Panagbenga Festival

Panagbenga Festival is a cultural, flower, and environmental festival held in Baguio City in Benguet, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines beginning in the first of February every year. The only festival in the city, its calendar of activities lasts over a month and likewise celebrates indigenous people in Cordillera. It is singularly marked with colorful grand floral float and street parades. The festivities attract over 1.5 million visitors annually.

History of Panagbenga Festival

Panagbenga Festival comes from panagbenga, a word in Kankanaey language that means season of efflorescence. The festival was conceptualized by Damaso E. Bangaoet, Jr. of John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation in 1995. The initiative intended to create a city-wide festivity as a way to move forward from an earthquake that shook the city and Luzon in 1990, celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Cordilleras, give a nod to its thriving flower industry, and promote environmental conservation.

It was readily embraced by the local government as well as civil society, schools, and other organizations within the city. Interestingly, its logo was a slightly modified result of an art-making competition that was launched solely for such purpose. Simultaneously, the month of February was chosen to drive tourism at the time of the year when it is the coldest and business activities are dampened by periodic decrease of visitors.

When it was first held to much fanfare in 1996, it was called Baguio Flower Festival. The goal was to introduce Baguio again to the national stage, shaking away the images of ruin in the aftermath of the earthquake and painting a welcoming picture of the vibrant mountain resort city. Amelita Ramos, then the First Lady of the Philippines, was one of the honored guests in attendance. In that same year, it was agreed that it would be rebranded for the coming years following the suggestion of Isikias Picpican of Saint Louis University Museum. Hence, it has been known as Panagbenga Festival since 1997.

The festival is organized by the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, city government of Baguio, and private sector.

Panagbenga Festival was not held in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19.

Panagbenga Dance

Panagbenga dance is performed to the tune of the official hymn created by Macario Fronda from Saint Louis University. Its movements reflect the celebration practices called Bendian dance of the ethnic Ibaloi group.

Panagbenga Festival Schedule of Activities

Panagbenga Festival events are numerous that are spread across a schedule in the months of February and March. They include, among other activities, competitions in floral arrangement, marching bands, landscaping, kite flying, and drum-and-lyre. There are also trade fairs, exhibits, art and cultural and variety shows, and fireworks displays.

Here are some of the highlights.

Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Exposition

Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Exposition covers the entire calendar of the festival. Businesses, from small and medium enterprises to corporations, can put on display their crafts and products for sale. One of its many highlights are products and services in landscaping and gardening. It is also one of the activities that generate income for the organizing committee to help fund the celebration.

Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilya Baguio

Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilya Baguio is a day designed for families. Parents and their kids can enjoy a day full of wholesome fun and activities geared towards child-friendly entertainment. They include various art painting, contests, kite-flying, variety shows, etc.

Grand Float Parade

Grand Float Parade is one of the main events of the entire festival. It features big and small float categories that have creative floral decorations and designs. They are participated by businesses and other organizations that join a competition where the best floats receive cash prizes. It is usually scheduled in the first week of March.

Grand Street Dance Parade

Grand Street Dance Parade features performers presenting innovative cultural dances that highlight the traditions of the inhabitants of the Cordillera area. It is a showdown of contingents belonging to different schools or representing a number of localities, expressing through dance, music, costumes, and songs their culture, identity, and proud heritage of Cordillera. Just like the parade, it is slotted in the first week of March.

Flower Tree Open Golf Tournament

Flower Tree Open Golf Tournament is a golf event that is usually held in Baguio Country Club. Participants can choose to be part of in different categories: A, B, C, guest, juniors, ladies, and seniors.

Where to go

Major activities happen in Harrison Road, Panagbenga Park, Session Road, Burnham Park, Baguio Convention Center, Melvin Jones Football grounds, Camp John Hay, and Baguio Country Club.

How to reach Baguio City

Baguio can be reached via air through Loakan airport. However, it is only available for small planes as the runway is not suitable for commercial flights. People can also choose to land in Clark International Airport. Bus trips are also available from different origin points in Luzon.


Panagbenga Festival Summary

NamePanagbenga Festival
CelebrationCulture, Environment
Contact(074) 442 4315
Date1st of February
DurationOver 30 days
FounderDamaso E. Bangaoet, Jr.
LocationBaguio City, Benguet
OrganizerBaguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc., City Government of Baguio, Private Sector
Other NamesPanagbenga