Baguio blooms with fresh flowers for Panagbenga festival

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BAGUIO CITY – The Summer Capital started to bloom with fresh flowers following the opening of the 20th edition of Panagbenga or the world-famous Baguio Flower Festival which has required participants to the various events the use of fresh flowers in honor of the booming flower industry not only in the city but also in the neighboring towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay in Benguet.

Freddie Alquiros, co-chairman of the Panagbenga executive committee, explained roadside and vertical gardens which will be participated in by the city’s 128 barangays and school-based landscaping which will be also participated in by schools will feature assorted fresh flowers that will add up to the boom of flowers in the city during the five-week activities lined up for this year’s festival.

“For the contingents joining the grand street dancing parade and grand float parade on February 28 and March 1, respectively, participants must be able to showcase at least 90 percent fresh flowers in order to realize the primary objective of the festival which is to promote Baguio and Benguet as the primary source of fresh and quality flowers in Luzon,” Alquiros stressed.

He added veteran landscapers will also feature their respective works during the 5-week market encounter dubbed “Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Exposition” to give a chance for local residents and visitors to appreciate the international calibre of landscaping worthy of visiting.

According to him, hundreds of flower farmers from La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay assured the substantial supply of flowers like roses, Malaysian mums, carnations, tulips among others which will be used to decorate the city in time for the expected influx of visitors during the highlights of the flower festival.

Alquiros explained the annual conduct of the flower festival has a trickle-down effect to the grassroots level, meaning that all sectors are gaining in terms of added income during the staging of the flower festival.

Apart from semi-temperate vegetables, Benguet also serves as one of the major sources of assorted flowers which are sold in the city and shipped to Metro Manila and the different parts of Northern and Central Luzon.

Alquiros said Panagbenga organizers were assured of steady supply of flowers in different kinds and sizes which will be used to decorate the city in preparation for the expected influx of visitors during the highlights of the flower festival, specifically during the grand street dancing and float parades, and the upcoming Session Road in Bloom aside from the 5-week market encounter.

Panagbenga was used to name the festival because it is being done in time for the blossoming of flowers. Panagbenga is the Kankana-ey word for blossoming of flowers.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the city is ready for the influx of visitors during the highlights of the flower festival and that they will be able to witness the display of fresh flowers for their appreciation considering that Baguio and Benguet are known major sources of fresh flowers being sold in various parts of the country.

“Our Flower Festival is our tribute to our flower farmers who are the ones providing us with adequate supply of flowers that we showcase our local residents and visitors who want to visit our city and appreciate the beauty of nature,” Domogan stressed.

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