27 February, 2016

Side Trip: Bustling Burnham Park on Panagbenga Month

In a post I wrote last year about Baguio, I said that the Philippines' City of Pines is glorious in February. The temperature drops to a pleasant 10-13 at night and it's somewhere between 14-18 during the day. There's sharp cold snap in the evening, which I found surprisingly refreshing. It's a nice change of atmosphere from my daily and usual urban jungle. The Panagbenga Festival ( Blooming Flowers Festival ) is another reason to go to the Summer of Capital of the Philippines during the month of hearts.

Burnham Park, Panagbenga

Panagbenga is a month-long annual flower festival with a super-duper grand culminating activity that usually takes place on the last weekend of February. Tourists flock to Baguio to witness the float parade, street dance parade, and grand fireworks display. I have not experienced these because I don't like crowds but I did see the transformation of Burnham Park during Panagbenga month.

Located in the heart of Baguio, Burham Park is one of Baguio's top tourist destinations and is a favorite local attraction amongst locals, too. Most of us are used to the laidback and serene Burnham Park but as I said, it morphs into this cheery, bustling street market during the month-long Panagbenga Festival. During one of my trips to Baguio last year, I was lucky to have experienced a different kind of Burnham Park.




What to expect.
The experience of walking around Burnham Park on a late Saturday afternoon together with locals and other tourists make it worth the visit. You can expect to find a lot of cute Baguio souvenir items ( e.g. key chains, purses, crafts, pencils, coasters ), clothing, shoes, sandals, bags, accessories, trinkets, and a lot of locally made goods. This would be a good time to purchase popular Baguio treats that ManileƱos love such as chocolate crinkles, snow balls, strawberry jam, and peanut brittle. Most merchants will give a 3 for Php100 / approximately $2.25 deal. If you're going to shop, everything is on cash basis here. You need to make sure that you bring enough moolah because it's a long walk from the bazaar area to where the ATMs are.


Since there are not a lot of malls in Baguio and the organizers of the Panagbenga Festival do an awesome job with their promotions, expect that bazillions of people spend their weekend here. People come in groups. I am not a very patient person and crowds are not my thing so my patience was tested the last time I was here. I managed and I did well. I was able to stay for 4 hours on Saturday, went back on a Sunday, and spent another 2-3 hours.

Cheap Food and Cool Finds
I hoarded strawberry keychains, some abubots ( trinkets ), and accessories as pasalubongs. I got them really cheap at 5 for Php100 but if you have a gift for haggling, you can usually negotiate the price. The nicer vendors will throw in an extra item or two with bulk purchases. You will also find a strip of pocket gardens as one of the highlights of both the festival and the street market. These pocket gardens are entries for the landscaping competition. The awarding is usually done towards the end of the Panagbenga month. At the end of this strip are a few stalls that sell plants and bottled turmeric, cumin, and other herbs & spices. Albeit they were heavy to carry, I bought a lot of them for my Mom. We both believe in the medicinal and health benefits of turmeric powder and cumin.

What I enjoyed most and the main reason that made me come back to Burnham Park that weekend was the food. Like a tourist, I excitedly checked out all the food stalls to see something that would tickle my fancy. One thing I learned from this trip, people who live in Baguio love Hotdogs and Shawarma.




Thinking back on all the stuff we ate that weekend, the Cheesy Footlong was a huge hit. My colleagues and I could not get overs its price. At Php35 ( approx $0.74 ), it was good and sobrang sulit. I tell you, you will not find a restaurant or even a food stall in Manila that will sell you a Footlong Sandwich at Php35.

I also had my share of mouth-watering Shawarma with Cheese and the best hot shawarma sauce ever, paired with a refreshing Strawberry Smoothie. Aside from the Cheesy Footlong and Shawarma, you'd also find burgers, bacon-wrapped hotdogs, barbeque, arroz caldo, pancakes, rice bowls ( from Baguio Country Club's food stall ), ice cream, brewed coffee, and crepes.


Girlfriend Tips
1. Bring a big and sturdy shopping bag with you especially if you are on a mission to splurge. It will be convenient.
2. Wear comfortable footwear because they close the roads so you have to walk far to get to your car.
3. Bargaining is okay so do not be intimidated. That's the beauty of shopping in street markets here in the Philippines.
4. Not all food stalls have tables set-up so you have to be strategic during meal time. Pick a food stall that has tables.
5. The wash room is far and I mean farrrrr. You would want to do your whatever your business is before coming here.



If you're planning a trip to Baguio, you cannot leave the City of Pines without visiting Burnham Park. To get there, you can take a cab if you're not bringing your car. You can ask anyone on how-to-get there. It's a well-known landmark so any driver or local would know where Burnham Park is. On a normal day, it isn't as busy as the photos you've seen in this post.Ü ☮..Peace + _Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.


» Photo Credit for Top Photo: Thank you Sister Daily
» Learn more about Burnham Park and it's history. Visit BaguioCity.Co

65 comments:

Angelic Sinova said...

Panagbenga Festival sounds (and looks) so lovely! We have a flower festival here in Chicago (but it's usually only a weekend long) and it's so much fun to attend. I could spend HOURS looking at all the gorgeous flowers and plants <3

Shelley Polarbelle said...

I love to go to outdoor craft areas like this, especially when I'm traveling. It's important to me to get a feel for the whole taste of the area...including food, hand crafts, things that are important to the people of the region. Pretty cool.

Alli Smith said...

I would love to spend the day visiting Burnham Park during the festival. The food and all the shopping would be so much fun.

Travel blogger said...

This sounds like such an amazing place! I have always wanted to go to the Philippines. I will have to visit Burnham Park.

Jennifer Juro said...

I would love to travel to the Philipines!! What an amazing looking park to visit while there!

Cara W said...

Your post brings me back to memory land when we would visit Baguio and Burnham park would be one of our stops. We would rent bicycles and roam all over! Thanks for sharing your visit there. i enjoyed reading it!

Megan Elford {WelcomeToTheZoo} said...

I bet you could get all sorts of gifts for friends and family there! And I love the idea of haggling and bargaining for prices, although I don't know if I'd be brave enough to actually try it, ha ha!

Liz Mays said...

I'd love to browse through all of those stalls. How nice! Those footlongs were a great value.

Esther Freedman said...

Looks like a great place to hang out! Those flowers are gorgeous!

Jennifer EngineerMommy said...

This looks like a fabulous place to visit. I'd love to try some of the local food and shop for some cool jewelry too!

Rachel said...

Burnham Park looks so fun! I'd love to visit there! I hope to make it to the PI before the end of 2017 so this is going on the list!

Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez said...

I'd love to visit the Philippines one day. All of these photos are so vibrant and full of color...just beautiful!

Anosa Malanga said...

Oh wow what a beautiful park and sounds like such a lovely place, I am yet to visit the Philippines but I hear it's a beautiful county all in all

Marie Moody said...

WOW! A Footlong for only 74 cents???!!! That's awesome and they sure looked a lot longer than a footlong. That was good enough for either two people or one person for breakfast, lunch and dinner. hehehehe!

Coolmoms Cooltips said...

I would love to try that cheesy footling too! I have never been to the Philippines. Very informative!

Miles L. said...

I’ve been in Burnham, Park when I visited the Philippines. I just love the weather and the friendly people.

Christy Garrett said...

The flowers look so pretty. I love walking the street markets when they come to our area.

That was a cheap meal. :)

Six Time Mommy TEST said...

Wow how awesome. I would love to check out Burnham Park. I wish I was able to. Looks like a really great way to spend some time. I would love to visit the Philippines. - JEANINE

Terri Beavers said...

Oh my gosh, I've never seen a hotdog that big before, lol. Your photos are so pretty, I wish there were springy colors around here but everything is drab and dreary still.

Christy Hoover said...

Those flowers are looks big and beautiful, I've never been there but I'm sure I will be there next year.

Debarpan said...

Panagbenga Festival seems a great festival indeed.Would surely love to make a visit inn Burnham Park during the festival.Nice article.

Karen said...

We were in Burnham Park a week before the Panagbenga parade as part of our road trip to Benguet. We ate at Solibao Restaurant, roam around the park while the kids enjoyed biking.

Claire Algarme said...

I really love visiting Baguio City. But I've never experienced Panagbenga despite the many times I've been to Baguio. I think the city is too crowded during that time.

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

The okonomi yaki dish is very popular in every country! I see this in Taiwan when I'm here too!
P.S. I like your good tips to visit this place!

Jason P. said...

Desperately want to experience a festival like this! Penagbenga is so beautiful! :D

Elizabeth O. said...

How can you no to a month long celebration of flowers! I love festivals, they are just so full of like and excitement. It's nice to see that there are plenty of things to do while you're there and the food is just exquisite.

Shubhada Bhide said...

It is fun to visit such places with friends and family. Natural beauty, food and relaxation is what I expect from this place.

Fred Hawson said...

I have been in Baguio in February and it was really a great month to visit. However, I am not really for crowds so we timed it before Panagbenga. I don't know if I will enjoy the multitude of people during this festival, which does not jive with my reasons to visit Baguio.

Franc said...

I haven't been to Panagbenga for years. It's really so festive and colorful during that time plus I love the food alternatives you have during the celebrations.

Bhushavali N said...

Looks colorful. Always, these street food festivals and road side bargain shopping are just best things to do at times!!! Gives an adrenaline rush... Lolz!!!

PJ Zafra said...

I've been there before. Nice place to walk around. Lots of color here and a lot of people as well. I had fun when I visited this place. I would love to visit again soon. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you had a great time.

Sunshine Kelly said...

I love strolling at weekend market. Yeah agree with you to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Plus bring our own shopping or recycle bag.

Erica Villas said...

I've only been to Baguio once in 2010 or 2011 but I think I might go next week. This gets me excited plus a bunch of new ideas to try.

yvonnembertoldo said...

Miss attending the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio. I think it was 6-7 years ago since the last time I've seen the festival. My parents actually have a bazaar there every Panagbenga but business wasn't successful unlike the early years so they had to quit the annual bazaar.

Arisa Chow said...

So Many things to see and buy, think if I were to go with a prepared amount of cash in hand, it wouldn't be enough haha

Nath E said...

This reminds me of my trip to Thailand and Malaysia. I absolutely loved the pretty little things and street food! I will have to add the Philippines to my list and to visit Baguio. Thanks for sharing!

Leke Awonuga said...

Chessy foot long radiates yummy to my eyes. I love the beautiful smiles y'all got on the pics. Keep doing your thing with ease!

Masshole Mommy said...

That sounds so fun! I would be there in a heartbeat if I lived closer.

Elizabeth DiBurro said...

I would LOVE to go to this market! It looks amazing! You've done a great job capturing what it is like and I love that you offered tips too. Thank you!

Melisa said...

This looks like such a quant and lovely festival. I love little things like this. You can always get wonderful food and find great little things to buy.

Ms KathyKenny said...

I love Baguio. I hate that tourist have invaded it so much. Too many people at one time and the beauty of a place is just lost.

Elizabeth O. said...

I would love to go to a lower festival! Who wouldn't want to celebrate flowers, they are beautiful and they add so much life to our daily lives. I like that there are various stores during the festival, that makes everything more exciting!

Doran HauteBeautyGuide said...

What a fun and colorful day. Your pictures make me want to visit.

Eugenia said...

Baguio seems like a wonderful place to visit! The Burnham park is so beautiful! I’d like to be there! Thanks for sharing such an inspiring post!

Jessica Cassidy said...

I hope to visit Baguio one day when my family and I will visit the Philippines. There are so many beautiful places to visit and explore.

Pellerini said...

Burnham Park looks like a fun day excursion!

Laurie LaBrecque said...

It looks like an amazing way to spend a weekend! I would love to go one day!

Amanda said...

What a great place to visit! Looks like bustling fun!

Shaylee Anne said...

Ohhh I could spend all day here! What amazing array of shopping and eating :)

Amy Jones said...

It looks so lively, i love places where a lot of people gather, wish i had the time to go there! =)

LifeAsAConvert said...

This looks like a busy - yet fun - place. Very "happening". I'd love to travel there and visit.

JOJO VITO said...

oh, this post is enticing me to visit Baguio especially this summer time :)

Sage said...

I love a good bazaar and I love street food, so this post was right up my alley! Thanks for a great Friday morning read :)

Mary Johnson said...

Your pictures make the city and the market come alive off the screen. It would be so fun to walk in your shoes one day.

Ana Fernandez said...

THis is so amazing! Would love to go there ! I have heard so many good things about Philippines

Anonymous said...

looks really great. Good food good destinations - Jason Young

kareen liez said...

I have visited the park years ago when I was still in college and it is indeed a nice place. Hope to bring my daughter there one of these days. And I love that bazaar!

bluedreamer27 said...

Oh i was there during the Grand Float Parade and it was my first time witnessing this wonderful festival and I will surely visit this place next year... It was also my first trip in Baguio and I really had a great blast!
Too bad I wasn't able to visit the Burnham park (it was actually part of our itinerary but it was way too crowded that time)

Dalba Castrillon said...

Love the pictures. Looks like a very interesting place to spend an afternoon with friends. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah-Louise Bailey said...

Oh wow this looks like the most amazing place to visit all the stalls and atmosphere seem amazing.

Mommy Rockin' In Style said...

The last time we went to Baguio was 3 years ago and that's before I got pregnant. I am looking forward to visit it again with my son this time. Thanks for sharing!

Mhaan <3 | Mommy Rockin' In Style Blog

LadyAnne Louise Barrun said...

I heard a lot of great finds in Baguio. Seeing this post, I have to plan a vacation with my family. It's been a long time since I went to Burnham Park.

Neri Ann said...

I am still hoping and wishing that we could visit this place one day. Those fine crafts are really a steal plus having a good food and a nice view. And of course don't forget about those flowers!

Himanshi Lydia Singh said...

I don't know when i will visit here but will definitely come with a big bag for shopping..The images are very attractive and brink me closer to the place.

CourtneyLynne said...

Oooo I just love festivals!!! Can't wait for it to warm up here in NY so we start to have some locally again!