Panagbenga 2009 - Belly Dancers, Expensive Floats on Display

Sunday, March 1, 2009

sagada igorot panagbengaPhoto: Baguio Country Club's float featured a pharaoh's head accompanied by belly dancers. Dunkin Donuts float had giant donuts and munchkins made of flowers.

Big businesses didn't tone down on the float parade for Baguio's Panagbenga 2009. The cost for the participation of the Baguio Country Club (BCC) alone almost reached half a million pesos. It didn't disappoint as the more than 350,000 tourists feasted on an Egyptian-inspired float complete with accompanying belly dancers and performers in Egyptian costumes. BCC general manager Anthony de Leon was quoted as saying “We are not really toning down the festivities and we are not being conservative amid the crisis. This is the time that people should spend more. The direction should be towards consumerism. People should go out to spend; it helps local economy. Tourism provides jobs.” Uhhm sir, I don't agree. That amount of money could have helped finance a dozen micro-businesses and in the process made for some great PR. Other businesses participating in the parade included SM Baguio, Surf, Greenwich, Abanao Mall, M. Lhuillier and Chowking.

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Rina F. March 1, 2009 at 9:25 PM  

Hi there...
I came across your site and your blogs when I went online to do some research. I will be travelling to Sagada this March with 6 students (ages 7-11).
I wanted to prepare a journal for them to read before and during the trip so that they can learn about the town, its people, its culture, etc. Some of the journal spaces will be left blank for their pictures and thoughts on the stories they've read and the places/things they've seen.
I wanted to ask your permission if I could reprint some of the information and Igorot stories, particularly the myths, and put them in the kids' journals. I didn't want to paraphrase and was thinking that it might be better to leave it as is and credit the source instead. That is, of course, if it is okay with you? Please let me know.

Congratulations on a great website.

Thanks and best regards,


SaGaDa-iGoRoT March 2, 2009 at 12:57 AM  

Rina F.

Go ahead and print the stories as you please. Enjoy your trip to Sagada. Where do you live? I thought it a bit far for taking young students on this kind of trip.


Baguio Girl March 2, 2009 at 9:42 AM  

not just a dozen micro businesses. half a million is a lot of money. i think country club just wants to show off. i agree that if they used that kind of money to help some families, it would be great advertising for them as well. at this time, people need something to eat. can they eat flowers?

AdB March 8, 2009 at 9:12 PM  


I don't know but on a bigger scale, I'm of two minds with regard to spending amidst a moribund economy.

Allow me to cite an example: It happened following the World Football Cup which was held in France -- almost a dozen years ago when France was deep into recesiion. France won the World Cup - the French were so happy, they celebrated like there was no tomorrow; the state of the moribund economy was forgotten; lil businesses thrived, employment went up; money changed hands and before anyone realised what was going on, the celebration helped France come out of its moribund state.

I do realise that the ongoing economic crisis cannot compare to the French economic crisis then but somehow, I have this feeling that celebrating might help alleviate the gloomy state of affairs -- celebrating, when there's really a call to celebrate could spur the rise of small businesses, the cottage industry, the service industry, etc., but of course, for this to happen, spending cannot and mustn't be so localised and so focused on one short, tiny, fleeting event.