Baguio City, BFFFI launch Panagbenga 2013; political campaign banned during the festival

By: 
Lito Dar / PIA
Posted: 22-Jan-2013 / 2 years 9 weeks ago

BAGUIO CITY,  (PIA) - - The City Government of Baguio and the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI)  formally launched on Wednesday, Panagbenga 2013, the 18th staging of  the Baguio Flower Festival  in a kapihan forum at the Baguio Country Club(BCC).

With the    theme,  “A Blooming Odyssey”,   the  this year’s Panagbenga promises to be  lot more fun and  colorful  and full of  surprises  to delight    the expected  two million  visitors for the duration of the month-long festival.
 
Mayor Maurico Domogan Panagbenga 2013 will officially open on February 1 with the grand opening parade and Drum and Lyre Dance Competition – elementary division. On this date the Baguio Blooms: Landscape Exhibition and Exposition on Burnham Park will also open and will continue until the festival’s closing on  March 3.
 
The highlights  of the Panagbenga, which remains the city’s single biggest crowd drawer, are the Grand Street Dancing Parade    set on February 23 and the Grand Float Parade on February 24 featuring indigenous taste and attractive flowers.
 
Freddie Alquiroz, chairman of the Panagbenga executive committee,  emphasized that the participating floats must be composed of 90 percent flowers so that the crowd will be able to really appreciate  locally grown flowers.
 
Other major activities  include  day of concert, dubbed as Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilya Baguio, set on February 10 at the Burnham Park,  along with  the “Let A Thousand Flowers” wherein the city’s artists and anybody  interested  are welcome to paint a canvass or their own artistic creation at  the Melvin Jones.
 
An Exhibitors Day at the Athletic bowl also awaits  spectators  on February 23 and 24 at the Athletic Bowl, while the annual Pony Boys’ Day  is scheduled at the same venue on March 2.
 
Another highlight activity of the Panagbenga is the “Session Road in Bloom” set on February 25 to March 3, wherein the main stretch of Session Road  is  closed to vehicles and open for the public to walk, enjoy eating  and shopping  in  the  various commercial establishments to choose upon. 
 
With the scheduled May mid-term election this year, Alquiroz  announced  that political aspirants, both national and local,  are banned from campaigning  or distributing campaign materials during the Baguio Flower Festival’s events especially  during  Grand Street Dancing and Grand Float Parade.
 
To assure security during the event, police city director Jess Cambay Jr. said that additional  personnel coming from the Police  Regional Office, the various civic organizations and students from the National Service Training Program  will  augment the regular personnel of the Baguio’s Finest.
 
Other panelists in the forum  were Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Congressman Bernardo Vergara, City Council Committee on Tourism Elmer Datuin, BCC General Manager Anthony De Leon,  and Atty. Damaso Bangaoet, the father of Panagbenga.(JDP/ LD & JBZ- PIA CAR)

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