An ecumenical prayer was delivered asking for successful the conduct of the Panagbenga and its different activities in the city and the protection of the city of Baguio and the rest of the world from nCoV.
“We ask you Lord to deliver us from all evil, spare us from destructive calamities and from crimes and most especially, deliver and protect us from the threats from the deadly coronavirus,” Catholic priest Fr. Rosito Pedro said in his prayer.
In his Islamic prayer, Uztadh Rohalas Muripaga called on Allah to make the Panagbenga better as an instrument of unity regardless of faith and diversity and protect the people from calamities and diseases and keep safe from the nCoV.
Councilor Vladimir Cayabas, in his uggayam, also prayed that the city and its residents will be safe from the virus as they appreciate the simple celebration of the Panagbenga.
In his welcome message, BFFFi Chairman for Life Mauricio Domogan in his day-eng or traditional prayers, also asked the blessing from the gods for the successful Panagbenga despite the Novel coronavirus scare.
Domogan also prayed for the safety and health of the public against the virus and for them to understand that the government is doing its best to save its people.
"I also pray that the Panagbenga will continue to become an instrument in bringing progress to the city," he prayed in a local dialect.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong explained that the postponement of the traditional opening parade to kick off the 25th Panagbenga festivities is to ensure the health and safety of residents and the tourists in the city. The decision was arrived at during an interagency meeting on Friday spearheaded by the Department of Health-Cordillera and participated by officials of the City Government, the BFFFI, other government agencies and other stakeholders.
Other events of the flower festival will continue, he said as he called on the public to continue showcasing the cultural heritage of the city which is a UNESCO Creative City.
After the opening program, the city and BFFI officials led the ribbon cutting ceremonies for the opening of the Baguio Blooms Exposition at the Baguio Convention Center area.
Panagbenga’s big events are expected to push through on later dates depending on the situation of the 2019 n-Cov. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis