Issue of March 11, 2018
     
NEWS
Benguet
Ifugao
Kalinga
 
OPINION
 

2017
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Baguio schools carry on Flower Festival’s old charm
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

They made a statement upon their return to the Panagbenga.

Two of the biggest schools in the city who used to be regular participants but did not participate in recent years made their presence known when they won the top prizes in separate categories of the streetdancing parade.

Saint Louis University won first place in the open category, while University of the Cordilleras Senior High won in the high school category.

SLU Center for Culture and the Arts Director Rebecca Nulud said they did not expect to win. “We were just happy to perform again,” she said affirming comments mostly by residents of Baguio who said that their (with UC) comeback revived the community spirit of the festival, which, for a longtime now has been criticized allegedly for losing the very essence of the festival – a gathering of the community.

Along with the regular participants of the Panagbenga, elementary students from the various schools of Baguio, the two biggest schools in the city brought the fervor back with their creativity which was illustrated not just in their choreography, but also in their costumes and props.

Nulud said they were informed by SLU President Gilbert Sales about Mayor Mauricio Domogan’s invitation for them to perform once more in the streetdancing parade, last October. Excited about the prospect of performing once more in Baguio’s grandest event, she and her team was able to immediately draw up a concept, which they will show during the parade.

Because Baguio is a center for commerce, Nulud said Baguio as a vegetable trading center became the central theme of their performance.

Armed with the enthusiasm of her team, the assistance of an alumni who helped them prepare their props, and the support of university officials, Nulud said they immediately conceived a choreography suited for the event and soon found themselves rehearsing for a minimum of four hours daily, then five hours daily, a few days before the big event.

She said the many hours spent rehearsing was worth it, not just because they won but because they were able to perform again before an audience, who also missed them. 

Nulud said after their big comeback this year, they are looking forward to performing again this year, not for the prize but for the glory of representing their school; to sustain the fervor of the early years of the Panagbenga; and to look forward to performing before a new and bigger audience.


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