By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – A total of 17 groups will compete in the creative street dancing competition Saturday, 29 flower floats will be paraded on Sunday as the 24th Panagbenga Festival switches to high gear.
Guest performers from Tribu Ilonganon, of Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation and a contingent from Ilocos Norte will join the parade which starts at 8 a.m.
They will be joined by the five winners of the first cultural competition held last Feb. 23.
Councilor Elmer Datuin, chairman committee on tourism and co-chairman of the Panagbenga Festival, said there will be a lavish display of creativity as cultural street dancers from outside the Cordillera will be participating.
The winners in the first cultural competition are Arusan Chi Umili Cultural Group, Ayyoweng Di Lambak Cultural Group, Gardeners Tribe Cultural Group, Cholibes Cultural Group and Umili Ay Kalalaychan Cultural Group.
Joining the open category are the Saint Louis University, Calasiao, Pangasinan; Kibungan, Benguet and the Mana-it Group.
The drum and lyre groups who joined the elimination on opening day last Feb. 1, and will take part in the showdown at the Athletic Bowl are Lucban Emenetary School, Tuba Elementary School, Mabini Elementary School, Jose P. Laurel Elementary School, Baguio Central School, Dontogan Elementary School and Maneul L. Quezon Elementary School.
In the high school category, the participants are Baguio City National High School, University of the Cordilleras Senior High, Saint Louis University Senior High, Remnant International College, Pinsao National High School and Pines City National High School.
Datuin said the number of viewers is expected to double during the flower float parade, not just because of the floats themselves but the celebrities who will be on them.
It was known that the cast of the television series “The General’s Daughter” will reportedly ride on the ABS-CBN float.
There will be 13 big floats and 11 small ones who will compete in two categories. Also joining the parade are the floats from Hall of Famer Baguio Country Club, SM City Baguio, NLEX Corporation and the city government.
The parade will start at the Panagbenga Park at Military Cut-off going to Session Road, Magsaysay Ave. and Harrison Road. The street dancing competition will be at the Athletic Bowl and the flower floats parade will end at Melvin Jones Football grounds.