Sunday, February 24, 2013

Annual Panagbenga Festival

An estimated 1.7 million people witnessed the annual street dance parade, part of the annual Panagbenga Festival 2013 Saturday.

The annual colorful Street Mob Flash dance parade showcases different dancing groups in flower-inspired costumes while dancing in the street to different tunes played by their respective drum and lyre bands.

The theme for this year is "A Blooming Odyssey".

The two-hour 6-km parade highlighted by rhythmic dance steps from different ethnic, cultural groups and students started at 8 a.m. from Panagbenga Park and ended up at Athletic Bowl.

Dept. of Tourism officials and organizers, City of Pines Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Rep. Bernardo M. Vergara, Phil. Chamber of Commerce delegates from Toronto led parade participants.

They were followed by PMA bands and different delegates from the sister cities like Taebaek, Gongju, Vaughan, Vallejo, Kalinga, Apayao, and Bontoc.

Students from different schools in Baguio and nearby communities such as Aguinaldo Elem. School, Mabini Elem. School, Baguio Central School, Lucban Elem. School, Fort del Pilar Elem. School, Southern Luzon University, Elpidio Quirino Elem. School, Dona Aurora Elem. School, Quezon Hill Elem. School, San Vicente Elem. School, Josefa Carino Elem. Sch., Pinsao Nat'l. High Sch., St. Louis University and others.

Most of these students wore costumes made of colorful flower designs while dancing to the beat of songs like 'kendeng-kendeng' and the currently popular 'Pusong Bato' and other popular dance beats.

Other performing artists like Litangfan Cultural Group from Mt. Province, Tanghalang Teatro Pino, The Kabayan Youth Cultural Dance Troupe, Bampkabia Cultural Dance, Cordillera Cultural Performing Group and others also joined the parade that drew massive crowds from different parts of the country and foreigners from other countries to witness the annual event.

People snapped pictures of participating children, students and other ethnic groups in native costumes while carrying some big baskets with big carrots, cabbage and other vegetables.

Another crowd drawer were the 'higantes' wearing flower-embroidered costumes and a big image of 'Anito' borne by students.

The drums and other musical instruments played by the drum and lyre bands dotted by colorful flowers.

The 130 students from Quezon Hill Elem. School wore costumes made from recycled used brooms, plastic bags, plastic bottles as their colorful costumes and head dress decked with flowers.

Meldie Diente, 35, a Technical Assistant staff from a company in Metro Manila said she and nine of her officemates travelled all the way from Manila to Baguio justto witness the event.

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