Every year for the past four years I have found myself enduring a six-hour trip to the “Summer Capital” of the Philippines to participate in the famous Panagbenga Festival.
Once a year in February, Baguio City celebrates the Flower Festival in full bloom with grand parades, street dancing, exhibitions, concerts, and all sorts of other floral-themed and floral-inspired activities. These are all well and good and absolute great fun but after careful observation and assessment, I have decided that the best part of the Festival is saved for the last…
Once a year during the last week of Panagbenga, Session Road (the city’s main thoroughfare), is closed to traffic and a great bazaar takes its place. From the Upper Session Road to the Lower Session Road, booths of delightful food and special crafts fill up the entire space and provide for the people who come from all over. Session Road, is in Bloom.
The setting may be crowded and noisy and hot and possibly uncomfortable but on this road for an entire week, a condensed but complete taste of life in Baguio may be experienced. Cool air, flowers in bloom, strawberries (!), native crafts, concerts, dogs, “ukay-ukay,” etc. Yup, they are all present. For all that and more, it is definitely worth one’s while.