The agenda of our tour is not about staying in the hotel, enjoying the food and view of Baguio, one of the primary mission is to watch, attend and cover the Panagbenga 2013 in Baguio City with the theme for this year is “A Blooming Odyssey”. The Panagbenga aka Flower Festival was created back in the 90’s in order to bring back Baguio’s shape after the city was damaged badly by the earthquake. The business in Baguio City like hotels, restaurants, entertainment, stores and etc got a little help from the festival to move on and rebuild its beautiful city of the pines.
This year is my 1st time to attend the Panagbenga festival 2013, it’s a 2 month plan and this tour started after a chat with Vincent of www.lakbaybaguio.com last November 2012, and I told him to organize something for the bloggers in order for us to experience and attend the Panagbenga. It all went well and organized, and we are here finally for our day 1 in Baguio City.
As soon as we arrived in Baguio City at 6am, we went straight to Azalea Residences hotel to check in, leave our back packs and eat our breakfast. Vincent told us that our assembly is at 6:30am, and that’s a call time for us to start walking from the hotel up to Session Road.
The entire Session road is closed and there’s no other way to get there from the hotel. All vehicles are re-route to a different direction and most vehicles avoid Session roads because the entire parade starts there.
I also learned that the Panagbenga festival is composed of two kinds of parade and competition. One is the grand street dance contest and the other one is the parade float contest. The grand street dance contest is participated by various members of a school, university, colleges, and organizations or community. Participants are also from outside Baguio City, they have participants coming from Kalinga and Tabuk, all are under Benguet province.
The long walk from the hotel is like around 20 minutes, we reached the best place to view the Panagbenga festival, that is in the intersection of NORTH DRIVE and SESSION ROAD. We stayed near the NBI and DILG office, it’s the start of the parade and there’s a great view of the parade from above. The parade will walk on the road going up to the other side of Session Road. I’m glad that our guide, Vincent, taught us to stay there and guided us til the parade is done.
Here are my 50+ photos of the Panagbenga festival 2013
PMA-ers played and dance the Gangnam Style, since they are first on the line of the parade, they started first and gave a giggle to the spectators.
Then the parade was followed by various foreign communities from Korea, Canada, USA, China and then followed by various groups like the Girl Scout of the Philippines- Baguio chapter. They carried some artwork that they customized for the festival. I’m not sure if its for sale after the festival.
School and organizations got their own marching band
Here’s my view from the highest road of Session Road. See the awesome view as they approach us.
I got teary eyes when I saw these colorful costumes and dance number of students, I just can’t believe that I’m in Panagbenga and its one of my dream come true. I serve this as my training ground for the Sinulog and Maskara Festival.
More colorful costumes coming up
More marching band
My area, my legs are in pain because we stand here for hours waiting for the festival, the best TIP here is that you bring your own monoblock chair and try to seat here to reserve your spot as early as 6am. Seat on the left side (if you are facing the parade) because the sun rises and the rays of the sun points to the right side.
btw, it was cold in the morning and even there’s a ray of the sun hitting my skin, I still get sun burned.
advice: apply sun block lotion
Each of the marching band plays the Panagbenga music, while others are playing music from One Direction, Maroon 5 and also more Gangnam style. Others are dancing while playing their instruments
Colorful marching band all wearing the same uniform
There are no real flowers here in the street dance parade, the real flowers in exhibit will be in the grand float parade. So expect lots of fake flowers and homemade flowers.
Student’s didn’t stop dancing, they need to walk up and down the road and perform their dance routine in every crowd infront of them. Other people request that they dance, but its up to the team leader to give the go signal to their group if they will dance or not.
the parade is composed of
1. Team leader
3. Marching band
4. Dancing group
5. Production assistant
6. Water boys
9. and lots of assistant
One of my favorite street dance parade is to see kids wearing different Benguet tribe costume
Everyone smiled to us and give all the energy.
Its awesome also to see kids play bamboo instruments, this part amazes me and I got the idea to collect some of it, well I have the tambol and kubing already, and now these bamboo percussions are now on my list to own.
After the dancing, I got surprised again to see the cape of their costume turned into wings, they wave and all are in sync dancing…astig!
More colorful costumes, it looks like some costumes are inspired from Mardi Gras style
Very creative costume design….
here’s one of my favorite view..college girls dancing in costume
They carry vegetables and show off how they dance and it was like giving thanks to their Bathala.
Re-enactment of an Igorot prince
yes..they are real spears.
hello flower girl!
more dancing act…
I got tired of my place and transferred in the middle of the road, it’s a restricted area and only photographers with event IDs are allowed to stand here, well..I got away and stood there for a minute and transferred in the other side of the road to get a good vantage point.
I stood on top of the island of the intersection hahhaha.
Hello! from Tabuk City group
This lady igorot carries this set of pots on her head all through out the parade…wow!
strong balance and neck energy
Igorot friends dance and play with their gongs
all are barefooted and topless, the cold breeze didn’t stop them in dancing
Balancing act… wow!
I’m not sure if their group is Ifugao or Igorot…I’m having a hard time to identify the two tribes
Girls in colorful hats dance all the way
All with smiles and cute projection
it’s a flower festival…so expect giant butterflies flying in
Another design of their costume made by weaving
Men carries their Bul-ol or anito
The banners with sunflower designs add more color and beauty to their street parade
Others improvised by using recyclable materials
More dancing on the street!
He’s dancing and not hunting.. yup real spear
I like this kid… he dance gracefully… he deserves a nice snap shot.
The street dance parade composed of 12 participants for this year’s Panagbenga Festival 2013, all of them went to the grand stand in Burnham park to perform in a large audience and be judged right away. We didn’t witness the entire show there, but a local tv in Baguio City broadcasted the entire show for us. One of the local tv is GMA and they uploaded the whole stream in their Youtube channel.
Watch it here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIW5VJjAYOc
Here’s a modern Igorot…in shades and looks like he’s rapping
Congratulations to all groups who joined in Panagbenga 2013. For me..all of you are winners!
After the parade, we re-group here in the intersection of North Drive and Session roads, here at the group pic are the Manila x Cebu X Cordillera bloggers group.
fellow blogger and photogs – Enzo of www.juanmanilaexpress.com and Raffy of www.pinoytravelblog.com
I took a group pic of the security, red cross and street team of Panagbenga 2013
After the parade, all vendors invade the streets to sell their goods. Most benta here are the taho and mineral water. Here’s Raffy checking out some cheap sun glasses. I’m tempted to buy but I don’t have a smaller bill that day.
Atty Ethelbert and Jaysee of www.cebubloggers.net went busy for an early photo op
After the parade, we walked up and down in Session Road and went straight to Burnham Park. Here we saw a Pizza Hut staff wearing a Panagbenga theme costume to greet everyone and invite them to eat in their resto. All establishments in Baguio City are decorated inline with the Panagbenga Festival.
Whew!!! that’s my day 1 coverage of the Panagbenga Festival 2013.
Check my next post for the grand float parade!
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, PBNetwork PH, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.