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Color, grace highlight beauty of Panagbenga

Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2014 - 7:12pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Panagbenga has come alive with color, pomp, and grace. Saturday’s street dancing parade has seemed to douse all early troubles as the festival earlier contended with “questions” on funding and transparency. On Sunday’s flower float parade, the crowd is further expected to triple, said festival co-chairman Anthony de Leon. The festival has become more colorful every year, he said, adding that Panagbenga, which will run till March 2, is “a beaming success”. Flower-clad street dancers showed the spirit of community and reverence to the Northern culture especially to the highland indigenous tradition. Now on its 19th year, the festival has continued to dazzle both the visitors and the locals. Benguet native Rosario Atos who has participated in the dancing revelries for three times now has noticed changes in the parade , which now highlights the Athletic Bowl showdown competitions instead of the dancing in the streets. Still she believes, it is “her festival” and she is proud of it. Her friend Cecilia Pelayo from Parañaque, whom she brought with her for the first time here, said the Panagbenga is “very nice, very festive, very good”. Councilor Elmer Datuin, Tourism committee chairman, said the flower float parade always draws in a bigger crowd. Mayor Mauricio Domogan boasts that the festival is still one of a kind in the country. The lure of Panagbenga is tremendous, Domogan said, citing the massive traffic jams since Wednesday last week when revelers started to flock to the city. An estimated 2.5 million revelers are expected by the tourism leaders in the city, a half a million hike from last year’s vistors

ATHLETIC BOWL BENGUET CECILIA PELAYO COUNCILOR ELMER DATUIN DOMOGAN MAYOR MAURICIO DOMOGAN ON SUNDAY PANAGBENGA ROSARIO ATOS
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