By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — More than two months after the annual Panagbenga 2012 was launched, the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) announced the grand opening of the month long activity on February 1.
President Bing Bangaoet of the Baguio Cultural Society, appointed by the BFFFI to be in charge of all the Panagbenga parades said that a grand opening program at the Panagbenga Park along Military Cut-off will will start the festivities. He added that this will be followed by an opening parade with drum and lyre competition.
Panagbenga started in 1995, which is being claimed by the organizers will showcase the rich history, traditions and culture of the Baguio people and the Cordillera region.
Among the highlights of the annual festival are the market encounter from Feb. 1 to March 4; “Let a Thousand Flowers bloom on Feb. 8; Handog ng Panagbenga sa Baguio and Fluvial Parade at Burnham Park on Feb. 12; Grand Street Dancing Parade on Feb. 25; Grand Float Parade on Feb. 26; Pony Boys Day on March 2 to 3. Session Road in Bloom where in both lanes of the major road of the city will be closed from Feb. 27 to March 4 to give way for business booths.
Baguio City Mayor and chairman of the executive committee of the BFFFI through his administrative order declared February one as a holiday on all school levels of the city.
According to Domogan, the city government is allotting a P2 million budget for the festival. He added that the office of Congressman Bernardo Vergara is also allocating the same amount but since it does not fall on his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), he will course it through the city government.
BFFFI co-chairman Freddie Alquiros said that they are expecting P7 Million funding from various sponsors for this year’ Panagbenga.
With the theme ‘Community Convergence for a Sustainable Tourism Growth’, BFFFI co-chairman and Baguio Country Club General Manager Anthony de Leon appeals to the Baguio people to welcome all visitors and to ensure their convenience. He said a million visitors is expected during the month long celebrations.
Panagbenga 2012 Dangal Guevarra said that the city is expected to gain around a billion pesos from the festivities. # nordis.net