February 9, 2023

The rice wine festival or Ipitik, which is the umbrella of nine other arts and culture events during the supposed culminating week of the Panagbenga or the Baguio Flower Festival has also canceled.
“It is with regret and prudence that we in the Council for Baguio Creative City announce that the Ipitik Festival 2020, scheduled March 28 to April 5, is canceled, as an act of shared solidarity in combating (the) the rising cases of the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) in the country,” event organizer Ferdinand Balanag said in a statement.
“Indeed, we have worked hard to ready up for the Ipitik Festival, excited to showcase once more the many innovative ways of celebrating culture and the arts in our city and region. It would have opened up tremendous opportunities for our artists, artisans and creative workers for critical engagements that are hoped to develop the creative economy and flourish it to competitive standards, not just locally but internationally as well,” Balanag said.
Balanag said cancelling the event is “a small sacrifice, but it signifies worthy investments for future cultural endeavors.”
“We take this as our humble contribution to foster better health and sanitation practices in these dire times,” he said.
The third staging of the Ipitik will be at the Rose Garden of the Burnham Park anew and nine years after its most recent staging in 2011.
It was first staged in 2005, after Baguio was placed under a state of medical emergency due to meningococcemia.
But Balanag is hopeful that Ipitik can still be staged in the future, saying: “Ipitik may be gone for now, but it will definitely take cultural center stage at the most opportune time.”
Mayor Benjamin Magalong after meeting with the inter-agency task force led by the Department of Health-Cordillera and the City Health Office announced the cancelation of the two major parades of the 25th edition of the Panagbenga. – PNA release