Festivals are not new to Filipinos. In every province, there’s always a celebration – lively music, sumptuous local dishes, colourful costumes, and right in the middle of it all is us, the Filipinos, being our liveliest celebration-loving selves.
If there’s one festival that has grabbed attention more than others through the years, it’s the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City. During the event, locals come out of their respective houses to celebrate the blooming of the new season’s flowers all around the city. The festival also signifies the locals’ rising from the earthquake that devastated the Philippines’ biggest island in 1990.
As one of the more recognised festivals in the world, Panagbenga is often graced by international visitors who are curious to see a different side of the Philippines.
If seeing the festival is what you’ve already set to do this coming February, you better read up. Knowing a little more information about this year’s edition will help you prepare for the different activities involved, and ultimately enjoy the experience.
The official list of activities for the 2018 Panagbenga Festival includes three major parades happening on the streets of Baguio. These parades will exhibit vibrant costumes, largely inspired by flowers themselves. Hence, it is safe to say that you will see flowers “walking” on the road on those days.
To get the best view of the parades, go to the main routes as early as 6am (or even earlier if you can). The first parade will be on 1 Feb 2018 to cue the start of the month-long festival, followed by the Grand Street Dance on the fourth Saturday of the month (24 Feb 2018), and finally, the Grand Float Parade on the fourth Sunday of the month (25 Feb 2018). The routes will mainly be covering the Session Road and Harrison Road.
Another main attraction of the festival are the musical events, which will require you to follow the parades closely in order to catch the actual musical entertainers performing on the streets or other popular spots of the city. There are no known fixed times for their performance schedules. However, grand musical concerts will be witnessed succeedingly from the 24 Feb 2018 until the end of the festival in the first week of March.
What would a festival be without dynamic dance performances? A street dancing competition will be held on 24 Feb 2018, when the local groups will be performing at the Session Road to the Melvin Jones Grounds. Contrary to what many people know, these performances are not solely composed of traditional dances, but also other forms that are just as spectacular.
Baguio isn’t necessarily an expensive city to eat in, but when you have a huge event like the Panagbenga Festival, expect the restaurants, especially those located along Session Road and other key streets to offer much higher rates. You won’t be paying much for the quality of the food per se, but for these restaurants’ location. If you happen to eat in the restaurants along Session Road, you should expect to pay more because, on top of the meals, you will get THE best views of the parades and other performances right from your table.
So, have you decided on going to one of the biggest festivals in the country yet? Below are more details of the festival activities for your reference:
Panagbenga Opening Day Ceremonies and Parade
Date: 1 Feb 2018
Location: Panagbenga Park, Session Road, Harrison Road, Baguio Athletic Bowl
Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition
Date: 1 Feb to 4 March 2018
Location: Juan Luna and Lake Drive
Handog ng Panagbenga Sa Pamilya Baguio, Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom, Panagbenga Open Kite Flying Competition, Panagbenga Cultural Show
Date: 11 Feb 2018
Location: Melvin Jones Grandstand and Football Grounds
School-Based Competitions, Floral Arrangement (Elementary / High School)
Date: 14 Feb 2018
Location: Department of Education Baguio
School-based competitions, Landscaping Competition (Judging)
Date: 15-17 Feb 2018
Location: City-wide (Elementary and High School)
Flower Tee Open Golf Tournament
Date: 16 Feb 2018
Location: Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay
PMA Alumni Homecoming Weekend
Date: 16-18 Feb 2018
Location: Philippine Military Academy Loakan Road
Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)
Date: 17 Feb 2018
Grand Street Dance Parade
Date: 24 Feb 2018
Location: Panagbenga Park, Session Road, Maharlika, Harrison Road, Baguio Athletic Bowl
Grand Float Parade
Date: 25 Feb 2018
Location: DILG, Session Road, Maharlika, Harrison Road, Melvin Jones Football Grounds
Exhibitors and Sponsors Day
Date: 24-25 Feb 2018
Location: Ganza Parking Area
Session Road in Bloom
Date: 26 Feb to 4 March 2018
Location: Session Road
Pony Boys Day
Date: 3 March 2018
Location: Wright Park
Closing Ceremonies and Awarding
Date: 4 March 2018
Location: Baguio Athletic Bowl
Grand Fireworks Display
Date: 4 March 2018