BAGUIO CITY – Local officials and organizers of the 24th edition of Panagbenga, popularly known as the Baguio Flower Festival, reported a new attraction for the 2019 month-long festivities, the Panagbenga Cultural Show, which will serve as an avenue to highlight the rich culture of Filipinos, especially the Cordillerans who have inhabited the city even before its establishment as a city in the early 1900s.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said that different contingents wanting to showcase the culture of Filipinos in the different parts of the country will be encouraged to actively participate in the Panagbenga Cultural Show scheduled on February 23, 2019 in a venue to be announced later for the public to have a view of the diverse culture of Filipinos which keeps the people in the city united and proud of their rich culture and traditions.
Further, the Panagbenga Cultural Show is part of the initiative of the local government and Panagbenga organizers to sustain the preservation of the city’s new identity as the first city in the country and the fifth city in Southeast Asia to be included in the elite list of the Creative Cities Network of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Additionally, it is aimed at providing new attractions annually to the festival so that foreign and domestic visitors will be enticed to include in their must-see festivals the Panagbenga because of new attractions that serve as a come on, Domogan stressed.
Panagbenga is the only festival in the country included in the elite list of festivals in the world that form part of the International Festivals Association.
The mayor encourages local performing groups wanting to showcase the culture of different tribes in the different parts of the country to coordinate with the Panagbenga Organizing Committee (POC) for their inclusion in the Panagbenga Cultural Show.
Anthony de Leon, co-chairman of the POC and general manager of the Baguio Country Club, said that culture has been an integral part of the flower festival in recognition of the diverse culture of the people living in the city that have thrived through generations and have bonded the people to become united in weathering the challenges that have confronted them.
He added while it is true that Baguio is a melting pot of people having diverse cultures, the preservation and protection of the distinct culture of the Cordillera has been one of the major thrusts of the Panagbenga organizers and the local government that resulted to the flower festival gaining optimum international recognition.
Panagbenga was established to help establish the cultural identity of the people of Baguio, promote the city as one of the premier tourist destinations in the country, help in sustaining the preservation of the environment, and provide enhanced economic activities for the people.
By Dexter A. See