Like all seasons, the season of blooming must also come to an end. Last March 8, 2015 Baguio City witnessed the Closing Ceremonies and Grand Fireworks Display for the Panagbenga 2015. The month long celebration of this year’s Panagbenga or the Baguio Flower Festival, though marred with challenges, remained to draw the crowds from different parts of the Philippines.
Panagbenga 2015 Closing and Grand Fireworks Display
The Celebration of the Season of Blooming ended with a closing ceremony where winners for the different competitions were announced. The Panagbenga 2015 was then capped by the Grand Fireworks Display, where both residents and tourists were treated to a 15-minute spectacular fireworks display from five different locations namely Melvin Jones, Athletic Bowl, Burnham Park, Baguio Cathedral Area and at SM City Baguio.
The Panagbenga 2015 Summary
We would like to sum up our Panagbenga 2015 experience by going over the different activities that we attended this year.
1. The Panagbenga 2015 Grand Opening Parade – the opening Parade of the Panagbenga 2015 signaled the start of the month long celebration of the Baguio Flower festival. As expected every year, the participants showcased their skills and talents as they vie for the coveted right to perform during the Grand Street Dancing Parade. We could really say that all the participating contingents prepared and they prepared well for this event.
Video Summary of the Panangbenga 2015 Opening Parade
2. The Panagbenga Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Exposition – last year during the celebration of Panagbenga 2014 , we wrote that we hope this year the landscape competition be highlighted and be given the space they need to showcase their skills in landscaping. However, sadly that did not happen, the location of the landscape competition was at its previous space along the sidewalk of Lake Drive at the Melvin Jones side. Which gave rise to the same problem, people visiting the Baguio Blooms Exhibition cannot enjoy the landscapes, you cannot stop and take a photo with the landscape at the background because you will be blocking the flow of people trying to get to the other end. We can only hope that next year things would be different.
Video Summary of Panagbenga 2015 Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Exposition
3. Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom – as if an omen, this year’s celebration of the Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom and the Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilya Baguio was drenched in rain. Although the different Universities in Baguio City prepared their exhibits and booths, both residents and tourists were not able to enjoy the festivities due to the rainy weather. The kite flying competition was delayed as the participants waited for the rain to stop, however even with the rain the participants of the kite flying competition were able to fly their kites. What is unfortunate was the fact that the paintings made by the participants were mostly washed away by the rain as there were lack of tents to protect the participants and their paintings. Maybe next year the organizers would prepare for both a sunny and rainy weather.
Video Summary of Panagbenga 2015 Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom
4. Grand Street Dancing Parade – the Grand Street Dancing parade for this year did not disappoint, it was fun, and the energy of the Dancers as well as the drum and lyre contingents were so high. In fact many of the audience were also swayed by their energy. The instrumental pieces played were also awesomely done and their costumes, well lets just say the participants were dressed to win. On the audience side however, it seems that there is a decrease on the number of audience as compared to what we have witnessed last year. But still let us focus on the fact that all the participants prepared well for the Grand Street Dancing parade and that they deserve a standing ovation.
Video Summary of Panagbenga 2015 Grand Street Dancing Parade
5. The Grand Float Parade – well it seems that this is the crowd drawer for this year. As compared to the Grand Street Dancing Parade the Grand Float parade really brought the crowd. Every sidewalks at the parade route were blocked by a thick column of people waiting to get a glimpse of the floats. Although lacking the “star power”, as there were less celebrities who joined the Grand Float Parade, it did not take away the fact that this part of the Panagbenga Festival brought back the smiles to the people.
Video Summary of Panagbenga 2015 Grand Float Parade
6. The Session Road In Bloom – we always look forward to the closing of Session Road for Session Road in Bloom as it gives the opportunity for local entrepreneurs to showcase their products. Although we saw that most of the products showcased were the same as the previous Session road in Bloom, it doesn’t mean that the fun of walking up and down session road is gone. However, we hope that during the Panagbenga 2016 we will see more exciting local products.
Video Summary of Panagbenga 2015 Session Road In Bloom
Hoping For A Better Panagbenga 2016
We aren’t sure if this years Panagbenga had the same exciting effect as compared to last year, however there are several things that made last year’s Panagbenga better than this year. This thus bring a question into mind, did the Panagbenga Festival reached it’s peak, following the same formula that it used for the past 20 years? Is it time to get creative and try something different? Well whatever the answer is, only time will tell, however, it might be good to learn from all the experiences we gained this year and use that to bring about a better celebration for Panagbenga 2016.
To end this coverage of Panagbenga 2015 here are some photos we took during the Grand Fireworks Display