After the grand parades the celebration for Panagbenga 2014 is not yet over. From the time the parade last Sunday ended up until March 2, 2014 Session Road will be closed to give way to the Session Road in Bloom. The Session Road in Bloom is similar to a Market encounter however this time the stalls would begin from the base of Session road up to the top of the same road. Everyone who put up their stalls would showcase their products. Here you will be able to see different products not only coming from entrepreneurs in Baguio City but also coming from other parts of the Philippines.
Things Worth Visiting
The Session Road in Bloom is already a traditional annual event with the Celebration of the Panagbenga Festival and through the years one thing that remains to be constant is the presence of Food Stalls particularly that of Shawarma stands, it was so constant in fact that some even dubbed Session road in Bloom as Shawarma in Bloom. We of course cannot blame the entrepreneurs who paid to put up a shawarma stand, shawarma is a hot commodity during this time. Anyway, another type of food that is currently capturing the senses of those visiting Session road is Alabanza’s longganisa, it might be that mouth watering smell that draws the crowds into this stall at the middle of session road, but with the long queue i would rather buy the raw longganisa and cook it at home.
At lower Session road a particular stall caught my attention, probably one of the few stalls that is in line with this years theme (Inspiring the Community for a Greener Tomorrow). This stall sells colorful lanterns that are made from Polycarbonate materials, according to the owner they advocate green technology. You will see several colorfully designed lanterns with different shapes. We visited the stall during the day but i bet their stall would be good to look at during the night when the lanterns are lit up.
Still at lower session road you will see a display of different Marikina made shoes for sale. So if you are looking to buy a new pair of shoes this is your chance to purchase a set of Filipino made shoes. Adjacent to it is a stall that whose banner caught my attention, it says everything at P50 but because of the number of people digging through their products i proceeded instead to go up Session Road.
I haven’t gone far when another stall caught my attention, the sign says Organically Grown Unoy Champorado Blend, I was about to buy one when something else diverted my attention a bottled chili powder, but this version doesn’t look red, if you are a fan of chili powder you would have seen the red version, now after seeing this chili powder i tend to believe that those being sold at the market has been laced with food coloring. So i bought one bottle and tried it and boy it was hot! This stall also sells vinegar with chili, coffee cookies and of course the Unoy Champorado an organically grown rice mixed with chocolate rice thus thus you do not need to add cocoa powder to it (at least that’s what their sign says).
If you go further up fronting the McDonalds Session area you will see the different plants on display and yes they are for sale. If you want your photo taken with the plants you have to pay P15 , but if you take just a photo of the plants i don’t think you have to pay for it. The attraction here is the strawberries planted on pots.
Beyond that is the highlight of my Session Road in Bloom experience because i finally found the SLU-EISSIF booth, i am a fan of their honey and they actually are the pioneers in the field of honey production and beekeeping in Baguio City. I was surprised that from one kind of honey they now sell several products like the wild honey and cream honey. If you want authentic honey, there are only two providers that I can recommend one is that of SLU-EISSIF and the other of Kerobee farms, buying from them would give you that peace of mind that you bought authentic honey and not just mixed glucose and water.
For those looking for organic vegetables we recommend visiting the LaTop stall, LaTop have been providing the residents of Baguio with organic vegetables so for those who are into juicing fruits and veggies or simply those who wants organically grown vegetables their products are for you.
Another highlight (for me) at Session Road in Bloom is the Japan Surplus stall at Upper Session Road, although i am not interested in their second hand products like tents or lanterns what really caught my attention is the collection of Anime Action Figures on Display, brings back memories of some of my favorite characters, if you are a serious toy collector you might find something that would interest you.
The junction between Governor Pack Road and Session Road is a stage set up for mini-concerts, if you are tired of walking up and down session road then you might want to sit down and watch the different performances by celebrities and baguio talents.
It’s Your Choice
So yes, these are the things to see at Session Road in Bloom, and yes there are a lot of people that in some areas movement is at a snail pace, but i guess that adds up to the experience, our take is you have a choice whether to take that experience of walking with lots of people as something that is annoying (thinking only of yourself) or you could look at it as a good thing because small entrepreneurs in Baguio as well as other places are getting foot traffic, exposure of their products and revenue which means more jobs for the people of Baguio and in turn more revenue for the City for it to be able to fund the 20th Panagbenga Festival 2015.