Tribute to ‘timeless fun’

SM Supermalls’ float at the Panagbenga Festival. | PHOTOGRAPHS BY KING RODRIGUEZ FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

Apart from its mantra “We Got it All for You,” the SM Supermalls, for so many decades, has been at the forefront of bringing happiness to Filipinos, especially to families.

They see to it that for every Filipino revelry, from festivals to holidays, they impart indelible joy to every customer’s heart.

That is why for this year’s Panagbenga Festival, which has been drawing huge crowd in Baguio City, SM Supermalls and its branch SM City Baguio featured its Sky Ranch-inspired float, emphasizing its commitment to providing delight to its millions of customers in the country.

“At SM, we are more than a destination; we are a journey back to the heart of family connections. Through the colorful and fun moments of our customers and parkgoers at Sky Ranch, we continue to bloom through the relationships we build, and the memories we create in and out of the mall,” said John Philip Baysac, mall manager of SM City Baguio, in an interview.

Aside from wowing Panagbenga visitors, Baysac said the Sky Ranch float aims to bring them to another world that evokes joy, fun and excitement.

“Having Sky Ranch as one of our main destinations is a way of our tribute to the timeless fun of family bonding. Our float is a whirlwind of thrilling rides and beloved classics like the enchanting carousel. It’s a place where adventure meets memory, crafting moments that bridge generations. It’s a dazzling world of SM extravaganza, where colors burst and laughter soars. We have spun the Ferris wheel of joy with a kaleidoscope of pink, green, white, blue and yellow,” he explained.

The SM Store visual merchandising department designed SM City Baguio’s Sky Ranch Float, made up of wood, plyboard, floral foam and assorted flowers that are endemic in Baguio City and Benguet, carefully crafted by roughly 50 personnel.

Despite being part of the Hall of Famers in 2012, the SM City Baguio team religiously made sure that their craft would be unique and would always wow spectators.

The Sky Ranch float that delighted the crowds at Panagbenga 2024 reminded of how bonding moments make relationships bloom.

“We have always envisioned to be one with our community, tourists and visitors included, in promoting the spirit of togetherness. Each float created is designed to evoke joy, fun and excitement to all our mallgoers and visitors,” Helen Pavo, branch manager of SM Store Baguio, said.

With an amusement park-inspired design, SM City Baguio’s non-competing entry has captured the 2024 Panagbenga Festival’s theme “Celebrating Traditions, Embracing Innovation.”

Much-awaited festival

The Panagbenga Festival traces its roots back to 1995 when it was first conceived as a response to the devastation caused by the 1990 Luzon earthquake. It aimed to boost tourism and revive the city’s spirit after the tragedy.

Since then, the festival has grown into one of the country’s much-awaited events, drawing visitors from all over the Philippines and other countries.

The festival is a cultural and environmental gem, spotlighting the vibrant Cordillera culture with traditional dances, music, arts and crafts. It also shines a light on the region’s biodiversity, especially its stunning array of flowers.

As the Panagbenga is considered one of the most anticipated festivals in the country, SM Baguio, since its operation in 2003, has been treating the festival as a blessing for them due to the influx of tourists from various parts of the country.

“Being one with the community of the City of Baguio, here at SM, we continue to promote and celebrate with the City’s one-of-a-kind festival — a showcase of unique talents, arts and culture and a testimony of oneness in the City of Pines,” according to Pavo.

‘Cool’ mall

The only mall in the City of Pines, SM City Baguio’s entire complex stands on a land area of 80,000 square meters on Luneta Hill on top of Session Road overlooking historic Burnham Park.

The mall, which has been providing bliss to Baguio City’s customers, is the first SM Supermall that does not use an air-conditioning system.

Also, SM City Baguio is the only SM Mall, other than the SM Mall of Asia, that uses natural lighting.