BAGUIO CITY (February 25, 2012)—The grand street-dancing parade at the annual Baguio Flower Festival, popularly known as the Panagbenga, became the highlight of the yearly event as thousands of local and foreign tourists joined the city’s residents in witnessing quality performances within the central business district Saturday morning.
This year’s grand street dancing featured the beauty of the people of the Cordillera region and showed the rich culture of proud villagers in the northern highlands.
Long before the parade started at 8 a.m. throngs of people from all walks of life trooped to the parade route at the central business district while participants from various places in the region converged at Upper Session Road all set for a good show.
Performers from the Kabayan, Benguet won the grand prize with their excellent rendition of the Bendiyan festival dance, which celebrates the victories of the tribe and good harvest. Participants from the City of Tabuk in Kalinga province won second place with their execution of the Matagoan festival, which also celebrates good harvest.
Baguio Flower Festival executive co-chair Anthony De Leon told reporters he was overwhelmed with the show of force by participants from all over the region.
Since its inception in 1995, the Panagbenga has become one of the most well-attended festivals in the country in recent years. It has further propelled the tourism and economy of this mountain resort.
This year, the 2012 Panagbenga theme is “Community Convergence for Sustainable Tourism.” De Leon added that the festival has also set precedent for other local government units and the private sector not only in the Cordilleras but also in some parts of the country to create their own festivals.