The Panagbenga and its fading novelty
It used to be that every February, the whole town was agog with expectation. It was again Panagbenga time. The flowers were abloom. Go up or down Kennon Road and the mountains would be speckled with yellow wild sunflowers. Drums and music would be in the air. There were gatherings here and there. Taxi drivers would be talking about the various activities lined up for the one month duration of the celebration. Now, it is a bit dry.
While the sunflowers still speckle the mountains, taxi drivers are now anxious about February. It is again traffic time. They don’t make much during the celebration. They are always stuck in traffic twiddling their thumbs. With just a few trips, the day is gone.
Except for businesses catering to tourists like hotels, restaurants, gas stations, souvenir shops, etc., the whole town has become weary of Panagbenga. For everything slows down during the peak days. So much so that many residents now schedule out of town activities during these times. To repeat, the community excitement is just not there anymore. You don’t feel it for it is gone.
Perhaps the reasons have to be threshed out. One would be the lack of innovation to make everyone excited. Whatever changes introduced are just not enough to arouse a renewed excitement. Even corporate sponsors seem to have vanished. They used to be everywhere talking about their promos and other marketing gimmicks. Is it because not enough effort was exerted to court them? Now, all their noise are replaced by the ubiquitous chatter about politics or those of politicians. Well, perhaps we can’t do much about the fact that it is election time.
To clarify, the most important innovation that could have been introduced was to involve the community. As always, such should mean activities that will benefit the local people. Otherwise, there would not be much interest. Any invitation to the locals for involvement that would entail cost and not gain would be received coldly. In this respect the corporate citizens should have been coaxed into offering activities that will mean some benefit to the people around.
The feeling now is that the organizers did not break their heads enough. But then again, if our leaders were innovative, this country would not anymore be a part of the third world.**