Happening this February to March, the 25th Panagbenga Festival is Baguio’s grandest festivity that brings in tourists from different parts of the Philippines and the world.
Panagbenga in Kankanaey language means “a season of blooming”. Every year, the city of Baguio holds a flower festival as a celebration of Baguio rising from the destruction caused by an earthquake in 1990.
Here’s a quick guide to how you can experience the festival the best way possible, what to expect during this event, and more tips:
You can hop on a flight headed to Clark International Airport, which is the closest airport to Baguio.
If you’re flying to Manila via Ninoy Aquino International Airport, you can take a bus headed to the mountainous province.
Buses are the main mode of transportation going to Baguio. Bus lines in Pasay, Cubao, and Buendia terminals usually have a route headed for Baguio.
The travel time usually takes around four to five hours, depending on traffic. It can be shorter if you take the midnight buses.
If you want a convenient way to go to the City of Pines and experience the Panagbenga Festival, book this day tour! You will be provided with comfy transportation from Pasay City to Baguio and vice-versa. This tour also includes stopovers to several attractions in Benguet.
You can easily get around Baguio city via taxis, jeepneys, or a personal car. Be warned that traffic can get pretty heavy during rush hour.
During the festival, traffic can get worse so be prepared to tackle the city on foot. Usually though, you’ll find trusty cabs and jeepneys ready to take you to your destination.
Buses are also available if you’re planning to go to nearby provinces like La Union and Ilocos.
To save on your trips, you may also book this half-day join-in tour of the city. You will be picked up from your hotel, given that it’s located within Baguio.
Editorial Credit: Frolova_Elena / Shutterstock.com
One of the highlights of the festival is the parade, which features floats artfully decorated with flowers and the street dancers wearing well made flower-themed costumes and props. An ode to Baguio’s stunning flora, the Panagbenga flower festival is truly a sight to behold.
Events that you can expect during the month-long festivities include the Opening Parade, Canao, which is a traditional festival dance, bazaars and fairs, the famous Float Parade, and the closing ceremony.
A lot of the roads will be closed during the parades to make way for the floats, dancers, and marching bands.
Editorial credit: Tony Magdaraog / Shutterstock.com
The dancers are usually composed of different tribes and even different groups from participating schools.
The roads will be filled with people from different corners of the country and the globe. Expect a lot of dancing, street parties, and perfectly timed drum beats filling your ears. The stunning performances of the dancers and the beautifully decorated floats will definitely be the highlight of your trip.
Editorial Credit: Frolova_Elena / Shutterstock.com
Looking for budget-friendly accommodations in Baguio for your festival trip? We’ve listed recommendations where you can take advantage of easy access to tourist spots and festival activities.
Just nearby Baguio’s busiest streets, Hotel Veniz Session is close to several eateries and business centers in the city. After attending the festival events, you may stroll at Burnham Park, which is just 400 meters away.
With affordable room rates, this hotel is ideal for budget-conscious travelers who want to spend more on activities than on accommodations. It is also within walking distance from the Victory Liner station.
Within the building, there are establishments like a hair and nail salon, a tattoo parlor, a massage place, and an internet shop. It’s also close to the best bars in the city. Talk about convenience!
If you’re traveling solo, 3BU Hostel is the perfect hostel for you. It is located in the city proper, so you don’t have to hail a cab should you want to witness the colorful parade.
Neat rooms with beautiful city views—that’s what G1 Lodge is well known for. Just a few steps from the lodge is the famous Session Road, where you can find must-try restaurants, shops, and pasalubong stalls.
Another strategically located hotel, Hotel Henrico – Kisad offers a majestic view of the city. Start your day with a free cup of coffee and get ready to explore Baguio’s top destinations, most of which are only a short cab ride away.
Book a stay here and get easy access to bargain shopping and a sumptuous breakfast buffet. The property’s interior design is too pretty to ignore. There’s also a rooftop terrace where you can take photos of the beautiful cityscape.
Friendly staff members will warmly greet you the moment you step into the hotel. You can ask them for tips on where to go first. Burnham Park is a few strides away, and so is Good Taste Café & Restaurant, a must-visit dining place in the city.
You’ll love this three-star hotel not only for its cozy rooms but for its accommodating staff and lush gardens. After a day of exploring, fill your tummy with appetizing meal sets at the in-house restaurant.
Imagine enjoying a comfy rest in a pleasant room after a day of festival fun. Mines View Park Hotel doesn’t disappoint when it comes to providing guests with little hotel pleasures. And oh, try their strawberry drink, coffee, and Baguio longganisa.
Image Credit: Baguio Craft Brewery via Facebook
Take the festivities as an opportunity to explore different restaurants and coffee shops in the city. Don’t miss out on some of the best food Baguio has to offer. Discover some Instagram-worthy restaurants or try out these recommended spots:
Enjoy a great night over a selection of craft beers and filling dishes to go with it. What makes the restaurant even better is the cool ambiance that fills the place.
Known for its succulent food and quick service, Craft 1945 is another option if you want to celebrate the night with a mug of malt. Their tapa selection is not to miss, too.
Looking for a romantic dining place? Hill Station is the answer. This is where you can order huge portions of food without sacrificing taste and quality.
Don’t leave Baguio without trying the famous strawberry cake from Vizco’s. This is the place to be when looking for decadent desserts that are worth every calorie intake.
This family-friendly restaurant with a rustic atmosphere is known for its vegan and vegetarian-friendly meal options at affordable rates. If you have sudden cravings for healthy food, go here.
True to its name, Good Taste serves a wide selection of tasty meals, including savory dishes and vegetarian options. They also offer yummy pastries that you can order in sets—perfect as pasalubong.
Popular across several social media channels, Oh My Gulay is an Instagrammable place serving—well, you guessed it—vegan and gluten-free options. An important detail you have to know: they offer refillable coffee!
Laperal House is considered one of Baguio’s most famous haunted spots.
Have time to spare before or after the festivities? Head to these other destinations in the North and see for yourself some of it’s pride and joy.
Famous for its “sea of clouds”, Mt. Pulag has a trail that both beginner and experienced hikers love to trek. Aside from the sea of clouds, climbers can also experience the stunning view of the Milky Way and a beautiful sunrise view depending on the weather.
Just one and a half hours away from Baguio, you’ll find one of the surf capitals of the North. It is well known for its chill waves and growing community of cafés and restaurants.
Why not cross off a UNESCO World Heritage Site after the festival celebrations? Only five hours away from Baguio, Banaue Rice Terraces are man-made terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao by their indigenous people.
Take your camera with you as you visit the Northern Blossom Flower Farm. This colorful place is peppered with rare, gorgeous blooms such as hoary stocks, larkspurs, and snapdragons. Another site you can check out in Atok is the Sakura Park—you don’t have to fly abroad to see cherry blossoms!
A quiet town in the Cordillera Mountains, Sagada welcomes hikers and free spirits. Get ready to wake up early to see the marvelous sunrise. Sumaguing Cave is also located here, an attraction ideal for those who are into spelunking.
Want to discover more of Baguio’s hidden gems? Check out these other Baguio tourist spots.
Come and witness the Panagbenga Festival. Book your hotel in Baguio here!
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