BAGUIO CITY (5-Nov-2012/PNA) – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan Monday led the launching of the 18th Baguio Flower Festival known as “Panagbenga”, the biggest tourism event in this mountain resort 250 kilometers north of Manila.
During the launching rites, Mayor Domogan said the festival is essential to this city in keeping its international tourism industry sustained.
The festival activities take place the whole month of February each year, and extends until first week of March.
To recall, the festival began during the rebuilding stage of the city devastated by the July 16, 1990 “killer quake” where at least nine big hotels went down with the temblor measured at 8.7 magnitude in the Richter Scale.
This festival and other tourism-oriented activities restored the confidence of visitors that Baguio remains an excellent tourists destination being the “Summer Capital of the Philippines”.
The vestiges of that powerful earthquake were almost gone, except along South Driver where the site of the former five-star Hyatt Terraces once stood. The spacious lot there remains vacant.
The festival’s effects to the economy of Baguio became encompassing as the presence of an average of one million visitors during the whole duration of the festival from February to March every year had also hastened more development of other sectors like agriculture, commerce and industry.
Domogan assured that every edition of the festival have new features to lure visitors to keep coming back to enjoy the month-long festivities. During Panagbenga tons of flowers are used during the main events like float parade and street dancing.
The mayor said the city’s funds for the festival are now ready, including the expected contributions from the private sector which had always been helpful to make the event a success. (PNA)