The Panagbenga Festival, which is happening this February 1, 2019, is Baguio’s grandest festivity. Held annually during February, this popular festival 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.
What started out as a two-week festival is now a month long celebration.
Here’s a quick guide to how you can experience the festival, what to expect during this event, and 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.
You can easily get around Baguio city via taxis, jeepneys, or a personal car. Be warned that traffic can get pretty heavy during rush hours.
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.
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 for your festival trip? Check out these hotels all under P3,000. Enjoy a comfortable stay in the city with easy access to tourist spots and festival activities.
A huge perk of staying in this hotel is its central location, which gives guests easy access to view the flower parade during Panagbenga festival.
Location: 45 Session Road, Baguio City Proper, Baguio City, Benguet
Price range: P2,300 – P2,800
Whether you’re here for fun or for business, this hotel welcomes you with modern features and a prime location near the Baguio Cathedral and session road.
Location: 245 Upper General Luna Rd., Baguio City Proper, Baguio City, Benguet
Price range: P2,300 – P2,900
This budget-friendly hotel is conveniently located near the famous Burnham Park and City Market. You can easily walk to establishments or shop your heart out at local ukay-ukay stores.
Location: Shuntug St. corner F. Bautista Drive, Baguio City Proper, Baguio City, Benguet
Price range: P1,600 – P2,200
Image Credit: @cafebytheruinsph / Facebook.com
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:
Warm yourself up by trying out the famous hot chocolate at this must-visit cafe. You can even buy pasalubong here as well.
This Baguio restaurant is well-known for their retro diner inspired theme with neon lights and American pop culture memorabilia on display. They serve fish and chips, steaks, and classic pinoy favorites.
This classic Baguio cafe is a go-to for those craving some good old coffee to fend off the cold weather. Don’t forget to try their highly recommended champorado if you drop by.
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 cafes 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.
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!
Go and join the gathering!
Every April, Dagupan City honors its rich milkfish industry by celebrating the Bangus Festival.