Issue of October 1, 2017
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Ampitheater filled w/ flowers soon in BSU’s Centennial Park
by Ofelia C. Empian

A basket of fresh-cut flowers sits comfortably in the stage setup for the speakers during the launching and blessing of the Centennial Park, marking the centenary of the Benguet State University.

One of the invited speakers is Nellie Abeya Pit-og, daughter of the late Flora Bondad Abeya, the inspiration behind the making of the Centennial Park.

“The flowers were cut out early this morning from mama Flora’s garden,” Pit-og said, adding that Flora has always loved her garden where she would often tell love stories to her grandchildren. And these recurring stories would often take place in a particular area in BSU – the amphitheater.

Pit-og would recall her mother describing the amphitheater, existing around the 1930s, as “teeming with flowers” where students take a respite from learning.

The stories of Flora, who herself is a centenarian who passed away at age 101 in 2014, reached the ears of Maria Luz Fang-asan, head of the Planning and Development of the university when they were then preparing for the BSU Centennial way back 2012.

She recalled the late Flora who told her of the amphitheater within the university then known as Trinidad Agricultural School where students would relax and chat with friends.

The amphitheater was surrounded with various kinds of flowers that is why it was where most men profess their feelings and where students date at that time, Fang-asan mused.

The Centennial Park is a fitting memorial of the 100 years of BSU as an institution loved and remembered by not only the alumni of the school but by the community as well.

The park contains 30 markers presenting the highlights of the university through the years. Along its blessing and launching last week, the centennial marker of the university was also unveiled at the park.

Fang-asan said the park, that is undergoing construction, would contain benches and signages that would remind students and guests of the rich past of the university.

But the main attraction would be the amphitheater, aimed to provide color by growing local flowers in the area.

“The garden would be a good symbol to honor my mother who has learned to grow flowers and vegetables, the scientific way through BSU,” Pit-ogan said.

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