BAGUIO CITY – “Let’s not forget that the main reason we celebrate Christmas in Baguio is to share the season’s joy, love and peace to everyone”.
This was emphasized by city administrator and Christmas in Baguio 2016 action officer Carlos Canilao on the city’s Yuletide preparations.
On December 1, the city’s Giant Christmas Tree will be unveiled and lighted at the Rose Garden, Burnham Park starting 5.30 pm with an opening program, countdown and fireworks display.
Designed free-of-charge by Archt. Aries Go in cooperation with the City Buildings and Architecture Office, this year’s centerpiece, whose original concept was to be constructed wholly with recycled steel and scrap metal, will now be incorporated with twigs in order to be finished on time.
A CBAO representative said that the tree will also be taller than its original planned height to make it more visible to residents and visitors in the area.
Concerts will be conducted at Upper Session Road and Rose Garden by the Philippine Military Academy combo and other local bands while Christmas carols will take place at the New Malcolm Square. The promised world-class venue will have its soft opening on November 30.
The city’s “simple but memorable” Christmas Village made of recyclable materials at Children’s Playground will be launched with the lighting of Burnham park including the orchidarium. Parts of the central business district will also glitter with stellar multi-colored Christmas lights.
Saint Louis University will hold its annual fun run for hope including free medical and legal assistance with performances in between on November 26 and 27 at the Melvin Jones Grandstand. Its world-famous Lantern Parade is set on December 1 starting 6.30 pm thru the city’s main thoroughfares with the theme, “Different Colors of Nations”.
Also set to kick-off on December 1 are events under the “Silahis ng Pasko 2016” on its 43rd year that has been an integral part of the city’s Christmas celebration for many years.
The annual Yuletide offering is sponsored by the city government thru the city social welfare and development office (CSWDO) in coordination with the National Correspondents Club of Baguio (NCCB) headed by newsman and former councilor Nars Padilla.
A grand opening day extravaganza is slated on December 1 with a children-parents Christmas mardigras at 8 am followed by a grand opening program 9 am at Melvin Jones grandstand, Burnham Park with Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Congressman Mark Go to deliver Christmas messages.
Little Miss and Mister Silahis ng Pasko sa Baguio talent show, children’s “kultora-o-rama” and dance fest with day care centers is at 2 pm at Malcolm Square.
On December 3 is Share A Joy, Baguio children’s Christmas fun alley and raffle joys with little helping hands, newspaper boys, shoeshine boys, baggage boys and bag sellers. A palaro and raffle for gift items is set at 9 am at the Camp John Hay bell amphitheater hosted by the John Hay Management Corporation.
A PMA Cadet’s Day at the Park is set on December 4 with a silent drill exhibition 10 am at Burnham Park followed by a PMA band concert 2:30 pm at Malcolm Square.
On December 3 and 4 is the Quest for the Baguio Lucky Christmas Family 2016 who will be given a red carpet reception, accommodations, sightseeing tours including courtesy calls to ranking government officials.
Immaculate Conception Day festivities is on December 8 starting 9 am with a Thanksgiving Holy Mass for Peace, Solidarity and Progress at the NCCB Shrine of the Brown Madonna, Km. 7, Asin Road, Tuba, Benguet.
On December 11 is the Baguio City High School dancing and singing Christmas Tree starting 2 am at Malcolm Square hosted by the Baguio-Benguet Market Plaza Multi-Purpose Cooperative and the SLU-SVP Housing Cooperative.
A Special Day for Special People program is set on December 17 at 6:30 am with a wheelathon for the orthopedically impaired and walkathon for the visually impaired at South Drive and chess tournament for the blind at Malcolm Square.
At 8:30 am is the Children’s palaro participated by handicapped youngsters at Malcolm Square.
The Quest for the Baguio Lucky Foreign Visitors will be conducted from December 9 to 12 in partnership with the Department of Tourism-CAR and offices of the La Trinidad Mayor and Benguet Governor.
On December 25 is the Quest for the Baguio Lucky Christmas Baby hosted by the CSWDO, the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) and Baguio balikbayans. Padilla, in a Santa Claus costume, will also walk the city’s roads on this day.
The Baguio Lucky Balikbayan and CAR Sportsmen Day is on December 30 starting 9 am with a welcome reception, presentation of tokens and conduct of a “Pinikpikan” food festival at Sunshine Park.
On January 1, 2017 is the Quest for the Lucky New Year Baby hosted by the CSWDO, OSCA and Baguio Elderly Assembly.
The Silahis ng Pasko 2016 ends with the 29th Annual Kafagway Sports Award Program starting 9 am at Malcolm Square with the presentation of Achievement and Proficiency Awards to the year’s outstanding athletes, sportsmen and supporters of sports development in Baguio and Cordillera.
Other activities include the BAHAG airsoft tournament on December 3 and 4 at Melvin Jones football grounds; Baguio Volkswagen Week on December 5 to 11; PXC Laban MMA Baguio 5 at Baguio convention center on December 10; Alaska Merry Crema’s at Juan Luna Drive on December 4; UP Pasiklaban and Torch Parade on December 9;
Volkswagen club of the Philippines and Baguio Grand Volks Canao on December 10 and 11 at Lake Drive and Melvin Jones football grounds; Christmas Cantata at the University of Baguio gym on December 13 to 16; Misa de Gallo at Baguio convention center and other churches on 16 to 24; Gigmiksikan and Tugtog Tugatog on December 17 at Melvin Jones grandstand; and Generous Santa (biggest city-wide exchange gift) on December 18 at Malcolm Square.
A countdown to New Year 2017 will be conducted on December 31 with a grand fireworks display at Melvin Jones football grounds starting 12 midnight.
By Gaby Keith