BAGUIO CITY – Out of 40 applicants, only 23 were able to make it to the final list of participants for the Grand Float Parade of Panagbenga 2018.
Concerns such as manpower and staging areas for the construction of floats were cited as the reason for the steady number of float entries.
Anthony De Leon, chairperson on the committee for the Grand Float parade and a member of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) board of trustees, said that the average number of entries for the float parade for the past years, on average, is only 12.
“It doesn’t go up as much as we want since the float making industry has not really been able to cope with this kind of demand during this time of the year. They can only handle so much,” he said.
De Leon added that one designer is in charge of making four floats this year.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan admitted the lack of manpower and appealed to interested public to take this as an opportunity to learn.
“Marami ang gustong mag-participate pero kulang tayo sa talented float makers. If possible, we can coordinate with TESDA and come up with training for this one (float making). Our festival may be held once a year but this skill can be utilized in other areas of the country,” the mayor said.
Frederico Alquiros, co-chairman of the executive committee for the Panagbenga Festival, stated that the Baguio Convention center is already fully occupied by participants for the construction of their floats and Baguio Country Club has already accommodated three companies to have their floats made inside their compound.
“We are running out of space in the city to stage the making of the floats. You cannot make the float far away. If they want to compete properly, they need to make the float near the Central Business District or else flowers may wilt and fall off and as a result, points will be deducted,” he added.
Air Asia, one of this year’s supposed participant, backed out due to the lack of manpower and designer for their float. LALAINE T. PAYAY, UB Intern