Baguio residents together with the city government officials and the organizers of the Baguio Flower Festival or much known as Panagbenga (season of bloom) can finally savor the Baguio Flower Festival (Panagbenga) hymn starting Sunday.
Launched Sunday morning at the Baguio Melvin Jones Grandstand after two years of waiting, Panagbenga (A Time to Bloom) finally blossoms after a two-year hiatus as organizers led by Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) Chairman for life and former Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan beamed this shows how the cooperation, sacrifices and determination of Baguio to overcome the odds is paying off.
Domogan said that never in their minds that this festival which was started in 1996, will be suddenly interrupted or put on hold because of the Corona Virus Disease (Covid 19) pandemic. “Nevertheless, let me take this oppurrtunity to congratulate everyone who inspite of stringent limitations, prohibitions and even imminent danger has made our Panagbenga celebration possible ” he remarked during his welcome address.
He also honored the founders of the Panagbenga who have gone ahead. Domogan mentioned the brain behind the festival — Atty. Damaso Bangaoet and also the composer of the Panagbenga hymn Dr. Macario Fronda.
Domogan said that the Sunday’s gathering is a Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for the gift of nature and the season of bloom and productivity will not be deterred and abated.
“As such, we manifest once again that we, as one people can always take the higher road of teamwork, cooperation, collaboration and great sacrifice to prove at home and even the outside world that our never say die spirit and steadfast and solid resilience will never annihilated come stormy nights and precarious days,” he stressed.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said that Panagbenga 2022 will serve as a centerpiece in the revival of the tourism of Baguio City. He said that the pandemic has truly hit everybody badly including the tourism sector where most activities and events thatmeant so much to the tourism industry of the city were cancelled.
The mayor said that Panagbenga 2022 is “the season of hope”.
Before the pandemic, Panagbenga is being launched as early as November of each year and the opening happens on the first day of February the following year.
The festival’s main crowd drawers are the Grand Street Dancing and Grand Float Parade, which for two years now until this year’s celebration will not happen.