This is in relation to the holding of Panagbenga 2018 and the years to come.
Here are some proposals, which the Panagbenga executive committee co-chaired by Anthony de Leon, could ponder on.
First, could we not include La Trinidad and the other surrounding towns since the sources of flowers are by majority from these areas, especially La Trinidad? Maybe, come up with a plan to expand coverage of the Panagbenga Festival to involve these outlying towns of Benguet.
Second, that all stores and other establishments must cultivate potted flowers, which will adorn their establishments and not just cutflowers. This will create a semblance of cleanliness, prosperity, aside from the natural beauty the festival projects.
Third, lessen food stores and dry goods during the Session Road in Bloom. Maybe these can be placed elsewhere but not Session Road to allow more space for pedestrians. Increase flowers in bloom and other greens so we breathe fresh air throughout the festival.
Fourth, please improve existing plans how to minimize garbage, especially those generated by non-Baguio residents during the festival.
Fifth, please include Pines Festival in the coverage, as La Trinidad can include Benguet coffee produced by Benguet State University.
Sixth, can the city government of Baguio and the local government of La Trinidad co-chair a committee so that it would highlight the socio-cultural aspect of the festival, not only its financial aspect?
Seventh, please invite actors and actresses with Cordilleran roots like Paulo Avelino (whose mother is from Sagada, Mountain Province) and Robin Padilla to grace the occasion. For sure, they will make the Cordillerans even happier and could relate with them.
Eight, during this festival, the executive committee could consider awarding local artists in the fields of music, dance, sculpture and woodcarving, among others, who have shone locally and internationally.
Panagbenga, has through the years, “degenerated” from the highly socio-cultural successes to the economics only. Lest our children criticize us in the future, let us make a turn around and consider these proposals.
(Editors’ Note: The Panagbenga executive committee announced in a press conference recently that concerned sectors from the BLISTT will be included in the planning sessions to expand the coverage and activities of the festival.)