Blooming Again: The Joyful Return of the Panagbenga Grand Parades
Years after the pandemic muted the Panagbenga marching songs, the Baguio City’s main streets came alive again with that familiar sound. The vibrant celebration of the season of blooming in Baguio City is finally back in full swing and last weekend we saw the return of the Grand Street Dance and the Grand Float parades.
The Grand Street Dance Parades
If there is such a thing as revenge travel then there should also be a revenge street dance. This is because the participants of the Grand Street Dance parade danced their hearts out. There is no exception, all of the participants danced tirelessly from Upper Session road to the Melvin Jones grandstand. Each street dance group performed three years worth of dance which, we are sure, gave the judges a difficult time fulfilling their role.
So far, we can say that this is the Grandest performance by every group since the start of the Baguio Flower Festival. Not only can you see the passion in their performance, but you can also feel it. The chants, the synchronicity of their movements and the smiles on their faces as they danced and paraded in their costumes and props at an approximate distance of 1.7 kilometers.
Final performances were done at the Melvin Jones Grandstand and each group showcased their pieces as if it was their first time performing. Not minding the fact that they already danced several times from Upper Session Road to Harrison Road.
To all who participated we say congratulations, each and every one deserves a commendation. However, the Grand Street Dance is also a competition, and there were some group participants that stood out from the rest. The competition was categorized into 3, these are, Festival Street Dance, Drum and Lyre and Cultural Dance.
Here is the list of winners during the Panagbenga 2023 Grand Street Dance Parade.
Festival Street Dance
- 1st Place – Saint Louis University, Baguio City
- 2nd Place – Tribu Rizal, Rizal National School of Arts and Trades, Rizal Kalinga
- 3rd Place – University of the Cordilleras, Baguio City
Drum and Lyre
- 1st Place – Baguio Central Elementary School, Baguio City
- 2nd Place – Tuba Central School, Benguet
- 3rd Place – Josefa Cariño Elementary School, Baguio City
- 4th Place – Lucban Elementary School, Baguio City
- 1st Place – Saeng Ya Kasay Cultural Ensemble, University of the Cordilleras, Baguio City
- 2nd Place – Uggayam Turayan Cultural Group, San Vicente, Baguio City
- 3rd Place – Labban di E-lagan Indigenous Peoples Organization, Laban, Sabangan, Mountain Province
Watch the Grand Street Dance Parade Full here
The Grand Float Parade
The Second day of the Grand parades is the much-awaited Grand Float Parade. Inspired after the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena California, the Grand Float parade is a showcase of colors and creativity. For the Panagbenga 2023 Grand Float parade, every participant gave their best in designing their floats with flowers and plants.
While the colorful and creatively designed floats are already a feast to the eyes, it was made more enticing by the celebrities on top of the float saying hi to their fans and spectators. The city of Baguio float design is the Phoenix. Phoenix symbolizes rebirth.
Fun fact, the very first Panagbenga was held with the purpose of revitalizing the abysmal tourism industry after the 1990 earthquake. The recovery of Baguio City and the revitalization of the tourism industry with the help of the Panagbenga festival was likened to the rise of the Phoenix after its rebirth.
The Panagbenga 2023 Grand Parades Conclusion
The Panagbenga 2023 Grand Street Dance and Grand Float Parades have once again proven that the spirit of Baguio City’s Panagbenga festival is alive and well. The energy, passion, and creativity displayed by the participants in both parades were truly remarkable.
As the pandemic forced the cancellation of the festival for two years, the return of the grand parades has given a sense of hope and a reminder that life goes on. It is a celebration of life, of rebirth, and of the resilience of the people of Baguio City.
The success of the Panagbenga 2023 Grand Parades is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and creativity of everyone involved, from the participants to the organizers, sponsors, and volunteers. It is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, the human spirit can rise above and triumph over adversity.
With the return of the Panagbenga festival, we look forward to more years of celebration, culture, and community in Baguio City. The Panagbenga festival is more than just a showcase of colors and creativity; it is a celebration of the rich culture and heritage of the Cordillera region. It is a time for people to come together, to share stories, and to make new memories.
As the last strains of the marching songs fade away and the last petals fall from the grand floats, we are left with a feeling of gratitude and hope. We are grateful for the opportunity to witness the grand parades and to be part of the Panagbenga festival, and we are hopeful for the future of Baguio City and the Cordillera region.