December 6, 2022

Mayor Benjamin Magalong signed the city council resolution that commended the person who introduced the term that would become the indigenous name for Baguio’s major festi-vity.
Resolution 484, s. 2022 commended Isikias “Ike” T. Picpican in recognition of his meritorious contribution in introducing the term, “Panagbenga” that became the institutionalized indigenous name of the Baguio Flower Festival.
The measure stated the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation chaired by the late Damaso E. Bangaoet created an identity of a festival that would reflect the history, traditions, and values of the City of Baguio and the Cordillera, and shortly after, a hymn for the festival was composed by Prof. Macario Fronda of the Saint Louis University.
In 1996, the Baguio Flower Festival, on its second celebration acquired the local name “Panagbenga,” which came from the Kankana-ey term for “a season of blooming” or “a time for flowering” that was officially suggested by Picpican, curator of the Saint Louis University Museum.
“The festival provided an opportunity for flower and ornamental plant growers to promote their industry, for the pony handlers to display their equestrian skills, and for all sectors of the community to contribute their artistic talents and cultural creativity for the entire community, visitors and tourists to experience, reflect and enjoy,” the resolution stated.
It claimed the Baguio Flower Festival or Panagbenga proved to be the biggest crowd drawer among all other festivals and activities in Baguio and contributed to the acceleration of the city’s tourism industry and an increase in the income of the business community during the celebration of the festival.
Through the Flower Festival, appreciation of the city’s unique culture has gradually increased.
“Recognitions have been bestowed on Bangaoet as the Father of Panagbenga and Fronda as composer of the Panagbenga Hymn and it is but proper for the city government to finally recognize the person who created/researched the term ‘panagbenga as the official title of the festival,” the resolution stated.
“The celebration of Panagbenga in Baguio for many years now has boosted the status of the city as the Summer Capital and Flower Garden City of the Philippines.” – Gaby B. Keith