Today is the opening of the month long Panagbenga Festival, and of course the event kicked-off with the traditional Canao, a Cordilleran ritual, in this case the ritual was for thanksgiving. After the Canao the participants for the Opening parade started walking from the Military Cut-off Rotunda to Session Road, Harisson Road and ending at the Baguio Athletic Bowl where every participating elementary school for the street dancing will be performing.
Just like before the Philippine Military Academy Band and the City Officials led the parade followed by the Barangay officials of the different Barangays in the Baguio City. The street dancers and drum and lyre bands of the different elementary schools showcased their colorful costumes and dances. The drum and lyre and street dancing for elementary students served as the elimination round to determine the schools that would qualify for the grand street dancing parade.
Although it was announced that all those elementary schools who participated during the opening parade will also have the privilege to join the grand parade only five of them will be qualified to join the grand street dancing parade contest where huge prizes are at stake.
Here are the five schools that qualified for the grand parade contest (in no particular order):
1. Fort Del Pilar Elementary School
2. Baguio Central School
3. Mabini Elementary School
4. Lucban Elementary School
5. Aguinaldo Elementary School
Overall the opening of the Panagbenga was a success and did not disappoint. One thing I noticed though, the space between participants was too wide when they were at the NBI area thus some of the children were running, but when they reached the Session road area the space was just right. Kudos, to the Organizers for strictly implementing a “no-campaign policy” during the parade and to the City officials and candidates for honoring the policy.
Click the link For the Full Schedule of the traditional Panagbenga 2013 Activities
Click the link for the Schedule of the Panagbenga 2013 Community-led Activities
Some more Photos During the Panagbenga 2013 Opening Parade