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Panagbenga Festival: Guide to Baguio’s Blooming Celebration

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:

 

 

How to go to Panagbenga Festival


 

By Air

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.

By Land

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.
 

How to Get Around

Baguio Jeep

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.
 

What to Expect: Panagbenga Festival Activities

Panagbenga Dance Parade
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.
Panagbenga float parade
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.

 

Tips while attending Panagbenga Festival

Panagbenga Celebration
Editorial Credit: Frolova_Elena / Shutterstock.com

  • Check the weather before you head out to the celebrations.
    This way you’ll know what to wear and what to bring with you for convenience.
  • Bring an umbrella.
    The festival is a whole day affair. Protect yourself from the sun or the rain.
  • Secure your belongings.
    You can never be too careful with your valuables in a crowded place.
  • Reserve your transportation and accommodation tickets in advance.
    Since the Panagbenga Festival is peak season for tourists, you might find it difficult to reserve bus tickets or book hotel rooms too close to the start of the festival.

 

Where to Stay

G1 Hotel

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.
 

1. Hotel Veniz Session

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.

2. Benguet Prime Hotel

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.

3. La Brea Inn Session

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!

4. 3BU Hostel

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.

5. G1 Lodge

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.

6. Hotel Henrico – Kisad

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.

7. Citylight Hotel

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.

8. Travelite Express Hotel

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.

9. Villa Silvina Hotel and Restaurant

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.

10. Mines View Park Hotel

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.

Read 10 Cheap Hotels in Baguio for Budget Travelers
 

Where to Eat

Baguio Craft Brewery
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:
 

1. Baguio Craft Brewery

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.

  • Location: 4 Ben Palispis Highway, KM 4
  • Operating Hours: Monday to Friday: 5 PM to 12 MN; Saturday and Sunday: 1 PM to 12 MN

2. Craft 1945

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.

  • Location: 8 Outlook Drive S
  • Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday: 11 AM to 12 MN; Sunday: 10 AM to 12 MN

3. Hill Station

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.

  • Location: Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road
  • Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7 AM to 11 PM

4. Vizco’s Restaurant and Cake Shop

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.

  • Location: Porta Vaga Mall, Session Road
  • Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7 AM to 9 PM

5. Forest House

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.

  • Location: 16 Loakan Road, Camp John Hay
  • Operating Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 11 AM to 9 PM; Friday and Saturday: 11 AM to 10 PM

6. Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant

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.

  • Location: Otek Street
  • Operating Hours: 24 hours daily

7. Oh My Gulay

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!

  • Location: Fortune Care, 108, Session Road
  • Operating Hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 11 AM to 8 PM; Friday and Saturday: 11 AM to 9 PM; Sunday and Monday: 11 AM to 7 PM

 

Things to Do in Baguio

Laperal House Baguio
Laperal House is considered one of Baguio’s most famous haunted spots.

  • Take time to appreciate the art at BenCab Museum. This museum is owned by the renowned national artist, Ben Cabrera. Check out this tour to go on a leisurely half-day tour of the city’s best museums.
  • Have a fun day out with your family or friends at the famous Burnham Park. Here you can have a picnic, bike, or even ride a boat swan at the lake.
  • Head over to La Trinidad Strawberry Fields to pick fresh strawberries. Aside from being the perfect treat, these are the best pasalubong to bring home.
  • Learn about traditional Ifugao crafts at the Ifugao Woodcarver’s Village. You can even buy souvenirs here to support the community.
  • Test your courage and try braving the haunted Laperal house or Diplomat Hotel with your friends or family.
  • Witness the cadets perform drills at the Philippine Military Academy. There’s also a historical museum where you can see vintage tanks and weapons.
  • Bond with your family as you enjoy the overlooking mountain views at Mines View Park. You can also rent Ifugao costumes and buy ornamental plants here.
  • Enjoy a short hike at Tam-Awan Village. Apart from checking out the Cordillera huts, you can have a picnic, hold a bonfire session, and request for the resident artist to create a portrait of you.
  • Try extreme thrills at Tree Top Adventure. Here, you can experience motorized ziplines and canopy rides.
  • Go on a leisurely half-day tour of the Baguio countryside and get to sample the juicy produce at the La Trinidad Strawberry Farm.
  • Visit the Baguio Cathedral and be amazed by its architecture. Specially made for Marian devotees, there’s a half-day tour to help you strengthen your faith.

Discover 15 Fun & Unique Things to Do in Baguio
 

Explore Other Destinations

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.
 

Mt. Pulag National Park

Mount Pulag

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.

San Juan, La Union

La Union sunset

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.

Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces

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.

Atok, Benguet

Northern Blossom Flower Farm in Benguet

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!

Sagada, Mountain Province

Sumaguing Cave in Sagada

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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