Issue of March 4, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Female inmates hold "Panagbenga in jail"
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

PANAGBENGA IN JAIL -- Female inmates of the Baguio City Jail showcase their creativity in the craft making competition held as one of the activities in the first ever Panagbenga Festival in Jail, conceptualized to get the inmates involved in community events even while in detention and under reformation. -- Hanna Lacsamana

Being behind bars did not stop the female inmates of the Baguio City Jail from getting involved in the city’s celebration of Panagbenga with the staging of their own edition of Baguio’s grandest event.

For the first time, an almost month-long festival was held within the city jail compound as the Baguio City Jail-Female Dorm unveiled a set of activities similar with what is being traditionally calendared for the annual Flower Festival celebration.

Like in the annual event, the female inmates staged a street dance competition with two groups conceptualizing their respective dance routines and presenting them “on stage” at the jail quadrangle.

They also got to promote their creations – a product of the jail’s continuing skills and livelihood training through arts and crafts program – “à la market encounter” along with the best of the best crafts and folk arts of Baguio showcased at the Creative City hub from Feb. 8 to 24 in Malcolm Square.

The two-week crafts and folk arts staging has been the heart of this year’s Panagbenga, in celebration of Baguio’s recent distinction as a Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts by the Unesco.

A booth given to them at the pavilion allowed the inmates to display and sell their products to the public. The “market encounter” earned for them orders for their wares and future client transactions.

Instead of a grand float parade as one of its highlight activities, the inmates joined in a competition showcasing their best livelihood items like the best-seller mugs with rattan designs, colorful and uniquely crafted vases and decorative items, bags, pen and wine holders, key chains, and other accessories.

Invited visitors judged the entries based on creativity, uniqueness, marketability, and aptness with the theme “Celebration of Culture and Creativity.”

A quiz bee was also held earlier as additional activity.

During their culminating program and awarding ceremonies last Feb. 27, Female Dorm Warden J/Insp. April Rose Ayangwa proudly presented the achievements of their wards, who, regardless of their temporary detention, are encouraged to discover, develop, and share their talents and skills, and at the same time be productive and still be able to support their families’ financial needs while undergoing reformation.

“They are very talented and they only just need support and encouragement through programs like this. When they expressed their longing and excitement about the Panagbenga season, they helped us in conceptualizing and participating in activities that go with the event, so that even when they are inside, they get to feel and share the festive mood of the season,” Ayangwa said.

With its success and support it received from the community, she said they are planning to make the activity as a regular undertaking in time with the Panagbenga. Also, with the enthusiasm shown by the inmates, Ayangwa said having an actual grand float parade within the confines of the jail in the future would not be farfetched.

Aside from being a venue for expression of talents and skills, Ayangwa said the Panagbenga in Jail has been a big boost to the inmates’ mind and physical wellness and general outlook in life, which makes it easier on the part of the city jail to manage and support them.

Kapag masaya sila at maganda ang pakiramdam nila, maganda rin ang attitude nila. So we support activities that will make them busy, make them feel their worth, and be happy about it,” Ayangwa said.

The jail officer thanked the city government, through the office of Councilor Elmer Datuin, for its support to the inmates’ programs and for giving them the chance to participate in the official activities of the Panagbenga to promote their creations.

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Baguio Country Club
Department of Tourism – CAR
University of Baguio
Venus Parkview Hotel

Congressman Mark O. Go
Department of Health – CAR
Kings College of the Philippines
Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan
Narda’s Handwoven Arts & Crafts Inc.
Philex Mining Corporation
Pines City Colleges
Province of Benguet
Sangguniang Panlungsod
SM City Baguio
Social Security System

Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Central University
Baguio Heart and Lung Diagnostic Center Inc.
Baguio Memorial Chapels Incorporated
Baguio Water District
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – CAR
C & Triple A Supermart
Congressman Ronald M. Cosalan
Curamed Pharmacy
Data Center College of the Philippines of Baguio City Inc.
Department of Agriculture – CAR
Department of Environment and Natural Resources – CAR
Department of Trade and Industry – CAR
Department of Transportation – CAR
Easter College Incorporated
Fabulo Beauty and Image Salon
Fast East Pacific Commercial
Filipino–Japanese Friendship Association of Northern Luzon, Inc.
GMS Technology
Immigration Network Services, Inc.
La Funeraria Paz, Inc.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda
MMS Development Training Center Corporation
Mother Earth Deli Basket
National Economic & Development Authority–CAR
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
Philippine Science High School – CARC
R.A. Gapuz Review Center
Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board – CAR
Solibao – Ganza Restaurant
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
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