ELEVEN participating elementary schools electrified the crowd during the opening of the month-long celebration of Panagbenga Festival 2016 with costumes and props painted with flowers.
The opening salvo on Monday featured elementary school children in festive clothing while others wore cultural attire of the tribes in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Participating schools include Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School, Mabini Elementary School, Dona Aurora Elementary School, Baguio Cnetral School, Jose P. Laurel Elementary School, Josefa Carino Elementary School, Lucban Elementary School, and Pinget Elementary School.
Eight schools were chosen as the contender for the grand street dancing parade and drum and lyre competition for the elementary category on February 27.
Don Mariano Elementary School, Aguinaldo Elementary School and Dominican-Mirador Elementary School were not lucky enough to be chosen among the finalists but will be participating as guest performers during the Grand Street Parade, festival organizers said.
The audience had a preview on the participants’ performances at parade route from the Panagbenga Park to Session Road up to Burnham Park Athletic Bowl for the field demonstration.
Participating schools mixed folk songs, cultural dance and the Panagbenga Hymn as soundtrack for their performances.
The “Bendian” dance of Benguet was performed by one of the participants while other schools innovated in mixing Filipino songs such as “Ako’y isang Pinoy” “Magtanin ay di biro” and “Kahit Maputi Na ang Buhok Ko.”
Ethnic songs such as the “Salidummay” of the Kalingas was also utilized by one of the participating schools while others used “Batawa” “Dong-dong-ay” “Layad Nan Likatan” and “Nasudi”.
The panel of judges composed of 10 professionals in the field of dance, literature, music and choreography noted the use of recycled materials in the props of the participants turned into colorful skirts and flower representations among others.
Judges includes Baguio Cultural Society Chair Elizabeth Calinawagan, Baguio City National High School-Special Performing Arts Band Master Carmenzita Zuniga, Filmmaker Ferdinand Balanag, Choreographer Karen Navarette-Anton and Glen Gaerlan known as Igoroti Pavaroti, among others.