Monday, February 28, 2011

Umali Kayo! Panagbenga 2011

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For more photos of Panagbenga Festival 2011, pls. visit my Facebook album by clicking this link Umali Kayo! Panagbenga Festival 2011.

I really love going to Baguio! The climate is cool and the lifestyle is simple and laid back. This year, I will be celebrating for the 2nd time the Panagbenga Festival.

The Panagbenga Flower Festival is celebrated every month of February at Baguio City. The month-long festivity features both traditional and community-led activities. Highlights of the festival are the grand street parade which usually happens on the last Saturday of February to be followed by the float parade the day after the street parade.

This year’s Panagbenga Festival is way better than of last year’s. In addition, the festival organizers made the parade route longer. Floats were more intricate and street parades were merrier. Congratulations for a job well-done! Regardless of the quality, the Panagbenga Festival remained a tourist magnet for the past decades.

A little something about Panagbenga: According to an article I read from www.panagbenga.ph, Panagbenga is a Kankana-ey term which means, "a season for blooming; a time blooming"-which is widely showed in the festival. During Panagbenga, people from different places in Benguet, including those of outside Benguet not to mention tourist from the international segment gather to witness the festivity. Something to look forward to is the Session in Blooms which happens after the float parade. Session Road is closed for a breath-taking market experience.

Travel and Coverage Tips:
- Baguio is accessible via major bus lines in Metro Manila (my preference will always be Victory Liners). Always remember to buy your tickets weeks or even months before the festival to avoid inconvenience.
- Bus rate is P420, one-way.
- If you want to ride a bus straight to Baguio without any stopovers, you may opt to book yourself at Victory Liners coach buses with a restroom inside. Rate is P700.
- Upon arrival at the Baguio terminal, buy your ticket back to Manila or wherever. Due to numerous tourist, tickets will all be sold out if your buy on the day of your departure.
- Book accommodations ahead of time. All accommodations (esp. those near the city) are fully booked by mid November.
- The climate in Baguio could really be playful at times. Always bring with you a sweater or jacket and a 'blankie'.
- For those who would like to avail festival passes, you can have yourself accredited by registering at the Panagbenga Secretariat. You can download the forms at http://www.panagbenga.ph/
- Crowd at the Panagbenga Festival could really be ballistic and rude at times. My advise, be early at the festival site and just chill! :)


Listen to the Panagbenga Hymn. Press play!

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