BAGUIO CITY- At least 17 dance groups and a dozen float organizers are expected to join the Baguio Flower Festival streetdancing and floral float parade on Feb. 27 and 28 respectively.
The grand streetdancing parade weaves its way from Panagbenga Park to Session road- Magsaysay Avenue-Harrison road and culminates with performances at the center portion of the Athletic Bowl, Burnham Park; while the float parade enters the Melvin Jones grandstand area through the Ganza parking, Burnham Park.
Of the 17 streetdancing groups, 11 with their drum and lyre groups are from the elementary category. Primary schools; Mabini, Baguio Central, Dona Aurora, Josefa Carino, Jose P. Laurel, Lucban, Quezon and Pinget qualified after an energetic performance from Panagbenga Park up to Athletic Bowl, Burnham Park during the opening parade, Feb. 1. Aguinaldo, Dominican-Mirador, and Don Mariano Marcos Elementary Schools may also join the parade, it was announced. The streetdance participants donned colorful costumes and showcased recycled material props for their performance.
Six other groups; some hall-of-famers join the open category. The number of participants are expected to increase as application ends on Feb. 20, it was known.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan in his opening program message acknowledged the hard work poured into the “historic, sensational, phenomenal and grand spectacle called Panagbenga. The unified efforts through public-private partnership has brought the 21st Baguio Flower Festival a reality,” he said.
The unwavering support and generosity of sponsors, talents and experiences shared by all participants is expected to equal or even surpass the grandeur of the festival’s twenty years, he added. We have the privilege of seeing Panagbenga’s transformation through the years, he further said.
As to the touted idea of having potted plants for the floats, the mayor said the Department of Tourism led by Regional Director Venus Tan should take the lead. The availability of potted plants should be considered, the mayor said, as with budgetary concerns. The idea was tied up with having vertical gardens along the main roads to re-green the area.
Vehicular traffic routes were planned by the Baguio City Police Office Traffic Management Bureau (BCPO-TMB) during the main parades. Student-volunteers from the different universities are being briefed by the Panagbenga secretariat.
Panagbenga activities are the on-going Baguio Blooms exhibition and exposition at Lake Drive, Burnham Park; Feb. 14, Color Fun Run; Handog ng Panagbenga Sa Pamilya Baguio at the Melvin Jones Grandstand and Football grounds: Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom, Kite-Flying Challenge, Panagbenga Fancy Dress/Costume Competition, Fireworks Display;
Feb. 19 to 21, PMA Grand Alumni Homecoming; Feb. 19, Golf Tournament For A Cause; Feb. 22, Boyce Avenue Concert; Feb. 27, Mr. Panagbenga Muscle Showdown at Baguio Convention Center; ABS CBN Kapamilya Karavan; Pacific Extreme Combat at the Baguio Convention Center; Feb. 27 to 28, Sponsor’s and exhibitor’s Day at the Athletic Bowl; Feb. 29 to March 6, Session Road In Bloom; March 5, Pony Boys’ Day at Wright Park; Panagbenga Princess Pageant; Handog Pasasalamat at Melvin Jones Football grounds; March 5 and 6, 14th Open Scrabble Tournament; March 6, Tambalang Saya; Closing Ceremonies and Grand Fireworks display at the Athletic Bowl and other areas in the Central Business District.
The theme for this year’s Panagbenga celebration is “Bless The Children With Flowers.”/Julie G. Fianza