Baguio is known as the summer capital of the Philippines and prior to the start of summer is the “season of blooming known as Panagbenga. The Panagbenga festival is known as the flower festival which last just over a month from the start of February with it’s grand ending in the start of March.
This is when the true colors of Baguio really show not only with their beautiful flowers but also in it’s rich traditions, history, and values that Baguio and the Cordilleras hold.
The festival started in the 90’s after a terrible earthquake hit the area. After the success of the first festival they brought it back year after year and it’s grown into one of the most widely visited festivals in the Philippines rivaled only by Sinulog in Cebu.
Baguio Panagbenga Festival Overview
The festival runs from Feb 1 to March 10 and while activities are happening throughout the whole festival, the major events start as the end draws near. You’ll find street dancing, bands, celebrities, paintball tournament, art competitions, flower float parades, horse rides, night markets, fireworks, and lots and lots of flowers!
Panagbenga Grand Parades
Every year around 25 floats are prepared by local businesses and organizations of the region to show off their skill and creativity in the Panagbenga Grand Parade. The first place winner gets around P300,000 which is equal to $6,000 USD.
They also get bragging rights for the whole year at being the winner and country-wide spotlight for the day 🙂
The floats are made from local flowers and vegetation and are assembled by hand. Each float takes truck loads of flowers to prepare/complete. Millions of flowers are used every year and it’s impressive how beautiful they can make them!
Panagbenga Travel Tips
Arrive Early To The Parade: This is probably the number 1 most important thing during the parade days. The parade starts around 8AM, but you’ll find people camped out along Session Rd. the night before and they will sleep on the road the whole night. If you want to camp out on Session Rd for your spot you can, otherwise arrive by 4AM and you’ll still have a great spot. Anytime after 5-6AM and you’re going to be out of luck and you’ll be 4-5 people back from the edge of the sidewalk (no good photos then!).
Transportation: Bus tickets going to Baguio are typically sold out as early as 2 weeks prior if you want to go there on Friday night. Make sure you get tickets as early as a month prior to your travel so you can be guaranteed a spot. If it’s your first time to Baguio, we have a How To Get To Baguio guide .
Accommodations: Similar to transportation, hotels fill up extremely fast in Baguio if you want to get a good deal. As the date draws near, the only accommodations will be 3-4x the normal rate. If you book in advance you can still get hotels for around $20-30 USD. Click here for our Suggested Cheap Baguio Hotels.
Getting Around: The Panagbenga festival is the biggest one in Baguio so expect there to be alot of people. Since Baguio isn’t a very large city, you’ll be able to access most festival activities by walking around. If you dont want to walk, there are plenty of taxis or you can use Grab Car as well in Baguio.
Baguio City Travel Guide
If you’re looking for a full guide including what to eat, affordable and luxury hotels, jeepney routes, bus companies and tickets, and an activity guide, we have the full Baguio City Travel Guide here.