Various veteran movie stars stole the limelight in the grand floral parade of the 27th edition of the Panagbenga otherwise known as the flower festival as they boarded a number floats that were paraded along the whole stretch of Session Road up to the Melvin Jones football field here Sunday.
The grand floral parade where various flower-inspired floats are paraded along a 4-kilometer parade route from Upper Session Road up to the Melvin Jones grandstand is one of the major highlights of the annual staging of the Panagbenga, the city’s major crowd drawing event.
Residents and tourist alike converged along the parade route as early as 3 a.m. to have a good vantage point in viewing the beautifully-decorated floats escorted by the winners of the recently concluded grand streetdancing parade as they pass through the city’s main roads en route to the Melvin Jones football field where they were displayed for a few hours for the public to have their photos with them before being taken by the corporate sponsors.
The crowd greeted the floats with cheers and applauses as the slow-moving floats passed along the parade route while the accompanying drum and lyre, cultural and festival dance groups stopped in certain performance areas along the parade route to showcase their performances before the public.
The star-studded parade saw 2020 Miss Universe Rabia Mateo board one of the floats of the Baguio Country Club (BCC), one of the Hall of Fame floats that joined this year’s grand floral parade while former basketball star turned actor Benjie Paras and his son Andrei boarded the beautifully decorated float of Palawan Express.
Actress Cristine Reyes and actors Marco Gumabao and Kyle Belino paraded the promotional float of their movie Martyr or Murderer.
Batang Quiapo star and Senator Lito Lapid and his son Mark, who is the chief operating officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), were on board the float of this attached agency of the tourism department to help promote tourism in the different parts of the country through the resumption of similar crowd drawing events.
Fellow Batang Quiapo star actress Lovie Poe was one of the most cheered movie star who joined the grand floral parade as she boarded the float of the Eegor Skin Depot.
From February 27 to March 5, 2023, Session Road, the city’s main thoroughfare will be closed to vehicular traffic as it had been converted into a virtual promenade area with the put up of sidewalk cafes aside from stalls that offer flower-inspired handicrafts.
Some 24 floats composed of 9 competing small floats, 8 competing big floats, 3 comebacking Hall of Fame floats, 2 special participating floats and 2 non-competing floats were paraded along the city’s main thoroughfare adding attraction to the city’s festive mood at the height of the Panagbenga.