Issue of March 10, 2019
     
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City arranges early preps for Panagbenga ‘20 to set visitors
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

This early, Mayor Mauricio Domogan announced the schedule for the main events of the silver anniversary celebration of the Baguio Flower Festival in 2020 to avoid a recurrence of some confusion created by the adjustments this year.

The mayor said the grand street dancing and grand float parades for next year’s Panagbenga have been set on Feb. 29 and March 1, respectively.

He said this is to give guests, especially those coming from overseas, ample time to prepare and fix their travel schedule and be able to watch the main events that used to be held on Feb. 23 and 24 or the last weekend of February.

This year, parades were held on March 2 and 3, the first time the two main events were held after February.

Organizers earlier explained that changes were made this year to prevent having the parades at the same time with the Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming, which had caused gridlock in almost all the city’s main roads in the previous years.

Domogan said he received reports that 20 tourists from Israel missed the grand street parades this year because of the change in the schedule.

The tourists, all senior citizens, booked their flights supposedly in time for the events on Feb. 24 and 25, but these were held on later dates.

He said the incident was regrettable because the city wants that all those interested to witness the event and used to planning their travel earlier can attend the parades.

This year’s parades were assessed as successful as ever with a jam-packed central business district, and many of the visitors securing best viewpoints setting up tents on the night before the parade.

The Baguio City National High School Special Program in the Arts bagged the first place in the high school division of the street dancing parade, followed by the University of the Cordilleras Street Dance Ensemble, and St. Louis University Senior High in second and third place, respectively.

In the elementary division, the first place went to Tuba Central School, followed by Apolinario Mabini Elementary School, and Baguio Central School.

First in the open division is SLU, followed by the Mana-at Group, and Pinablin Calasiao.

For the float parade, the top prize for the small float category went to Taloy Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative, Igorot Treasure in second place, and Lubao in third place.

The best in the big float category is M. Lhullier, followed by Sitel, and Generika.

The month-long festival is concluding today, March 10, with the last day of Session Road in Bloom and traditional grand fireworks display in various areas in the city.


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