Panagbenga Festival 2013: Schedule of Events

Panagbenga 2013 Schedule: The Panagbenga Festival, also known as the Baguio Flower Festival, is among if not the most popular annual festival in the Philippines. Every year during the month of February, thousands of local and foreign tourists flock to the city of Baguio to witness and be part of the month-long festival. First celebrated in 1996, the festival is in many ways helping to reinvigorate the city’s tourism industry which is dying to say the least because of the continuous destruction of the city’s natural environment which has, in the first place, made the city a tourist destination. The quick growth of the city has led to the destruction of green environments to make way for further urban development. Pollution is worsening and the city is still struggling with its waste problems. As of the the writing of this piece, the city government has not yet come up with a solid solution to the city’s waste issues. It’s still hauling garbage to far away places like Capas, Tarlac. As you can imagine, this hauling of garbage is not cheap.

Another blow to the city’s tourism industry is the continuous deterioration of its parks. Ask anyone who has seen the parks of old and the parks as they look today will say that the parks in the past are way better than the parks of the present. Green patches within the city continue to disappear as they are cleared in order to make way for houses, business establishments, and shopping malls.

Throughout it’s existence, the annual Pinagbenga festival has done its part in showing people that there’s still something special left in Baguio city. There’s the very colorful culture and traditions of the city’s indigenous populations. Many of these cultural practices and traditions are often portrayed in the Panagbenga celebrations especially during the street dancing and float parades. A common accompaniment to the parades are traditional Cordilleran music like the beating of drums and gongs.

The highlights of the festival are the street dancing parade, the float parade, the Market Encounter on a stretch of Session Road and the fireworks displays.

Live coverage of the festival is usually aired on national television. So if you are not in Baguio City during the event, you can watch it live on television. Usually, the two biggest stations in the country are covering the celebrations.

The theme for Panagbenga 2013 is “A Blooming Odyssey”. Below is a schedule of the main activities in the festival.

  • February 1 – Opening parade, elementary schools’ drum and lyre and dance competition
  • February 10 – Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom at the Melvin Jones Football Grounds, double feature regatta at the Burnham lake
  • February 23 – Grand Street Dancing Parade
  • February 24 – Grand Float Parade
  • February 1 to March 3 – Market Encounter and Landscaping Competition at the Burnham Park
  • February 25 to March 3 – Session Road in Bloom
  • March 2 – Pony Boys’ Day
  • March 3 – Closing ceremonies at the Athletic Bowl