Festivals are special days to celebrate the country’s wealth of culture, traditions, and heritage. In the Philippines, the Panagbenga Festival is a crowd-drawing event and a sight to behold. This month-long flower festival is an ode to Baguio City’s breathtaking flora. At the same time, it highlights the culture and creativity of the Cordilleras.
Considered one of the biggest cultural events and non-religious festivals in the Philippines, Panagbenga has contributed a great deal to Baguio’s further development. The celebration began in order to boost the city’s morale after the 1990 earthquake. Since then, Panagbenga Festival has become a symbol of hope, ushering in a season of blooming.
Panagbenga 2023 Calendar of Activities
With the theme “A Renaissance of Wonder and Beauty,” Panagbenga Festival will once again bring together local and foreign travelers and participants from the Cordillera province. The celebration will come back in full swing, including the much-awaited street dance and float parade.
Here’s the complete lineup of activities for Panagbenga 2023:
- Panagbenga Grand Opening Day Parade
Feb 1 to Mar 5
- Panagbengascapes: Professional Landscaping Competition and Exhibition
- Baguio Blooms: A Market Encounter
Feb 5, 12, 19
- Panagbenga Sundays Showcase
Feb 11, 14, 15
- School-Based Flower Arrangement and Landscaping Competitions
- Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilya Baguio
- Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom: An Open Painting Exhibition
- Panagbenga Kite-Flying Challenge
- Panagbenga Cultural Show
- Funagbenga Fitness Frenzy
Feb 16 to 18
- PMA Alumni Homecoming
- Panagbenga Cultural Dance Competition
- Fluvial Parade
- Mardi Gras at the Lake
- A Tribute to the Father of Panagbenga: Atty. Damaso E. Bangaoet Jr. Statue Unveiling Ceremony
Feb 24 to 25
- Flower Tree Golf Classic
- Grand Street Dance Parade
Feb 25 to 26
- Festival Sponsors Row
- Grand Float Parade
Feb 27 to Mar 5
- Session Road in Bloom
- Pony Boys’ Day
- Awarding and Closing Ceremonies
- Grand Aerial Fireworks Display
Panagbenga 2023 Main Events
The main highlights of the annual flower festival include the Grand Street Dance Parade (Feb 25) and Grand Float Parade (Feb 26). Be prepared to be in awe of energetic street performers and magnificent floral floats parading down Session Road.
Of course, the grand opening of Panagbenga (usually held in Burnham Park) is something you don’t want to miss. Meanwhile, the Grand Aerial Fireworks Display will mark the festival’s official closing.
To experience living like a local in Baguio, consider attending the week-long street party that is Session Road in Bloom. The road becomes a one-stop shop for local products from micro, small, and medium enterprises and a go-to place for sidewalk cafes and food stalls.
Where to Stay in Baguio
A day isn’t enough to witness everything Pangabenga Festival has to offer. So if you’re planning to stay in Baguio for a couple of days, here are some places to consider:
Aurora Hill Proper
This quaint barangay in Baguio is home to several transient houses and condo units for rent. One of them is a brand-new, fully-furnished two-bedroom unit, perfect for groups of friends and families.
Aurora Hill Proper is less than 15 minutes away from Baguio’s well-known landmarks, including Session Road, Burnham Park, Baguio Night Market, and Baguio Cathedral.
Located in the southwesternmost part of the city, Dontogan is farther than Aurora Proper Hill. It’s around five kilometers away from SM City Baguio and other nearby landmarks. Nevertheless, the area makes an ideal option, especially for those who want to stay in one of the coolest parts of the city.
This unit for rent inside Green Valley Village, Dontogan has a cozy atmosphere, mountain views, a restaurant, and free WiFi. There’s also a common parking facility inside the village.
This is one of the nearest barangays to Burnham Park, Session Road, and other must-see destinations in the City of Pines. The area is also popular for its accommodation options, including this two-bedroom condo unit good for six to eight people.
Consider staying at Legarda-Burnham-Kisad if you want to be at the city center, enjoy numerous dining options, and see the Session Road in its car-less glory during Session Road in Bloom.
How to Commute to Baguio?
While having a car makes Baguio trips more convenient, reconsider bringing one during the month-long festival. Some roads will be closed for the parade, while others may be congested due to the pool of people visiting for the celebration.
A more practical (but still convenient) alternative when going to Baguio is to commute. Executive buses are now available, with wide legroom and restrooms.
Bus operators Genesis Transport and Joy Bus Transport have buses going to Baguio and terminals in Cubao and Pasay. According to this list of P2P Terminals and Schedules, these operators have the following departure times from the Cubao terminal from Monday to Sunday:
- 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
- 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Joy Bus Transport:
- 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM: first trip
- 12:00 NN
- 7:00 PM: last trip
From Baguio P2P Terminal, departure times are as follows:
Cubao Genesis Transport:
- 1:00 AM – 6:00 AM
- 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- 7:00 PM: last trip
Joy Bus Cubao:
- 7:30 AM: first trip
- 5:00 PM: second trip
- 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM: last trip
Note that departure times are subject to change depending on the number of bookings, traffic, and weather conditions.
Knowing these and the Panagbenga 2023 schedule of activities, you can plan more efficiently for your trip up north.
For all things Baguio, read our Baguio City Guide here.
Source: Panagbenga Festival’s Official Website
Photos via Depositphotos