The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the Sabsabong ti Mayo festival every May as part of the Summer Vacation in Baguio activities of the local government to help the gradual and safe revival of the local tourism industry that was heavily impacted by the CoOvID-19 pandemic over the past three years.
Under the proposed ordinance, the City Administrator’s Office–Tourism and Special Events Division shall be the principal implementer of the Sabsabong ti Mayo.
Further, the lead office shall likewise enlist the assistance of other departments, offices, national agencies and the private sector to ensure the success of the Sabsabong ti Mayo festival.
Among the duties of the lead department for the purpose of the ordinance shall, but not limited to, plan for the conduct of the annual event; schedule the activities and arrange for the venues; formulate the rules and regulations in the conduct of the floral arrangement competition and other ancillary activities such as, but not limited, to concerns, busking, parlor games and food concessions and to allow other activities that may be deemed necessary for the success of the event.
The ordinance mandated the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) to allow the use of public parks and gardens such as, but not limited to, the Rose Garden and Botanical Garden which is akin to the namesake of the festival.
Moreover, the ordinance mandated the local government to allocate the amount of P300,000 or so much thereof, under the City Administrator’s Office under the Tourism and Special Events Division for the effective and efficient management of the annual city-led event.
According to the body, it is essential to provide guidelines and regulations to efficiently and effectively manage the annual conduct of the Sabsabong ti Mayo to allow the local economy to regain its vibrance and achieve the desired gradual and safe revival of the local tourism industry.
In 2021, the Sabsabong ti Mayor floral competition was born, capitalizing on the synergies of culture, heritage, creativity and other natural bequests.
Proclamation No. 439, series of 2003 declared the month of May as National Heritage Month where government agencies are mandated to carry out activities in accordance with the spirit of the proclamation to raise public awareness of cultural heritage sites, structures, and landscapes and to encourage participation in the preservation of the cultural legacies through a variety of activities such as performing arts at heritage sites and virtual art and fashion exhibits, thematic culinary events, popular folk food fairs, design retrospectives and competitions, media and literary events and home-made to living traditions and intangible heritage.
On October 31, 2017, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Baguio City as a Creative City in the field of Crafts and Folk Arts, making the city an illustrious member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), a historic first in the country.
The UCCN is mandated to encourage member cities to provide an avenue for their artists to nurture their crafts while seamlessly lending their creations in the metropolitan landscape and creative economy of a city.