Saturday, January 21, 2017

Miss Universe 2016 Candidates and Pia Wurtzbach at Mini Panagbenga of Baguio City

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and 28 Miss Universe candidates went to Baguio City as part of their tour of the country. In their honor, and for the residents' appreciation, a mini Baguio Flower Festival parade, or what we all popularly know as Panagbenga, was done part of their visit in the Summer Capital. Panagbenga is usually celebrated annually in the city every February but this is an opportunity for the Baguio officials to let the candidates experience even a little what it feels like to be part of their grandest parade.

Wurtzbach and candidates were welcomed by Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, and Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) president and Baguio Country Club (BCC) general manager Anthony de Leon in a simple rite followed by a silent drill exhibition by the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Baguio City is one of the few places in the country that will be visited by selected contestants of the Miss Universe Pageant.  Thus, City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan even issued an administrative order (AO) suspending classes in all levels on January 18, 2017 to pave way for the conduct of the street dancing and mini float parade for the visiting beauty contestants of the Miss Universe.

Roads in the city were closed early morning to prepare for the mini version of the flower festival with four floats and eight street dancing contingents ready for the exhibition performance for the international visitors. A contingent of 5,000 composed of schools, groups and officials paraded with the candidates along the stretch of Upper Session road until the Baguio Country Club to the delight of the waiting crowd.

On the Luzon float, candidates like Ms. Korea, Ms. Peru, Ms. Spain, Ms. Kenya and Ms. Colombia were on board. The Visayas float included the candidates like Ms. Finland, Ms. Denmark, and Ms. Barbados. On the Mindanao float, the contestants like Ms. Canada, Ms. Norway and Ms. Guam were on board. Reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach rode the Baguio Country Club float by herself wearing a royal blue gown.

According to Domogan, there is a need to suspend the classes in both private and public schools to allow the students, the Baguio residents as well as visitors to be able to witness the coming of the beauties from different countries of the world. He said this will be once of a lifetime event that will happen in the city. He added that this might be the first and the last of such kind that will be experienced in Baguio.

The candidates were also toured to Baguio Country Club’s (BCC) Infinity Garden where Baguio’s products, culture, arts and dances will be showcased. They also picked strawberries at the mini BCC Strawberry Farm and also planted trees indigenous to Baguio City at the same venue.

Partner Photographer: Edmund Ong Chua

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