BAGUIO CITY – Local officials and organizers of the Baguio Flower Festival, otherwise known as Panagbenga, urged the municipal officials of the neighboring towns of Benguet to align their crowd-drawing events with the month-long flower festival to benefit from the presence of tourists to the city.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the proposal for La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay to schedule their major events in the days where there are no Panagbenga activities had been made to the officials several years ago but there had bot been a concerted response by the concerned local governments.
The neighboring localities can benefit from the influx of tourists to the city during the Panagbenga season once they schedule their own events on the days where there are no flower festival activities.
“Delegations from the neighboring towns of Benguet and other parts of the Cordillera are welcome to actively participate in the events of the Panagbenga to sustain our efforts to increase the participation of the public to the major events of our flower festival. We want more participation from the public and private sectors to continue to draw the interest of local residents and visitors,” Domogan stressed.
The Panagbenga is usually held from February to the first week of March every year. Local officials of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay could then schedule their own crowd-drawing events within this period interspersed with Panagbenga activities to generate the interest of foreign and domestic tourists to move around the BLISTT area.
La Trinidad is known for its scenic strawberry and flower farms while Tuba and Itogon are known for their hot springs and trekking destinations.
On the other hand, Sablan is known for its scenic waterfalls and fruit plantations while Tublay is now for its various caves and other resorts worthy of being visited.
Domogan remains optimistic that officials of these municipalities will consider the long-standing proposal as this can sustain the growth of the local tourism industry and contribute in spurring economic development of the BLISTT communities.
Anthony de Leon, co-chairman of the Panagbenga executive committee, said the municipalities surrounding the city are very much welcome to organize their own events to be included in the schedule of the Panagbenga.
He said the events of other municipalities will form part of the Panagbenga schedule as long as it will not conflict with the major crowd-drawing events of the flower festival./By Dexter A. See