Monday, September 15, 2014

Damaso Bangaoet, The Father Of The Panagbenga Flower Festival Has Died Today

The city of Baguio is known for a lot of things. The cool air that attracts people who wish to escape the numbing heat of the lowlands. Burnham Park and the man-made lake and giant ducks at its center. The unique cultural environment. Strawberries. Ube jam. Session Road. And of course, the annual Panagbenga Flower Festival.

It is with sadness that we meet the news that Atty. Damaso Bangaoet has passed away this morning (September 15). Bangaoet has been a key figure in the development of Baguio City as a tourism magnet during the last few decades. He, after all, is the brains behind the Panagbenga Flower Festival, an annual event that has generated millions of visitors to the city since its first staging in 1996. 

People who are familiar with Bangaoet's work and contributions to the city expressed their sentiments about his passing. Anthony de Leon of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) posted the following on his Facebook page.

The first Baguio Flower Festival which carried the theme "The Birth of a Tradition" was held in 1996. In 1997, it acquired a local name: Panagbenga. This is a Kankana-ey term which translates to "a time to bloom". Bangaoet has been instrumental in the realization of this event. For this, the citizens of Baguio City and everyone who had the opportunity to witness the festival, will always be grateful. Sir Dammy, thank you.