News and Updates
Frasco: Panagbenga Festival touts Baguio’s tourism resurgence
BAGUIO CITY — Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco on Sunday (26 Feb) lauded the highly-anticipated return of the Baguio City’s Panagbenga Festival.
“After three years of hiatus because of the pandemic, Baguio is back, and what a beautiful return!” enthused the tourism chief.
“The vigor with which you have developed your city as a community, uniting it to celebrate your culture and traditions, reflects your undying passion to promote Baguio as a haven for arts and culture. Without question, the Panagbenga Festival, which started as a community endeavor, has evolved into a now world-class celebration. A major tourism driver in Northern Luzon, Panagbenga reflects a season of blooming. Since its inception in 1996, it has played a significant role in both the local economic and national tourism development of this city and our country,” Secretary Frasco remarked.
During her speech, the tourism secretary also laid out plans for the department’s flagship program, the Philippine Experience, “which aims to expose our tourists not only to the tourist destinations but also to the living cultural traditions of our regions.”
“And we cannot wait to bring the Philippine Experience here to Baguio so that people from all over the Philippines and all over the world can rediscover the beauty of Baguio,” added Secretary Frasco.
“This grand float parade is more than just a stunning display of artistry. It is a testament to our collective identity. A statement of our resolve to stay true to our roots while embracing the future. It is a call to unite, to celebrate, and to create memories that will last a lifetime,” shared Mayor Benjamin Magalong during his welcome remarks.
In 2022, Baguio, being among the first cities to reopen in the midst of the pandemic, has already welcomed a total of 1,042,309 travelers both domestic and international.
As of January this year, 57,241 local and foreign visitors had visited Baguio.
“Baguio City, with all its colors, its people, its tradition, and your history and heritage combined, indeed has made and will continue to make a lasting imprint on our visitors’ memories and build a positive image of your city and our country. These aspects form part of the holistic approach the Department of Tourism wishes to pursue for tourism development. And we are very happy to find in Baguio a partner in this regard. You can rest assured that you have a partner in the Department of Tourism as we transform the tourism industry under the Marcos Administration,” Secretary Frasco asserted.
Senator Lito Lapid, Senator Imee Marcos, Philippine National Police Chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr., Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista, La Trinidad, Benguet Mayor Romeo Salda, Philippine Military Academy Lieutenant General Rowen Tolentino, Congressman Mark Go, Baguio Flower Festival Inc. Chairman Baguio Country Club General Manager Anthony De Leon, Chairman for Life Atty Mauricio Domogan, DOT officials including Undersecretary Ferdinand Jumapao, and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) Chief Operating Officer Mark Lapid, and delegations from Tibet, Yongsan-gu, Korea, and Cebu also graced the flower festival.
Baguio folks and guests can enjoy the remaining activities of the Panagbenga Festival, which include the Session Road in Bloom, the landscaping competition and exhibition at the Melvin Jones Football Ground, and the Market Encounter products and food fair at the Burnham Park Lake side.
The month-long festival, with the theme “A Renaissance of Wonder and Beauty” will conclude on March 5 with the closing program and grand fireworks display.
Published:March 1, 2023