The Baguio City government and the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) have announced that the city’s annual Panagbenga Festival will be moved to a later date for this year, 2021.
Andrew Pinero, chairman of the media committee of the festival, said the decision came in light of concerns surrounding the recent entry of the UK COVID-19 variant into the country. (Read: Here’s Why the World Is Alarmed by the UK COVID-19 Variant)
“With the health and safety as the primary concern due to the entry of the UK variant of COVID-19 in the country and the pending rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, both [the Baguio City government and the BFFFI] have decided to move the conduct of the Panagbenga at a later date,” Pinero said in an interview.
When asked about the possible date for this year’s Panagbenga Festival, Pinero said that everything is still undecided and will depend on how the situation will progress in the coming months. (Read: Organizers Cancel All Physical and Virtual Events for Sinulog 2021)
“Health and safety kasi ang importante. Kaya kailangan ma-assess situation before deciding when it will be held,” he explained.
The Panagbenga Festival is a month-long flower festival that is celebrated in Baguio City every year. Held in the month of February, the festival pays tribute to the city’s flowers and its indigenous peoples. (Read: Catch the culmination of the 2019 Panagbenga Festival!)
Every year, flocks of tourists visit the city to see the festival’s grand float parade that showcases the city’s most beautiful flowers. The celebrations are also not one without fireworks displays and street dance performances by locals who are usually clad in festive flower-inspired costumes. All of these major events are held on the third weekend of February.
In February 2020, the 25th Panagbenga Festival was also canceled as the COVID-19 pandemic was already starting to gain momentum in the Philippines.