Baguio City, Benguet
28 February 2009
The Panagbenga Festival, formerly called the Baguio Flower Festival is an annual festival held in the Summer Capital of the Philippines every February. It was formed in 1995 as a way to rise up from the devastation of the 1990 earthquake and as a way to give tribute to one of Baguio City’s produce: flowers. In 1996, the festival’s name was changed to "Panagbenga," a Kankanaey term which means, "a season of blossoming, a time for flowering."
It is a month-long festivity, with different programs held every weekend. The highlight of the festival, is of course, the grand street parade and the fluvial parade (which is the local version of the Pasadena Tournament of the Roses), held on the last weekend of the festival. I have wanted to witness this festival ever since I have heard of it, but time and financial constraints have always hindered me to do so.
This year, even though I was still tired from my trip, I decided to still go to Baguio City to witness the grand street parade. Timing was just right, and I didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t go. After visiting the Baguio Cathedral, I stayed at the sidewalks of Session Road to wait for the parade to start. Sadly, I positioned myself in a wrong part of the road, as the paraders only walk in front of me. Had I stayed near the intersection, I could’ve taken much better pictures as each group would perform as well.
Anyway, here are just some of the pictures I took from the parade:
Pretty faces all!
As colorful as the flowers.
The soft broom - which is a by product of a grass grown in this part of the country is used as part of the costumes.
This is the traditional costume of the Igorots, the ethnic tribe living in this part of the country.
My favorite shot.
My batteries have been acting up even while I was in Cebu and Negros Oriental, but because I wasn’t able to charge up my batteries, not only did I have problems taking pictures because of the military people blocking the way, I also had to cope up with my draining batteries. Thankful that I was able to take pictures despite the endless zoom, but I also realized that I really did find it difficult to take pictures of moving people. Still, it was a great training ground for me, and now I can already say I’ve been to a Panagbenga Festival!
*** Jenn ***