The city will continue to aggressively promote its low key activities to help gradually and safely revive the local economy amidst the emerging threat of the new variant of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
From February 1 to 28, 2021, the city government has lined up simple but meaningful events that will allow the public to commemorate Panagbenga, the city’s major-crowd drawing event, and sustain the combined efforts to slowly bring back the vibrance of the city’s tourism industry.
City Planning and Development Officer Dona Tabangin presented to the city’s management committee the proposed activities in February starting with the opening program at the City Hall grounds on February 1. 2021.
Further, the city will be sustaining the pedestrianization of Session Road every Sunday, particularly on February 7, 14, 21 and 28, where various activities will be lined up every week ranging from the events for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the agriculture farm display, among others, to maximize the closure of the main road.
On February 14, 2021, there will be a Valentine’s Day program at the Rose Garden in time for the blossoming of the roses in the park while there will be a Panagbenga Through the Years archway installation at the Malcolm Square and along Session road in commemoration of the success of the flower festival over the past two decades.
The month-long events will conclude on February 28, 2020 with the closing program to be held at the Tree of Life at the top of Session road.
On the scheduled pedestrianization of Session Road every Sunday, Tabangin disclosed that some 76 curated, physically distanced and featuring homegrown MSMEs will set up along the stretch of the main road to help in aggressively promoting the products of the heavily impacted industries for them to be able to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Aside from the curated tents, business establishments along Session road will be allowed al fresco dining but no waiters allowed as it will only for takeout services.
Tabangin reports that in all the tents and establishments, only pick, pay and go system will be observed to prevent people from converging in some areas as part of the strategy to prevent the spread of the virus and help MSMEs and business establishments recover from the heavy impact of the pandemic to their operations.
She revealed that the Christmas decorations at the Malcolm Square and along the stretch of Session Road will be replaced with artworks depicting the success of the city’s major festival over the past several decades to allow the public to recall the growth of the festival that started as a simple community event that became one of the world’s renowned festival.
Earlier, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong announced the indefinite suspension of the conduct of the 26th edition of the festival because of the emerging threat of the new COVID-19 variant to prevent the rapid spread of the virus in the city that might stress the frontliners and compromise the city’s health care system. By Dexter A. See