Television war, stars highlight Panagbenga

>> Sunday, March 5, 2017

BAGUIO CITY – The brewing television war among a number of giant networks will be one of the highlights of the grand float parade from Upper Session road up to the Melvin Jones football field today (Feb. 26).
Local television stars Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza will be riding the GMA 7 float while Bea Alonzo and Enchong V. will be riding the float of ABS-CBN.
Various Kapuso stars will be celebrating the flower festival with their fans on February 26, 2017, while ABS-CBN will be having their Kapamilya Day with their local stars on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at the Melvin Jones grandstand.
2016 Miss International titlist Kaylie Versoza, who is a native of Baguio City, will be riding the float of Pepsi Cola during the float parade.
 Evangeline Payno, chief of staff of the Panagbenga Executive Committee, said some of the participating companies fielding their own floats preferred to keep their artist guests as a surprise to the public as added excitement.
Of the 22 participating floats, 10 were classified as large floats, 9 small while the float of the City Government of Baguio, Baguio Country Club and SM City Baguio are non-competing floats. Both Baguio Country Club and SM City Baguio are Hall of Fame awardees in the grand float parade, one of the major highlights of the flower festival.
The small floats include ASUS Philippines, Brandboss Inc. (Coca-cola), International Press Center and Asia-Pacific Theological Seminary, Lubao International Balloon Festival, Maybank Phils., Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), Valley Bread, Wedding Memories, and Wellmade Manufacturing.
On the other hand, the big floats will be presented by ABS—CBN, Department of Tourism, GMA Network Inc., International Pharmaceutical Inc., Jollibee Foods Corporation., M. Lhullier Phils., Manila North Tollways Corporation, Pepsi Cola Products Philippines Inc., Sitel Phils. Corp., and Taloy Norte Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative.
Payno claimed there were supposed to be 24 floats that will participate but two entries have to withdraw because of alleged internal concerns that were not immediately addressed.
Freddie Alquiroz, co-chairman of the Panagbenga Executive Committee, said the limited number of floatmakers in the city has reportedly hindered a number of companies interested to join the float parade because there is no longer sufficient time for them to prepare quality floats in time for the float parade this weekend.
While there were some companies that were not able to join the float parade this year, Payno said there were some companies that came back for the promotion of their new products and some companies decided to sustain their participation in the float parade in support to the flower festival.
She said organizers made sure that the floats were of good quality even if they are few.
This, as participants in their recycled materials and Cordillera-inspired finery marched down to the Athletic Bowl, Burnham Park for their routine yesterday.  
Aguinaldo, Baguio Central, Camp 6, Dominican-Mirador, Dona Aurora, Jose P. Laurel, Josefa Carino, Mabini and Pinget elementary school  dancing contingents with their drum and lyre groups battled it out for a hundred and fifty thousand grand prize with an additional incentive from the city.
The four high school contingents also were given their due; first prize with P100,000; second, P70,000; third is P50,000 and the consolation place got P30,000. The open category with eight contestants from the city colleges and barangays, Bulacan, Kalinga, Pugo, La Union, and Manaoag, Pangasinan were in for the P130,000; P100,000; and P80,000 first, second and third prizes respectively.
The judges for the streetdancing and ground demonstration performances are Gabriele Alinio, Ferdinand Balanag, Normita Pablico, Joseph Andrew Carvajal, Rochelle Joy Gonzales, John Glenn Gaerlan and Dennis Paraguas.
 The Baguio flower Festival or Panagbenga is the only festival of the Philippines acknowledged by International Festival and Event Association of the World.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan bared this saying Panagbenga Festival has qualified as one of entries in world festival and events.
He added hopefully, Baguio will win the Global States Award, another recognition of teamwork to hold the festival every February.
This, as a  Malacanang official  is promoting integration of internationally-accredited Baguio Flower Festival into the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) community.     
“We are partners for change, we only will not engage other regions of the Philippines - we will be one with ASEAN. We can engage the world,” Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said during Panagbenga opening program at Athletic Bowl.

Banaag said the Panagbenga, now on its 22nd year, can be among the pride of the country to the ASEAN community for having reached international standards and being the only local festival accredited by the International Festival and Events Association. – Dexter A. See, Julie G. Fianza, Carlito Dar and Nikki Charoyen


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