BAGUIO CITY – Children garbed in colorful Christmas attires, glittering lanterns in various shapes and sizes, sparkling lights dancing to yuletide tunes and a big Christmas tree ornamented and illumined.
Such scenes ushered in the month-long celebration of that most wonderful time of the year in this tourist city last Dec. 1.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan, in his Christmas message, exhorted residents to bring to life the Christmas spirit of loving, sharing and giving.
“Let us be thankful that we again reached another Christmas occasion in our lives and do our best to love our family, our neigh bors, our fellowmen and contribute to our communities and our city,” the mayor addressed participants in the “Silahis ng Pasko” Mardi Gras Friday morning.
Some 4,000 Day Care children and parents garbed in Nativity Scene costumes and other Christmas symbols paraded from Session Road to Melvin Jones for the first opening treat.
The program also featured the Mr. & Ms. Little Silahis ng Pasko coronation rites 2017, talent show and the Children’s Kultura-O-Rama and dancefest.
Session Road was closed to traffic the whole day to give way to more activities including Smart mini-games (videoke, shootout, bring-me etc.), chalk art, cosplay and dance contests from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the middle portion of the road, Globe Battle of the Drum and Lyre at `0 a.m., Grand Volks Canao car show and the Give Hype on Christmas day show presented by Globe and JKrayonsz Production.
In the afternoon, the city’s two Christmas centerpieces – the Tinatik Christmas Tree created by artist Maela Liwanag Jose at the Session Road rotunda and the big Christmas Tree at the Rose Garden — were unveiled.
The Rose Garden tree was lighted after the Christmas in Baguio opening program with city officials led by Mayor Domogan, Rep. Marquez Go and program chair Councilor Elmer Datuin and spiced up by Christmas performances by the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, the Baguio City National High School Marching Band and Choir, University of the Cordilleras Chorale, Percussion and Orchestra and Nativity Scene by the Baguio City National High School Special Program in the Arts.
At 5 p.m., the St. Louis University Marching Band played Christmas carols at Upper Session Road heralding the crowd-drawing lantern parade covering Session Road, Harrison Road and ended at the Baguio Athletic Bowl where a field demonstration was conducted.
At 7:15 p.m., the Philippine Military Academy Combo and other local bands mounted a Christmas Concert.
A fireworks display capped the day’s festivities.
Last Nov. 29, the city inaugurated the Christmas Lights and Sound Show at the Malcolm Square amid Christmas carols rendered by the BCNHS, the Astrafellas and the University of Baguio chorale and Graces Dance troupe.
It will offer a daily show from 6:30 p.m. with 30 minutes interval until Jan. 7.
Also launched was the Christmas at the Bell House, at the Bell House Ampitheater Camp John Hay from Dec. 1-31.
Silahis ng Pasko activities resumed last Dec. 2 with the Share-A-Joy Baguio Children’s Christmas Fun Alley and Raffle Joys (Little Helping Hands, Newspaper Boys, Shoeshine Boys, Baggage Boys and Bag Sellers) and the Quest for Baguio Lucky Christmas Family.
Satuday saw the staging of Bright Nights at the Baguio Convention Center and the Blossom of Lights at the SM Baguio Atrium which will have repeat runs on Dec. 9, 16, 23 and 30.
Today (Dec. 3), Silahis ng Pasko will mount the PMA Cadets Day at the Park (not on Dec. 1 as earlier reported) with Silent Drill Exhibition by the PMA Cadet Corps, AFP, 10 a.m. at Burnham Park and the PMA Band Concert, George Malcolm Square at 2:30 p.m.
From Dec. 6-8, UB will stage its Christmas Cantata every 4 p.m. at the UB Gym.
Other activities this week are:
Dec. 8: Immaculate Conception Day Festivities at the Holy Mass at NCCB Shrine of the Brown Madonna Km 7, Asin Road, Sitio Pacac, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet 9:00 AM;
Dec. 8-11: Quest for the Baguio Lucky Foreign Visitors, an international tourism promotions program by the National Correspondents Club of Baguio in partnership with the Department of Tourism – CAR, Office of the Municipal Mayor of La Trinidad and Office of the Provincial Governor of Benguet;
Dec. 8-9: Darts Tournament, Baguio Centermall, 10:30-7:30 PM; and
Dec. 9: Baguio City High School Dancing and Singing Christmas Tree hosted by BAMAPCOM and SLU-SVP Housing Cooperative, George Malcolm Square, 2:00 PM. /Aileen P. Refuerzo