Issue of February 3, 2019
     
NEWS
Abra
Benguet
Kalinga
 
OPINION
 

2018
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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School children charm crowd in 24th Panagbenga opening
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

COLORFUL -- Baguio has always been synonymous with the colorful array of flowers seen in its surroundings that blooms all year round. With the opening of the Baguio Flower Festival, pupils who participated in the opening ceremonies have transformed recycled materials as props during the drum and lyre and street dance elimination rounds on Feb. 1. -- Ofelia Empian

The unfading elegance of traditional Cordillera attires worn by young Baguio performers and the timeless notes of the Panagbenga hymn once again graced and permeated the city’s main streets on Feb. 1, signaling the opening of the 24th edition of the Baguio Flower Festival or Panagbenga.

Guided by this year theme of “Blooming Forward,” participants from seven elementary schools braved the cold Friday morning garbed in traditional clothes, colorful accents, and artistic interpretations of flower props to showcase Cordillera’s rich culture, practices, and creativity through dance and drum and lyre presentations. 

They are composed of pupils from the Lucban Elementary School, Tuba Central School, Apolinario Mabini ES, Jose P. Laurel ES, Baguio Central School, Dontogan ES, and Manuel L. Quezon ES.

Lucban ES presented, “The flowers of tomorrow, blooming of our dream,” with dancers wearing attires with Cordillera motif and accented with Alstromeria flower and used props made of painted recycled cartons, plastic bottles, foams formed into flowers, satin,  and colored paper.

Tuba Central School’s dance presentation interpreted “Lotus Flower,” which they chose because of the flower’s fascinating will to live and for symbolizing spiritual enlightenment and rebirth.

“The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud. May we live life with unwavering faith, as the lotus flower does,” they said, as they described the inspiration behind their performance.

Apolinario Mabini ES presented “Lay Laydek Sik-a Panagbenga (I love you, Panagbenga), depicting the love for the festival and Baguio’s beauty by using rose, which is an unmistakable expression of love. The flower also conveys respect, admiration or devotion, purity, chastity, and innocence.

They used creative ethnic designs, while its drum and lyre serenaded the audience with a mash-up of OPM love songs and the Panagbenga hymn.

Jose P. Laurel ES called their presentation, “Sustaining Baguio City as a haven and living paradise of the north,” using spectral colors of red, orange, blue, green, and yellow which are the dominant colors of the flower birds of paradise.

With their genuine love and faithfulness to the city of Baguio, the performers’ dresses are patterned on the featured flower and the props were assembled using recycled insulators and recyclable materials like plastic bottles and duct tapes to help preserve and protect Mother Nature. Performers danced to the music of “It’s more fun in the Philippines” to highlight the ever-blooming and forwarding tourist industry of the city.

The BCS called their presentation “Blooming flowers in Cordillera,” to describe the 24 years of celebrating the blooming mountain in the Cordillera, particularly Baguio City, and the uniqueness and colors of Panagbenga Festival through flowers in different colors.

For Dontogan ES, props used were made of recycled soft drink bottles, leaves, colored paper, and boxes; and costumes designed with colorful flowers, ethnic sandals and headdresses, and G-string for male performers, in their performance called “Pepeyan Taha Panagbenga.”

The Manuel L. Quezon ES presented “The stargazers Panagbenga thanksgiving dance” to depict “blooming forward for Baguio’s posterity and fulfillment.”

They said the stargazer lily is a potent symbol because of its intense color and attractive shape when it blooms.

Their performers danced to the music of a Cordillera folk song called “Nan layad, o naranyag a bulan” and the Panagbenga tribute song. 

All seven contingents will perform and compete on March 2 during the grand street dancing parade, which is one of the festival’s most awaited highlights.


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