Issue of March 4, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Female inmates hold "Panagbenga in jail"
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

PANAGBENGA IN JAIL -- Female inmates of the Baguio City Jail showcase their creativity in the craft making competition held as one of the activities in the first ever Panagbenga Festival in Jail, conceptualized to get the inmates involved in community events even while in detention and under reformation. -- Hanna Lacsamana

Being behind bars did not stop the female inmates of the Baguio City Jail from getting involved in the city’s celebration of Panagbenga with the staging of their own edition of Baguio’s grandest event.

For the first time, an almost month-long festival was held within the city jail compound as the Baguio City Jail-Female Dorm unveiled a set of activities similar with what is being traditionally calendared for the annual Flower Festival celebration.

Like in the annual event, the female inmates staged a street dance competition with two groups conceptualizing their respective dance routines and presenting them “on stage” at the jail quadrangle.

They also got to promote their creations – a product of the jail’s continuing skills and livelihood training through arts and crafts program – “à la market encounter” along with the best of the best crafts and folk arts of Baguio showcased at the Creative City hub from Feb. 8 to 24 in Malcolm Square.

The two-week crafts and folk arts staging has been the heart of this year’s Panagbenga, in celebration of Baguio’s recent distinction as a Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts by the Unesco.

A booth given to them at the pavilion allowed the inmates to display and sell their products to the public. The “market encounter” earned for them orders for their wares and future client transactions.

Instead of a grand float parade as one of its highlight activities, the inmates joined in a competition showcasing their best livelihood items like the best-seller mugs with rattan designs, colorful and uniquely crafted vases and decorative items, bags, pen and wine holders, key chains, and other accessories.

Invited visitors judged the entries based on creativity, uniqueness, marketability, and aptness with the theme “Celebration of Culture and Creativity.”

A quiz bee was also held earlier as additional activity.

During their culminating program and awarding ceremonies last Feb. 27, Female Dorm Warden J/Insp. April Rose Ayangwa proudly presented the achievements of their wards, who, regardless of their temporary detention, are encouraged to discover, develop, and share their talents and skills, and at the same time be productive and still be able to support their families’ financial needs while undergoing reformation.

“They are very talented and they only just need support and encouragement through programs like this. When they expressed their longing and excitement about the Panagbenga season, they helped us in conceptualizing and participating in activities that go with the event, so that even when they are inside, they get to feel and share the festive mood of the season,” Ayangwa said.

With its success and support it received from the community, she said they are planning to make the activity as a regular undertaking in time with the Panagbenga. Also, with the enthusiasm shown by the inmates, Ayangwa said having an actual grand float parade within the confines of the jail in the future would not be farfetched.

Aside from being a venue for expression of talents and skills, Ayangwa said the Panagbenga in Jail has been a big boost to the inmates’ mind and physical wellness and general outlook in life, which makes it easier on the part of the city jail to manage and support them.

Kapag masaya sila at maganda ang pakiramdam nila, maganda rin ang attitude nila. So we support activities that will make them busy, make them feel their worth, and be happy about it,” Ayangwa said.

The jail officer thanked the city government, through the office of Councilor Elmer Datuin, for its support to the inmates’ programs and for giving them the chance to participate in the official activities of the Panagbenga to promote their creations.

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PWU Baguio
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University of Baguio

Baguio Central University
Baguio Country Club
Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – CAR
Congressman Ronald M. Cosalan
Department of Health – CAR
John Hay Management Corporation
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines
New Media Services
Pag–IBIG Fund
Pines City Colleges
Sangguniang Panlungsod

Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Water District
Choobi Choobi
Congressman Mark O. Go
Councilor Leandro B. Yangot Jr.
Curamed Pharmacy
Department of Environment and Natural Resources – CAR
Department of Public Works and Highways – CAR
Department of Science and Technology
Fabulo Beauty and Image Salon
Far East Pacific Commercial
Filipino–Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc.
Ganza & Solibao Restaurants
Gen. Benjie B. Magalong
GMS Technology
Governor Crescencio C. Pacalso
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan
Mayor Romeo K. Salda
Mother Earth Deli Basket
Nagomi Spa
Narda’s / Sunflower Ridge
Northern Luzon School for the Visually Impaired, Inc.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Montessori, Inc.
Philex Mining Corporation
Police Regional Office – CAR
Regional Development Council – CAR and National Economic and Development Authority – CAR
Regional Tripartate Wages and Productivity Board – CAR
SN Aboitiz
Tony Boy Tabora
Veterans Bank
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