Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the month of February, thus giving it the moniker; “love month”. But for the locals of Baguio City, a highly urbanized city in Northern Philippines, the 2nd month of the year is much more than that.
Baguio City is known for its cool temperature and is considered the country’s summer capital. This tourism metropolis has a lot to offer making it an all-year round tourist preferred destination. Tourists never run out of something to do, like strolling around different parks namely Burnham Park, The Mansion, Wright Park and Mines View Park. Strawberry picking can be experienced at La Trinidad, a nearby town which is a short 20 minute drive.
Nature-lovers take pleasure in seeing Centennial Park’s (formerly Botanical Garden) rich native heritage as the park features hundreds of plants and flowers just waiting to be explored. Pilgrims on the other hand may need to prepare their good pair of walking shoes to climb the 252 steps stairs going to the grotto of our Lady of Lourdes.
Moreover, food enthusiast may sample sweet delicacies from a famous factory of ube (yam) and strawberry jam supervised by nuns, as well as other sweet candies and tarts sold at its “pasalubong” or souvenir hub. Local restaurants offer a variety of native delicacies visitors will enjoy. For night junkies; bars are lined along Session Road, the heart of Baguio City. Shopaholics will find their haven at the night market where handmade home décor, crafts, accessories, keep sake and many more are available.
February is the busiest month of the year not just because it is the coolest month but also because it is the month of the annual PANAGBENGA FESTIVAL. Claimed to be one the grandest and much-awaited festival in the Philippines, Panagbenga Festival is a month-long Flower festival celebration. The festival was originally known as Baguio Flower Festival in 1995 but was renamed in 1996 as “Panagbenga Festival”. The term “Panagbenga” comes from the Kankana-ey (Cordillera’s Local Language), which means “Season of Blooming”.
This years’ festival theme is: “INSPIRED BY BEAUTY, NURTURED BY NATURE” and it is highlighted with different festive events like: Grand Street Dancing parade performed by students from different schools in Baguio that competes with each other wearing their flower-themed vibrant costumes and props; the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition; and the much awaited GRAND FLORAL PARADE were creativity will be displayed by the Baguio natives to create different figures, characters, words and many more using different varieties of flowers. A Grand fireworks display will also be staged.
Baguio City, with its idyllic temperature, natural beauty and engaging activities already attracts thousands of tourists every year, but Panagbenga Festival just upped the ante.