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Panagbenga 2022 to continue without crowd-drawing events

January 13, 2022 - Thursday 6:01 PM by Kristine Casampol

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Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced Thursday, Jan. 13, that the city's Panagbenga Festival will be rescheduled as the country continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

"Definitely, there would be a Panagbenga 2022. Napag-usapan namin (We have discussed it) with the Flower Festival Foundation that Panagbenga would be a low-key celebration due to the threat of the Omicron,” Magalong said in a phone interview.

He stated that the usual crowd-drawing events had been canceled in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019. (COVID-19).

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the local authorities held a traditional ritual on the festival's first day, Feb. 1, but canceled the usual opening parade.

The festival starts from February through the second week of March. This takes place on a Sunday, a week after the two grand parades, the flower float parade, and the street dancing parade, both of which attract thousands of local and international tourists.

"There will be no street and float parades and the city will be concentrating on the remaining activities such as the landscaping events to continue with the tradition of the Baguio Flower Festival," the mayor said.

He, however, says that the festival's destiny will be determined by the city's COVID-19 situation; either the Panagbenga will take place in February or will be postponed until March, although with fewer crowd-drawing activities as a precaution.

The festival has attracted international attention since its start in 1996, with people flocking to the summer capital every February.

Panagbenga, a Kankanaey word for blooming, was conceived as a community recovery activity for Baguio several years after the city was devastated and reduced to rubbles by a major earthquake in 1990.

It was organized as a community activity, with residents coming together to help rebuild Baguio, which grew into a major crowd-drawing event not only for the city but for the entire country.

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