Panagbenga festivities rescheduled for March

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(CNN Philippines, February 13) – The Panagbenga Festival has been rescheduled for next month after it was postponed in January due to the threat posed by the novel coronavirus infection or COVID-19.

The local government of Baguio and its partner Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. on Wednesday said the grand opening parade was moved to March 21.

Below are the new schedules of the Panagbenga festivities as of February 12:

-March 15 - Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilya Baguio including Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom, Cultural Show, Open Kite-Flying Competition and Fireworks Display

-March 22 - Panagbenga Cultural Dance Competition

-March 28 - Grand Street Parade

-March 29 - Grand Float Parade

-March 30 to April 5 - Session Road in Bloom

Panagbenga, which means “season of blooming,” is a flower festival traditionally celebrated every February in the summer capital of the Philippines. The festival, which is a representation of the history and values of the people of Baguio and the Cordilleras, has been going on for over two decades now.

The local government of Baguio made the decision to postpone its special occasions ahead of the Department of Health’s advisory, discouraging people from going to crowded events as precaution amid the health concerns caused by the new virus, which has killed over a thousand people and infected over 45,000 globally, mostly in mainland China.

There are a total of nine "patients under investigation" or people who may be afflicted by the COVID-19 at the Cordillera Administrative Region, according to government data. But as of Wednesday noon, five have already tested negative for the new virus.

Meanwhile, the annual Strawberry Festival of La Trinidad has been cancelled for the same reason. It was reset to March 9 to 31.