recommendations to improve the annual conduct of the activities lined up for the month-long celebration will be welcomed and incorporated wherever appropriate.
He claimed the people of Baguio should be proud that the Panagbenga is the only festival in the country that is included in the International Festivals and Events Association, an elite list of festivals in the world, aside from the positive remarks that organizers continue to receive from local and foreign media and spectators that the conduct of the highlights of the festival, particularly the grand streetdancing parade and the grand float parade, are the most orderly while the crowd is the most disciplined festival crowd they have ever seen as compared the same to other festivals in the country.
He assured residents and visitors that the 25th edition of the festival will be much bigger and more colourful in terms of the presentations to be offered by participating contingents and corporations considering the milestone the festival has achieved.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo: 2019 Panagbenga Street Parade High School Champion Baguio City National High School performs the Panagbenga Hymn during the Grand Float Parade on March 3, 2019. ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS