Panagbenga street parade rolls Senatorial bets in appearance

BAGUIO CITY — Thousands of spectators braved the chilly Saturday morning weather in the Summer Capital and queued through the crowd as early as five o’clock to watch the Grand Dance Street Parade, a major highlight of the annual “Panagbenga” festival.
Three senatorial bets were noticed in the parade route together with some city officials,and had a field day waving to enthusiastic spectators despite a city council resolution discouraging politicians from joining the street dance parade: Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Manuel Mercado “Lito” Lapid. “I was invited by Councilor Datuin, Mayor Domogan and Congressman Mark Go. I was urprised to see two of my running mates of Hugpong ng Pagbabago, Revilla and Lapid,” Marcos said in an interview.
Marcos added that it was Senator Cynthia Villar who she expected, but did not show up. The three senatorial bets tried all their best not to break the parade route, however, a number of spectators forced their way in, for a photo opportunity with them.
The resolution numbered 052, series of 2019 clearly prohibits candidates on “any activities that may slow down or interrupt the conduct of the parade, including handshaking, taking pictures with the public, handing giveaways or any other similar activities.”
Festival organizer Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Incorporated [BFFFI] supported the city resolution disallowing electoral candidates to join the parade route, further delegating the Athletic Bowl grandstand as the area allotted for candidates invited for the festivities.
Spectators enthusiastically watched the presentation of the 17 Grand Street Dance Parade contingents after arduous weeks of preparation.
This 24th edition of the festival carries the theme “Blooming Forward.” A colorful and culture-inspired presentation by the different groups, punctuated the day with countless families bonded together.
Friendships rekindled as they watched participants display their different pieces. Baguio City National High School (BCNHS), presented the “Wonders of Baguio”, which depicts the ethnicity and the cultural identity of the different tribes of Cordillera.
The University of the Cordilleras Senior High School showcased the “Ullalim”, an Epic of Love of Maducayan, which wowed the crowd. Saint Louis University captured the crowd with their amazing presentation of “Rice is Life”, which shows the abundance of the Rice Terraces in Ifugao, occasionally called the “Eighth Wonder of the World.
The event was also highlighted by the special participation of “Tribu Ilonganon”, a contingent from Ilocos Norte. Meanwhile, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan led other local officials and officers of BFFFI in the celebration, along with officials from Baguio-La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT), led by Benguet Governor Crescencio Pacalso, and other delegates from sisterhood ties, both from foreign and local government units (LGUs).
Primo Agatep/Cindy Mandapat/ABN

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