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Baguio City Cancels Panagbenga Opening Day Festivities Over Coronavirus Threat

Heads up if you're visiting the City of Pines for the annual festival.

On January 30, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the first case of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines.

With the threat of the virus reaching Philippine shores, Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced on January 31 that the Panagbenga Grand Opening Day Parade slated on February 1 will be canceled.

According to a report from GMANews, Mayor Magalong announced during a press conference, “After due deliberation, I would like to make an announcement that I am canceling the Panagbenga street parade.”

The mayor said, “We’re doing this because we just would like to be proactive about it. We’re very much concerned about the health of our residents and visitors in the city. And we are just making sure that we’re doing everything preemptive.”

The Panagbenga Festival, which is a month-long celebration of the seasonal blooming of flowers, usually draws in thousands of tourists.

Mayor Magalong also said that the city is considering to cancel or postpone all of the events in the next three weeks. However, the mayor hasn’t decided whether the Panagbenga Grand Street Dance on February 29 and the Grand Float Parade on March 1 will be canceled.

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According to the mayor, Baguio hasn’t recorded any cases of the novel coronavirus, but the local government remains vigilant, ABS-CBN News reported.

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The mayor said of the decision to cancel or postpone the February 29 and March 1 events, “It depends on the latest development coming from the DOH.” 

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