Issue of March 4, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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DA employee disappointed with best float award results
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

The credibility of the results of the best float award has been questioned by an employee of the Department of Agriculture – a contender for in the big float category.

In an open letter which he wrote in his personal capacity and which he posted on Facebook, DA Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension Danilo Daguio said he is disappointed with the results of the float competition.

He said the winner of the competition has already been chosen even before this was officially announced. Among his allegations are: the judges did not examine every detail of the floats; the winning float – Mister Siomai do not compare to other floats in terms of creativity, craftsmanship, artistic merit, floral and color presentation, and dramatic impact.

He added that Master Siomai’s float did not adhere to this year’s theme, which should center on celebration of culture and creativity.

Master Siomai’s float promoted its product while the DA’s float promoted the agency’s latest campaign – popularizing the consumption of the rice-corn blend. The DA float also featured the kayabang, an indigenous basket, and the head of a carabao, which symbolizes the perseverance and industry of farmers.

Daguio also said Master Siomai violated the guidelines set by the Float Parade Committee, which was for the float to remain intact for 24 hours. In the case of the winning float as well as of the other entries, these were damaged when it was opened for public viewing and did not meet the “24-hour” rule.

This year’s winners in the big float category are Master Siomai, M. Lhuillier, and Sitel.

“Should a float be declared champion when the owner violated the rules?” Daguio asked in his letter.

In its reply, the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) Float Parade Committee said the decision of the judges is final and non-appealable.

The Float Parade Committee chaired by Anthony de Leon and co-chaired by Frederico Alquiros said in their reply that the assessment of the six judges takes precedence over Daguio’s personal opinion.

They said the judges, who all have reputable backgrounds will not gain anything from choosing one entry over the other.

On Master Siomai’s non-adherence to the theme, the committee said the theme is only a guide to the participants and its interpretation is open and subjective. “Not one person has the monopoly or sole authority what is culture and creativity,” a portion of the letter states. 

The committee also pointed out that some of the judges were the same ones who adjudged the float of the DA as winner in the previous floral float competitions.  

Further, the 24-hour clause referred to the rule that the flowers on the float should remain fresh by the time the parade starts and 24 hours thereafter, and did not pertain that the float should remain in the venue. The rule was the float should remain at the venue until after the judging and finalization of results.

The cost of flowers is also not a criterion. “The competition does not discriminate the use of common or ordinary flowers or extraordinary or expensive varieties. How you used the materials and executed it spells the difference,” the committee said in its reply.

The committee said these same guidelines have been implemented since 2008, with only minor revisions added.

While admitting that the Master Siomai float has been ransacked when it was opened for public viewing, the committee said judges have already finalized their assessment and tabulation of the result was done on-site.

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