Councilor urges: Innovate Panagbenga, get better judges

BAGUIO. Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan assures Cordillera culture and tradition will be showcased during the Panagbenga 2019. Officials held a press briefing following the opening of the Panagbenga 2019 at the Baguio City Hall on Monday, December 17. (Photo by Redjie Melvic Cawis)

BAGUIO City Councilor Mylen Yaranon is reminding organizers of the flower festival that the Unesco distinction of being a Creative City was awarded to Baguio because of its arts and crafts.

“We are designated as a Creative City by Unesco because of our arts and crafts, it is not an award because of Panagbenga as mentioned by BFFI, being designated as a creative city has its responsibilities. We should innovate Panagbenga by focusing on its Creativity rather than on its commercialization,” Yaranon said.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) cited the Pines City as part of the Creative City Network and is now among 15 cities in the world recognized in the field of craft and folk arts.

Yaranon said festivals like Panagbenga should focus on how the city can boost the local creative economy, promote culture and creativity, and increase the participation of artists and artisans.

The festival is now run jointly by the city government with the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Incorporated (BFFFI) headed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan who is designated as chairman for life of the organization.

Yaranon during the launching gave suggestion on how the logo of the festival should have been presented.

“The logo should have been designed by a local artist, second, the floats and street dances should add a criteria on the use of local craftsmanship and materials to promote our weaves, wooden and metal crafts, lastly Session Road in Bloom should have a designated space for our local artists to sell their crafts curated by them for free like the middle portion of the road,” Yaranon said.

The logo of the 2019 is a combination of flowers, mountains and a sunrise, meant to jive with the theme of the 24th Baguio Flower Festival or Panagbenga “Blooming Forward.”

Executive committee co–chairman Antony De Leon said the creative sector is welcome to participate and take part in planning of the upcoming festival, while Freddie Alquiros, program committee member also suggested to invite sister cities within the Unesco Creative Cities Network to also participate in the Session Road in Bloom and other events.

Echoing the call of Festival executive committee chairman, Elmer Datuin, Yaranon said “BFFI, City Government and the Baguio Arts and Creatives Collective Incorporated (BACCI) should sit down for a planning session and brainstorm on how we can innovate Panagbenga.”

Datuin cried foul over the launching program where no coordination was made with him nor the committee as he implored for a common respect and better synergy for the upcoming event.

Yaranon also cited moves by organizers last year that disregarded efforts to help the festival.

“Last year, I was assigned to take charge of the judges, the list I gave was replaced by a list of judges from BFFI. It would be better if we make use of our own creative artists as judges, who are more artistic and unbiased,” he said.


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