Las Pinas joins Panagbenga Festival with own water hyacinth float


BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – An attractive waterlily float from Las Piñas City joined a parade of the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City yesterday morning.

 The design of the waterlily float was conceptualized by Villar Foundation highlighting the livelihood projects, or aptly called green social enterprises, of the foundation.

These include among others the coco coir and peat enterprise, handloom blanket weaving enterprise and the water hyacinth weaving enterprise.

The waterlily float was decorated with combinations of Fiji, Malasian mums, Rosal and other flowers in purple, orange, green and white colors; mats and other handicrafts made out of water lilies or hyacinths and coco husks, which used to clog the Las Piñas-Zapote River until the foundation embarked on a river rehabilitation program.

Former Congresswoman Cynthia A. Villar, the managing director of Villar Foundation, said the water hyacinths or lilies and the materials made out of them, were the central theme of the float.

The water hyacinth weaving enterprise provides livelihood to 200 families in Las Piñas City.

“If Baguio is the ‘Summer Capital of the Philippines,’ Las Piñas is becoming known as the ‘Water Hyacinth Capital of Metro Manila.’ We are proud that we have turned water hyacinths from aquatic pests into sources of livelihood and now even works of art — as the design of our float and the gowns of Las Piñeras show,” she said.

“We are pleased to participate in this year’s Panagbenga Festival. Through our float, we would like to inspire and encourage people to venture into green social enterprises, which do not only protect the environment but provide livelihood opportunities to people as well,” she added.

The winners of at the beauty pageant during the 6th Waterlily Festival last year rode and graced the float. The ladies wore their winning gowns, which were made out of water lilies. (Freddie G. Lazaro)


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