Nestled in the mountains of northern Philippines lies the hill station of Baguio City. In the month of February, the town is engulfed in a colorful burst of flowers. The Panagbenga Festival is a month-long flower festival intended to celebrate the history, traditions and values of Baguio.

Panagbenga Park, Baguio City, Phillipines
Panagbenga Park, Baguio City
Image credit -Elmer B. Domingo

Panagbenga means ‘season of blooming’ in the local language. The festival began in the 1990s to bring cheer to the people who were  recovering from an earthquake in the region and to promote tourism.

Flower exhibitions, floral arrangement competitions, concerts and street dances fascinate onlookers. Shops and food stalls in the bazaars add to the general excitement. The highlights of the festival are the Grand Street Dancing Parade and the Grand Float Parade held during the last weekend of February. The dance parade features dancers in flower- themed costumes while the magnificent floats are decked up in multicolored flowers of various types. The festival draws to a close in a brilliant display of fireworks.