BAGUIO CITY - The Kabayan Youth Cultural Dance Troupe reclaimed its championship title in the open category of the 18th Panagbenga Festival grand street dancing parade on Saturday.
Performing the Adivay, a celebration for a bountiful harvest, Kabayan performers from Kamora National High School wowed the crowd with the folktale of the local Gadate who helped saved the Kintoman (native rice) harvest from a giant snake.
Wearing the traditional Ibaloi attire, they performed the native ‘bendian’ dance.
Engineer Berry Sangao Jr., Kabayan tourism officer, said it only took three weeks for them to practice the dance routines. He said they are thankful of winning this year’s street dancing competition.
Litangfan Cultural Group from Bontoc, Mt. Province won the second place while Apayao’s Ipasindayaw captured the third place.
Some 10 other groups participated in the parade that included Baguio City National High School’s Teatro Mi Pengantaay Pagey, Bampkabia Cultural Dance Troupe from Baguio City Academy Colleges, Philexian from St. Louis High School-Philex, Tanghalang Teatro Pino from Pines City National High School, Tabuk Matagoan from Tabuk City, Kalinga, St. Theresita’s School of Tabuk’s Bumabanga Ti Kalinga, Tsinakhon Cultural Ensemble of SLU Laboratory High School, Sakusak Traditional Ensemble from Pines City National High School-Annex, Saint Louis University Cordillera Cultural Performing Group, and Tribu Ari-tau from Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.
In elementary school category, Baguio Central School took home the championship title besting four other top schools that were pre-screened during the opening parade in February 1.
Mabini Elementary School bagged the second place, Fort Del Pilar Elementary School came in third while Lucban Elementary School and Aguinaldo Elementary School ranked fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Panagbenga co-chair Anthony De Leon said the street dancing competition has grown into not only a festival of Baguio City but also as a regional event.
Festival overall chairman Mayor Mauricio Domogan said organizers were worried rains would affect participation and crowds in the annual festival.
Domogan added some P4 million in prizes await participants in various competitions during the flower festival, and winners will be formally announced on March 3.
Tourism Congress president Celine Clemente, on the other hand, said the festival is comparable to international events in terms of organization.
She added that the flower festival continues to contribute to the overall goal of the Department of Tourism to invite at least 10 million tourists in the country by 2016.
The Panagbenga festival carries the theme "a blossoming odyssey" this year. “Panagbenga” comes from the Kankanaey term that means "a season for blossoming."
Sun.Star website, at www.sunstar.com.ph, will be streaming live today, February 24, the Panagbenga festival float parade.
In partnership with Smart Communications Inc., Sun.Star's live streaming will use the LTE or Long Term Evolution, a latest standard in mobile internet technology, which is capable of up to 100 mbps for faster upload of videos and photos.
The live streaming can be accessed through the Panagbenga micro-site, at http://baguio.sunstar.com.ph/panagbenga. Text and photo updates will also be made available through Sun.Star live blog on Scribblelive.
Sun.Star will also be posting updates on its Twitter account, @sunstaronline, and Facebook page Sun.Star – Philippine news. Sun.Star will use the hashtag #Panagbenga2013 for its Twitter feeds.
The flower festival this year is expected to draw over 1.2 million local and foreign guests from various regions, said Larry Madarang, a member of the publicity committee of the Panagbenga secretariat.
Madarang added that the festivity proved to be a major crowd drawer in the past years with over a million spectators last year. (With Ma. Elena Catajan, Jon Viktor Cabuenas and Mark Victor Pasagoy/Sun.Star Baguio/Sunnex)