BAGUIO CITY – Children and nature make up the centerpiece for next year’s edition of the Baguio Flower Festival which will banner the theme, “Bless the Children with Flowers.”
Urban planner and former city architect Joseph Alabanza, a member of the Baguio Flower Festival Inc. (BFFI) said this is to highlight the need for teamwork and cooperation not only among people but also between man and nature.
“We have always emphasized on the teamwork among people, it is about time to consider men’s need to cooperate with nature because as I keep on saying, nature doesn’t need man but man needs nature,” Alabanza said.
He encouraged residents to do something for the environment like to plant trees in their own barangays and other deeds that will help preserve and protect Baguio’s nature.
“Baguio is losing its carrying capacity since the density of our population has grown so much. It’s about time to consider nature (and to act to preserve it) for our children. Remember the children are our future and the future is for our children,” he said.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the theme is reflective of the first rationale for Panagbenga’s inception which is to serve as a token of gratitude to God for the city’s beautiful flora and as a reminder to the people of their obligation to care for these riches.
He said the theme also captures the city’s thrust to stress the importance of families where children are nurtured and the first lessons on loving nature are instilled.
BFFI co-chairman Federico Alquiros affirmed that the theme aims to revisit the “basics” of the Panagbenga which are the children who along with the flowers have been the main attractions of the event.
But he explained that the word “children” in the theme does not only refer to the young ones but to all people, young and old.
“Because all of us are children of God and Panagbenga is meant for enjoyment of all people,” he said.
Tourism regional director Marie Venus Tan said they have proposed small changes in the festival aligned with the Panagbenga theme and with the Dept. of Tourism (DOT)’s urban rehabilitation tourism campaign to bring back the old bloom-filled Baguio.
One of these is the use of potted flowering plants instead of pure cut flowers in the competitions. She said these potted plants can be donated and distributed to schools and the children after the contests to encourage them to care for the plants and nature in general.
The BFFI also launched a new logo for the 2016 festival reflecting the same message as the theme.
Alquiros promised that more activities involving children will be injected in next year’s festival in keeping with the new theme and logo. /A Refuerzo