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How to Survive Panagbenga 2018: Practical Tips for the Smart Tourist

Join the Summer Capital's annual tribute to the city's colorful flowers.

By: Liezl Formilleza-Dunuan | February 15, 2018

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Panagbenga 2018 tips

Warrior dance during the Street Dance Parade

Image: Miguel Isidro Photography via Flickr


Braving the crowds this year to catch the 23rd Panagbenga Flower Festival? Then this guide is for you. This year’s theme is “Celebration of Culture and Creativity.” Whether it’s your first time or your nth time to join the festivities, count on this guide for a more enjoyable and stress-free Panagbenga experience.


1. Gear up with comfortable clothes, shoes, and other essential accessories.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

It’s best to be ready for unexpected weather changes, so bring an umbrella.



The first thing you should check during your stay is the weather in Baguio. According to online weather forecasts for the parade weekend (February 24 to 25), it will be partly cloudy with some afternoon showers. The temperature will range from 15 degrees to 20 degrees Celsius, but remember that temperatures can drop lower especially in the early morning and late evening.

Your clothes should keep you warm but not too hot. The best approach is to layer your clothes so that when it gets warmer, you can just take off some of the layers. Depending on where you are located, it is also best that you wear clothes that are not too tight. You may end up sitting on the side of the street (along Session Road) for most of the spectacle.

The parade usually starts at 8:00 AM and lasts until noontime, so an umbrella, a sun hat, or sunglasses would come in handy when you are under the mid-morning sun.




2. Find the perfect parade-watching perch.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Watching the Street Dance parade along Session Road

Image: lolay via Flickr


If you want to find the perfect spot to watch the parade, you have to head out of your hotel early. Early means 5:00 or 6:00 AM. The parade usually starts at 8:00 AM so they close off the parade route to vehicles by 7:00 AM. Going early means you can still have a taxi take you to where you want before they close off the roads.

Session Road is usually the first choice for most tourists. Thus, it can get very crowded there, making it very difficult to see the parade up close unless you are there as early as 5:00 AM. Among the best spots are in front of Porta Vaga Mall, and at the corner of Session Road and the road that comes from the Cathedral.

If you want a less crowded spot, go nearer to the starting point. For the Street Dancing Parade that starts at Panagbenga Park along Upper Session, you can try looking for a post along the road, near Café by the Ruins DUA and Mario’s Restaurant, or the Caltex station. The Float Parade starts in front of the DILG office, near SM Baguio, so you can check out spots near Casa Vallejo and the surrounding area.

Remember that you will likely get to watch the parade while sitting on the pavement, so if you don’t want to mess up your clothes, bring along something for you to sit on like a piece of old cardboard or a large plastic bag.




3. Bring food and water



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Don’t forget to hydrate.



Although there are many restaurants and eateries to choose from along Session Road, you may not want to leave your spot for fear that someone might grab it, or worse, you may not be able squeeze yourself back in. You can avoid being hungry by bringing snacks such as biscuits, crackers, and other non-messy food items. Hydrate with lots of drinking water—you may not feel hot and sweaty at any given moment because of the weather, but you will still need your water.


4. Locate the nearest comfort room for emergencies.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

You might also want to bring a pack of wet wipes or tissue for convenience.



Once you decide on your perch, try and locate the nearest comfort room. If you are along Session, it may mean finding the nearest restaurant where you can enter. Along Upper Session Road, the Caltex station has CR facilities as well. If you are watching near Harrison Road, pay comfort rooms can be found at the Melvin Jones open field.


5. Be considerate enough to throw your garbage properly.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Don’t litter!



Baguio, like any other city, is struggling with its waste management, so every bit of help from visitors and residents counts. Don’t leave your garbage anywhere along Session Road, or any other public road for that matter. Bring a large disposable plastic bag where you can gather all your waste (food containers, candy wrappers, etc.) and find the nearest garbage bin where you can properly dispose of it. Let us do our share to help maintain Baguio’s cleanliness.


6. Take care of your belongings.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Guard your valuables to avoid being a victim of thieves.



Chances are you will come equipped with your smartphones, digital cameras, and/or other gadgets. And because crowds are a favorite spot for pickpockets and thieves, one cannot emphasize enough how important it is to safeguard your gadgets and other personal belongings.


7. Deal with the traffic, road closures, and lack of taxis with the following tips.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Heavy traffic is expected during the event.



Because major city roads will be closed during the parades, expect the traffic to be heavy. Also, expect that it will be difficult to hail taxi cabs, as they will be avoiding areas near the parade route like the plague. The only solution for this is to deal with traffic the way locals do—and that is to walk. Armed with a Google Maps view of the streets, figure out how you can get from Session Road to the Athletic Bowl or Melvin Jones. Also, plot out the walking route back to your hotel so you can go back to the hotel easily.


These survival tips will surely make your Panagbenga experience a more pleasant and stress-free one. Above all, remember to take things in stride and just enjoy each moment at the festival.

Panagbenga 2018 tips

Warrior dance during the Street Dance Parade

Image: Miguel Isidro Photography via Flickr


Braving the crowds this year to catch the 23rd Panagbenga Flower Festival? Then this guide is for you. This year’s theme is “Celebration of Culture and Creativity.” Whether it’s your first time or your nth time to join the festivities, count on this guide for a more enjoyable and stress-free Panagbenga experience.


1. Gear up with comfortable clothes, shoes, and other essential accessories.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

It’s best to be ready for unexpected weather changes, so bring an umbrella.



The first thing you should check during your stay is the weather in Baguio. According to online weather forecasts for the parade weekend (February 24 to 25), it will be partly cloudy with some afternoon showers. The temperature will range from 15 degrees to 20 degrees Celsius, but remember that temperatures can drop lower especially in the early morning and late evening.

Your clothes should keep you warm but not too hot. The best approach is to layer your clothes so that when it gets warmer, you can just take off some of the layers. Depending on where you are located, it is also best that you wear clothes that are not too tight. You may end up sitting on the side of the street (along Session Road) for most of the spectacle.

The parade usually starts at 8:00 AM and lasts until noontime, so an umbrella, a sun hat, or sunglasses would come in handy when you are under the mid-morning sun.




2. Find the perfect parade-watching perch.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Watching the Street Dance parade along Session Road

Image: lolay via Flickr


If you want to find the perfect spot to watch the parade, you have to head out of your hotel early. Early means 5:00 or 6:00 AM. The parade usually starts at 8:00 AM so they close off the parade route to vehicles by 7:00 AM. Going early means you can still have a taxi take you to where you want before they close off the roads.

Session Road is usually the first choice for most tourists. Thus, it can get very crowded there, making it very difficult to see the parade up close unless you are there as early as 5:00 AM. Among the best spots are in front of Porta Vaga Mall, and at the corner of Session Road and the road that comes from the Cathedral.

If you want a less crowded spot, go nearer to the starting point. For the Street Dancing Parade that starts at Panagbenga Park along Upper Session, you can try looking for a post along the road, near Café by the Ruins DUA and Mario’s Restaurant, or the Caltex station. The Float Parade starts in front of the DILG office, near SM Baguio, so you can check out spots near Casa Vallejo and the surrounding area.

Remember that you will likely get to watch the parade while sitting on the pavement, so if you don’t want to mess up your clothes, bring along something for you to sit on like a piece of old cardboard or a large plastic bag.




3. Bring food and water



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Don’t forget to hydrate.



Although there are many restaurants and eateries to choose from along Session Road, you may not want to leave your spot for fear that someone might grab it, or worse, you may not be able squeeze yourself back in. You can avoid being hungry by bringing snacks such as biscuits, crackers, and other non-messy food items. Hydrate with lots of drinking water—you may not feel hot and sweaty at any given moment because of the weather, but you will still need your water.


4. Locate the nearest comfort room for emergencies.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

You might also want to bring a pack of wet wipes or tissue for convenience.



Once you decide on your perch, try and locate the nearest comfort room. If you are along Session, it may mean finding the nearest restaurant where you can enter. Along Upper Session Road, the Caltex station has CR facilities as well. If you are watching near Harrison Road, pay comfort rooms can be found at the Melvin Jones open field.


5. Be considerate enough to throw your garbage properly.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Don’t litter!



Baguio, like any other city, is struggling with its waste management, so every bit of help from visitors and residents counts. Don’t leave your garbage anywhere along Session Road, or any other public road for that matter. Bring a large disposable plastic bag where you can gather all your waste (food containers, candy wrappers, etc.) and find the nearest garbage bin where you can properly dispose of it. Let us do our share to help maintain Baguio’s cleanliness.


6. Take care of your belongings.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Guard your valuables to avoid being a victim of thieves.



Chances are you will come equipped with your smartphones, digital cameras, and/or other gadgets. And because crowds are a favorite spot for pickpockets and thieves, one cannot emphasize enough how important it is to safeguard your gadgets and other personal belongings.


7. Deal with the traffic, road closures, and lack of taxis with the following tips.



Panagbenga 2018 tips

Heavy traffic is expected during the event.



Because major city roads will be closed during the parades, expect the traffic to be heavy. Also, expect that it will be difficult to hail taxi cabs, as they will be avoiding areas near the parade route like the plague. The only solution for this is to deal with traffic the way locals do—and that is to walk. Armed with a Google Maps view of the streets, figure out how you can get from Session Road to the Athletic Bowl or Melvin Jones. Also, plot out the walking route back to your hotel so you can go back to the hotel easily.


These survival tips will surely make your Panagbenga experience a more pleasant and stress-free one. Above all, remember to take things in stride and just enjoy each moment at the festival.

author

Liezl is a freelance writer based in Baguio. With a background in Journalism, her love for the written word goes beyond news and feature writing, as she writes for several online lifestyle publications. Local culture, food, and travel are her favorite themes.

festival tips Baguio City

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

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