BAGUIO City stole the limelight over the weekend with 19 floats decked with the freshest blooms parading the main streets of the mountain city with street dancing winners; Baguio City High School, Apolinario Mabini Elementary School and Pugo Cathlic School clad in their festival best astounding a crowd of thousands.
The 22nd Baguio flower festival themed "Inspired by Beauty, Nurtured by Nature,” brought in participants from all over the Philippines converging for the weekend celebration.
Baguio City Councilor Elmer Datuin, Committee Chair on Tourism has estimated at least 500,000 who witnessed the Panagbenga weekend parades.
“Ang crowd natin is almost the same (comparing last year) but more on the float parade, generally we almost expect the same sa crowd, well nasa 500,000 approximately yun ang maximum na kaya ng Baguio…hindi pwedeng umabot ng one million kasi baka hanggang Naguillan na iyon or hanggang Bauang, La Union,” Datuin said.
Floats during Sunday’s parade were contingents from Asus Philippines, Brandboss Inc. (Coca Cola), the International Praise Center and Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Lubao International Balloon Festival, Maybank Phils., Philippine Retirement Authority, Valley Bread, Wedding Memories, and Wellmade Manufacturing.
The big float competing entries were from ABS CBN, Department Of Tourism, GMA Network Inc, International Pharmaceutical Inc., Jollibee, M. Lhullier Phils, Manila North Tollways Corporation, Pepsi Cola Products Philippines Inc., Sitel Phils Corp and Taloy Cooperative.
The Sunday float parade saw celebrities from television networks, as well as artists and sports personalities joining in the festivities. Crowd favourite was Cordillera’s “Carrot Man” atop the float of private company, Wedding Memories, flanked the winners of Mr. Cordillera.
Jeyrick Sigmaton, known as “Carrotman” became an internet sensation a year ago, when tourists took a photo of the highland hunk while carry a load of carrots. His photo went viral, opening a career for the Barlig native in modeling and television.
Reigning Ms. Centennial and Baguio girl Kylie Versoza was also a favorite as she waved to the crowd atop the Pepsi float.
During the parade, around 700 police were deployed to help in the peace and order. (With reports from Ian Jefrey Addatu)