Mar 9, 2020

Yet another festival has now been canceled over the coronavirus outbreak. (ICYMI, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 20 and the president has declared a state of public health emergency.)

The Panagbenga Flower Festival, which takes place in Baguio City to celebrate the culture and history of Baguio and Cordilleras, has been canceled. The festival was initially slated to take place in February, but the city mayor Benjamin Mangalong had moved it instead to March, just hours before the festival parade was supposed to take place.

For this year’s Panagbenga festival, there was supposed to be a regional schools sports meet and “the return of a rice wine celebration called ‘Ipitik,’” a gathering to celebrate local tapuy. 

Ipitik “bridges a gap between generations of Cordillerans and epochs of Cordilleran history, and between the solemnity of a sacred offering and the light-heartedness of a good drink shared among lifetime friends,” said one of the organizers, anthropologist Padmapani Lim Perez, in an article for Inquirer.net.

A reminder: the DOH has advised to avoid crowds to prevent the further spread of the virus, a call that’s even more important to note with the news of local transmissions.

 

Photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

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