Monday, March 2, 2009

The flora and fauna escapade

Being my first destination for the start of my long-term plan, to visit all Philippine Festivals, I was very, exaggeratedly, extremely excited about Panagbenga 2009. 

Forgive me. It's my first Panagbenga.

All things were set. Off we go from Manila to the City of Pines, Baguio.

I quite expected the thick cloud of people and I am not just talking about hundreds of people here, I'm talking about thousands and thousands of people from north to south and from east to west anticipating and spectating the beauty of Panagbenga 2009.


What does Panagbenga suppose to mean? How did everything start?

From Malayo-Polynesian origin, Panagbenga literally means "season of blooming." This started as a tribute to Bauio City's abundance of flowers and as a way to resurrect from the devastation of the 1990 landslide that almost erased the city from the Philippine Map.

Formerly known as the Baguio Flower Festival, Panagbenga is a brainchild of Atty. Damaso Bangaoet, Jr. of the John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation and Victor A. Lim of the Bases Conversion Development Authority which was basically to boost the city's tourism on the month of February after Christmas and before Holy Week.

Going back to our trip, it wasn't really the best Baguio experience, rather it was not the usual Baguio I used to visit. 

Being my very first Panagbenga, I wasn't used to the traffic, the influx of thousands and thousands of people, and the not-the-usual-Baguio Baguio. It was really a mayhem. 

You wanted to drink but the lines literally long. You go order your dinner, but there are no seats. Then I asked, what has happened to Baguio?

However, I totally had the best Baguio trip ever.

Not because of Mines View, but because of the Strawberry-flavored taho. 

Not because of SM City Baguio, but because of the overwhelming and welcoming people.

Not because of the noise of the band, but because of cute little kids who joined the parade.

Not because of the free meals I ate, but because of the cheerful company bonding.

Not because of the lost in Baguio experience, but because of the time to explore it.

Not because of the unlikely deeds, but because of a friend we gained.

And not only because of the festival, but because of the precious time I spent with my partner.

This trip will surely me remembered for the rest of my life.