Philippine Holiday: 2020 Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City - Isla Story

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Philippine Holiday: 2020 Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City

The Festival of Blooming Flowers or Panabenga Festival is a month-long annual festival in Baguio City, Philippines. The term ‘Panabenga’ was derived from Kankanaey, a South-Central Cordilleran language which means ‘Season of Blooming’. This festival that is celebrated annually every February was created to tribute the city’s flowers and as a way to rise up from the devastation of the 1990 Luzon earthquake. It also reflects the history, traditions, and values of Baguio and the Cordilleras. 

However, due to the recent COVID-19 or 2019 Novel Coronavirus that hit the Philippines, the Baguio City officials announced that the Panabenga Festival activities will be moved through March until April.

Below is the updated Schedule of activities from:

One of the main highlights of the festival is the parade featuring floats decorated with flowers and street dancers coming from different tribes and/or participating schools. Each one has a unique floral-themed costumes and props symbolizing Baguio’s Stunning variety of flowers.

What you can expect from the month-long festival? First is the Opening Parade which is rescheduled on March 21, 2020, then the Canao or Kanyaw a traditional dance or ceremony of the indigenous mountain people of Northern Luzon, and various bazaars and fairs.


1. When traveling to another place may it be local or international, always check the local weather before heading out to your destination. This way you can prepare what you should wear and what to bring with you. Convenient, isn't?

2. Rain or shine it’s always good to bring an umbrella or a hat since the weather is unpredictable.

3. For first-timers, you'll be going to unfamiliar ground, secure all of your belongings so you won’t have any problems and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip! This also applies to those who had been at the festival before. ;)

4. In a grand festival like the Panagbenga Festival, securing accommodation, transfers, and tours months before is a must!  You don't want to cram last minute just to get the last deals, right? So, make sure to plan and purchase everything you need ahead of time. Though some hotels and some bus terminals take on the day purchase reservation is the key for a worry-free trip.

5. Amidst the COVID-19 issue taking extra precaution is needed, wear a face mask, and always practice proper hand hygiene.

Private car, taxi, or point-to-point bus, land transfers are your best options!
By car, you can reach Baguio City in 4-6 hours. Screenshot from Google Maps

Via Bus from Metro Manila
There are many available bus trips to Baguio. Some leave Avenida in Manila, Pasay, PITX (Philippine Integrated Terminal Exchange) in Paranaque, or Cubao in Quezon City terminals daily on an hourly basis. Going to Baguio on Regular Aircon bus trip would cost as low as PHP 475 - 496 depending on the bus line and location of the terminal. 

These are the popular bus lines offering transits to Baguio City:
Victory Liner
Joy Bus
Pine Tree Transit
Solid North
Philippine Rabbit

Travel time will be approximately 6-7 hours (or longer) during Panagbenga Season.

Via private vehicle:
On an average of 4-6 hours drive, tourists can reach Baguio City by car, though it takes much longer during holidays, long weekends, Holy Week, and Panagbenga Season, etc.
  • Drive through NLEX.
  • Take Exit 85 right into SCTEX.
  • Transfer to the right lane and drive to Baguio via Tarlac.
  • Take the Tarlac exit and follow the road signs that will go to MacArthur Highway.
  • Once on MacArthur Highway, drive straight to Tarlac and Pangasinan upon reaching Rosario, La Union.
  • From the Rosario junction, turn right into the famous Kennon Road. This is the most popular and scenic route up Baguio City.
  • For those who prefer the wider lanes of Marcos Highway, drive further into Rosario and turn right towards the new entrance.

Why not we just take you there, alright? Let our friendly drivers ease your worries! Just leave us an email at or message us in our Official Facebook page Isla Story.

Other than joining the Festival you can always drop by to these places and complete your trip while in the Summer Capital of the Philippines!

BenCab Museum 
BenCab Museum photo by John Derek B. Derequito

Owned by the renowned national artist, Ben Cabrera, this museum is filled with paintings, sculptures, and installations that can both rattle and inspire you. Occasionally, the artist himself shows up in the museum, and when he does, don't miss to have a photo taken with him or if you won’t be taken over by being a fangirl strike a conversation with him!

Camp John Hay
Bell Amphitheater at Camp John Hay photo by John Derek B. Derequito
This particular destination is named after US President Theodore Roosevelt’s Secretary of state John Milton Hay. Discover and appreciate history at the Bell House, have fun at Tree Top Adventure, or be one with nature at the Butterfly Sanctuary or the Yellow Trail Hike.

Burnham Park 
Festivals are usually bright and loud, so, we can't blame you if you want to have a little break from it some time and look for a more serene place to relax. Good thing, Burnham Park got you covered! Here, you can have a picnic, ride a bike, or even ride a boat swan at the lake.

Mines View Park 
Just located at the northeast side of Baguio City, Mines View Park offers a panoramic view that overlooks the mining town of Itogon, a sight of the Amburayan Valley can also be witnessed at the view deck. The park also offers a splendid spot for picture taking with the alluring view of the mountains as a background.

La Trinidad Strawberry Farm 
Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad photo by Nica Guballa
When in Baguio City, this fruit is what you shouldn't miss! Visit one of the famous strawberry farms - La Trinidad Strawberry Fields to pick fresh strawberries. These are the best pasalubong to bring home and a special treat to yourself if you’re a big fan of strawberries. Outside the farm, there are also lots of stores where you can buy snacks and local delis that you can bring home.

Many roads may be closed or filled with people from different parts of the country and the world but attending the festival will be the highlight of your trip surrounded with a lot of dancing, street parties, and perfectly timed drum beats, stunning performances of the dancers and the beautifully decorated floats. Baguio City is a must-visit any time of the year!


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