BAGUIO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte has been invited to grace the main event of the Baguio Flower Festival on February 24.
“If plans push through, we will have the President as guest of honor during the streetdancing event for the first time in the history of the festival,” Councilor Elmer Datuin, Panagbenga executive committee chair, said.
Meanwhile, all is set for the Panagbenga grand opening on February 1.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said that as in the past years, the opening parade set at 8 a.m. will provide a glimpse of the colorful spectacle that the festival’s main features — the streetdancing and float parades – promise to offer.
Eleven drum and lyre contingents from the various elementary schools in the city and from Camp 6, Tuba, Benguet will march-dance to the tune of the Panagbenga hymn set to the Ibaloi Bindiyan rhythm composed by the late Dean Macario Fronda and a music of their own choice.
They will be joined by groups from the 14 barangay districts also in their colorful garbs.
The parade will be ushered by an ecumenical prayer at 7 a.m. and special performance by the Hapi Yoh Mi at the Panagbenga Park.
It will pass through Session Road, Harrison Road and will wind up at the Baguio Athletic Bowl where the field demonstration will be conducted.
Domogan will welcome the participants during the program to be participated in by the NPMS Children’s Choir and the Philippine Military Academy and the St. Louis University Senior High School and Marching Band.
Rep. Mark Go will give a special message before the competition proper.
The City expects a bigger number of participants as more high schools and universities have committed to join the contest.
Mayor Domogan said the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) also decided to double the subsidy to the participating elementary schools along with the prizes for the winners. The monetary support for the school-based landscaping contest was also increased.
Also set to launch on Feb. 1 is the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition along Juan Luna and Lake Drive at Burnham Park which will run until March 4.
The city council meeting in a special session approved all requests for the use of the areas and road for Panagbenga activities to start the ground preparations for the events.
The body is expected to also approve the closure and use of Session Road for the annual Session Road in Bloom activity on Feb 26. /Aileen P. Refuerzo