By Zaldy C. Comanda
Baguio City — The much-awaited “Panagbenga Festival” kicks off today with 12 drum and lyre bands rolling out in the city and 16 landscape designs competing in the 22nd Flower Festival opening to the public.
Session Road all the way to the Athletic Bowl will be the stage for the drum and lyre groups from various elementary schools in giving their best performance as they will be prejudged and prepared for the grand flower festival parade to happen in the 3rd week of this month.
Today, the parade rolls out at 8 a.m. with the participating bands already in their costumes.
Vangie Payno, an official of the Street Dancing Committee, said the competing schools are Apolinario Mabini Elementary School, Baguio Central School, Dominican – Mirador Elementary School, Don Mariano Elementary School, Dona Aurora Elementary School, Emilio Aguinaldo Elementary School, Jose P. Laurel Elementary School, Josefa Carino Elementary School, Lucban Elementary School, Pinget Elementary School, Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School at Camp 6 Elementary School, Tuba, Benguet.
The city has suspended the classes to allow students to join the festivities.
After the parade, the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) and city officials will lead the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition on Juan Luna Drive, Burnham Park, where the landscape competition will be opened.
The month-long celebration will also have free services and sporting events, especially to the children on February 12 for the “Handog sa Pamilya.”
The most-awaited event, the grand cultural street dancing will be on February 25 followed by the flower floats parade on the following day. Two beauty queens of the country are expected to be on the floats.