Panagbenga Festival

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Panagbenga Festival
Street parade at the Panagbenga Festival in 2009
Date(s)Every February 1
BeginsFebruary 1, 1995 (1995-02-01)

Panagbenga Festival (Ilocano pronunciation: [pɐnɐgˈbɯŋaˈ]) (transl. Flower Festival) is a month-long annual flower occasion in Baguio, Philippines. The term is of Kankanaey origin, meaning "season of blooming".[1] The festival, held in February, was created as a tribute to the city's flowers and as a way to rise from the devastation of the 1990 Luzon earthquake.[2] The festival includes floats that are covered mostly with flowers, not unlike those used in Pasadena's Rose Parade. The festival also includes street dancing, presented by dancers clad in flower-inspired costumes, that is inspired by the Bendian, an Ibaloi dance of celebration that came from the Cordilleras.

The Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), in collaboration with the John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation's (JPDC)[3] annual Camp John Hay Art Contest, gave its official logo from one of the entries: a spray of indigenous sunflowers from an artwork submitted by Trisha Tabangin, a student of the Baguio City National High School. The festival was set in February to boost tourism as it was considered as a time of inactivity between the busy days of Christmas season and the Holy Week and the summer season.[4]

In 1996, archivist and curator Ike Picpican suggested that the festival be renamed Panagbenga, a Kankanaey term that means "a season of blossoming, a time for flowering".

The festival was cancelled in 2020[5][6] and 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic. The festival returned in March 2022 but with limited events due to the ongoing crisis, and the events were exclusively funded by private companies and organisation donors, as government funds were diverted towards COVID health situation.[7][8] The festival resumed in full in 2023, and all events, including street dancing and float parades, were restored.


A typical float at the Panagbenga Festival in 2009

The month-long festival starts at the first day of February, with opening activities organized by the city government and the private sector. Activities celebrated throughout the month include a landscape competition and cultural shows; street dancing and float parades during the last week of the festival draw huge crowds. After the parade, Session Road is closed for a week for the Session Road in Bloom activity which hosts a variety of stalls showcasing products locally and from other provinces.


  1. ^ Montley, Patricia (2005). In Nature's Honor: Myths And Rituals Celebrating The Earth. Skinner House Books. p. 63. ISBN 9781558964860. Retrieved February 1, 2008.
  2. ^ "Panagbenga Festival 2018 – Baguio City Philippines". Panagbenga Festival 2018. Archived from the original on December 26, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2023.
  3. ^ Pedrasa, Ira (February 9, 2003). "Panagbenga: Festival of Flowers and Schools of Thought". Bulatlat. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
  4. ^ "Panagbenga 2008 launched". SunStar Baguio. November 30, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
  5. ^ "Baguio cancels Panagbenga 2020". CNN Philippines. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  6. ^ "Baguio cancels Panagbenga, CARAA games amid coronavirus threat". Rappler. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  7. ^ "Panagbenga festival special edition opens on March 6". Manila Bulletin. March 5, 2022.
  8. ^ "Gongs herald Panagbenga return". Philippine Daily Inquirer. March 7, 2022.

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