There is nothing more satisfying than to personally witness how thousands of flowers in different shapes and colors bloom together to adorn the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Baguio City’s Panagbenga Festival is a much-awaited event not just by locals but also by tourists who wish to see the blossoms showcased in a grand parade of street dancing floral motifs.
Photo from www.thepanagbengafestival.com
Over the years, the excitement and glamour that go with the celebration are now coupled with crowded streets, traffic jams, and cramped accommodations. As this year’s Panagbenga runs for over a month, allow GoBear to share some tips on savoring the boons and surviving the banes of the 2019 Flower Festival.
Manage your expectations
The Panagbenga 2019 will be held from February 1 to March 10, 2019. If you are planning to head to the City of Pines to join in the celebration, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. The event lasts for more than one month and covers around 20 activities. You can check the schedule of specific events to coincide with your visit.
2. The event lures millions of tourists. Baguio City registered around 1.3 million visitors in 2017 and 2 million in 2018.
Photo from www.photoworldmanila.com
3. Some roads are closed. Motorists are provided with traffic advisory early on. Expect a massive volume of vehicles along Harrison Road, General Luna Road, Bonifacio Street, Legard Road, and Kisad Road.
4. Accommodations may be fully booked. Since tourist arrivals for the festival increase year-on-year, expect that it will be difficult to find vacant transient houses.
5. Roads will be teeming with pasalubong. Souvenir vendors will flock along Governor Pack Road, but usual Baguio products like ube jam and strawberry jams are still sold in public markets.
6. Baguio’s temperature drops to nine degrees and health authorities are urging everyone to exercise caution. According to a report, residents have been complaining about colds and coughs.
Learn these survival tips
The Panagbenga Festival is now a well-renowned affair that lures tourists from all over the country and the world. Preparing for it will help you plan your visit and will save you from wasting resources and even losing your precious time and belongings. Do not let heavy traffic and other unpleasant instances ruin your Panagbenga experience. Here are a few things you can do to prepare to battle the unforeseen.
Wear comfortable clothes
The Flower Festival is not a time for you to showcase your OOTD. Most survivors wore rubber or running shoes, jeans, and sweatshirt. Minimal and simple is the key to surviving long walks and a few climbs. Don’t forget to bring a jacket to protect you from the unpredictable weather. And since current temperatures have dropped in from five to nine degrees, residents and tourists are advised to take extra precaution. A jacket or sweatshirt should always come handy when going out.
As much as possible, walk
Since rerouting and road closures are done before and during the event, the usual routes can be jampacked with vehicles. Walking allows you to shorten and hasten your travel from one point to another. Explore the city by foot and get a chance to savor the natural charm that flowers and trees have contributed to the City of Pines.
The best view of the parades is from the main routes which should be reached before 6 am. Look for a spot that allows you to behold the parade and street dance along Harrison and Session roads.
Travel a few days before the event
Baguio is not just about the flowers in bloom. The City of Pines still nurtures its best assets – cold weather, lush surroundings, affordable ukay-ukay and fresh produce. Arriving a few days earlier than the events will give you enough time to explore classic destinations like Mines View Park, Burnham Park, Camp John Hay and the public market that seems to never run out of greens and sweets.
Photo from primer.com.ph
Check for bus schedules
There are a lot of buses that could take you from Manila to Baguio although Victory Liner is a primary option for many years. The bus company also includes travel insurance as a mandatory add-on to its ticketing costs.
When coming from other parts of the country, Manila to Clark flights are already available. Book your tickets to Clark, and from there, you can take a bus to Baguio for less than Php500. You can also hail a taxi that charges around Php3,000.
Condition your car
You might want to enjoy that long and fun drive along Baguio’s snaky lanes instead of boarding a bus. Well, if you prefer to bring your car, make sure you have planned out where to park, had your vehicle conditioned before the trip and checked on your car insurance coverages.
Photo from www.picmoon.net
The road to Baguio is tricky that roadside assistance or towing insurance could help a lot especially when you’re stuck along Kennon Road and other parts of the City that remains untouched.
Book your accommodation
You might think Baguio will never run out of vacant transient homes, but it pays to know that Baguio records more than 100,000 tourist arrivals each month. Panagbenga Festival 2017 boasts of 1.7 million visitors. Book ahead. Check Airbnb offers and choose the ones that let you tread towards Session Road in minutes.
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The Flower Festival 2019 is an exciting experience that infuses a glimpse of the Cordilleran culture, cold climate, affordable finds, and soothing pines all highlighted by the city’s beautiful flowers in bloom. Securing your adventure with car and travel insurance ensures priceless memories. Secure your Panagbenga trip.
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