Panagbenga Festival 2012: Cultural Adventure

Celebrated in Baguio every February until the first Sunday of March, Panagbenga Festival is one of the most anticipated cultural event in the Philippines.

Dragon Float
Angry Birds Float
Star Wars Float
Panagbenga is a Kankanaey term that means "season of blossoming, a time for flowering".  Although the festival is a month-long celebration, most people would come to visit what most people would dub the highlight of the festival, which is the floral parade held during the fourth Sunday of  February.

The event opens with showers of rose petals along Session Road. Your eyes would then feast upon beautiful floral floats, synchronized marching bands, lively street dancers, and the occasional celebrities and politicians that pass through selected streets up until the Melvin Jones Grounds.

March of the Cosplayers
The Korean Taedaek Music Association
Dancers wearing Starwars costumes
Men in Black marching band
When we attended the Panagbenga Festival, we made sure to leave manila at night to conserve our energy. Expect that your travel time could be extended up to 10 hours due to traffic.
We were scheduled to leave at 11:15PM but the bus left at around 1AM
Aside from that, book a hotel at least two months prior to the date of the celebration. We failed to do this one, luckily for us we met someone in the bus who helped us find a place to stay in.
We managed to escape the city by leaving early.

Once you arrive in Baguio, quickly book for a bus ticket for Manila. If you fail to do so, you will surely have a hard time escaping the city after the festival. Keep in mind that Baguio City would be full of people especially during the day of the floral float parade. Be very vigilant when you go about the city.

Here are some tips if you're planning to watch the floral float parade:

1. Research the routes that the floats would pass through.

2. Wake up early on the day of the parade.
3. Secure a spot in one of the float routes.
4. Avoid wearing expensive jewelries.
5. Secure your camera, cellphone, and cash.
6. Bring water and snacks.
7. Apply plenty of sunblock.

Colorful chicks!!! I wanted to buy one as a souvenir.. 
Events you might want to attend:
  • Opening parade
  • Date: February 1
  • Venue: Session Road and Melvin Jones Grounds.
  • The parade signals the start of the Panagbenga. This will be participated by a representative contingent of volunteers. The parade will be followed by a short opening program, together with competitions between drum and lyre including street dancing contingent among elementary students.
  • Trade Fair and Bazaar
  • Date: First Saturday of February until First Sunday of March
  • Venue: Burnham Park
  • Parade and Street Dancing Competition
  • Date: Fourth Saturday of February
  • Venue: Session Road up to Melvin Jones Grounds
  • Float and Marching Band Competitions
  • Date: Fourth Sunday of February
  • Venue: Session Road up to Melvin Jones Grounds
  • The parade opens with a shower of rose petals along Session Road while marching bands played lively tunes that sets the mode for the parade. Colorful costumes and lively dance numbers come next followed by cleverly crafted, vibrant and multicolored floats made entirely from flowers of every kind.
  • Session Road in Bloom
  • Date: Fourth Monday of February until First Sunday of March
  • Venue: Session Road
  • Flower and related stalls together with side walk cafés and food outlets shall be set up along Session Road that will be closed to vehicles during the occasions. Street and musical entertainers shall be performing in selected areas in Session Road. This activity shall be organized and managed by the tourism sector of the city.
  • Closing ceremonies
  • Date: First Sunday of March
  • Venue: Athletic Bowl
  • Field demonstrations and other exhibitions shall be featured. A fitting and appropriate closing ceremony program will formally end the festival followed by a fireworks display in the evening.

Courtesy of:

Looks Like:
The Pasadena Flower Parade
The fact that it's a New Year event.

Getting there: 
From Manila there are several bus companies that offer daily trips directly to Baguio City. 
bus fare: P350-450

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