A switch-on ceremony of a Christmas tree at the Capitol Heritage Park Tuesday, December 1 marked the celebration of Christmas despite how Covid-19 has thrown countries and communities into economic and social quandary.
The ceremony started with the lighting of lanterns taking on the design of a Christmas wreath. Members of the Cebu Provincial Board switched on the lanterns representing the seven districts.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia lit the star at the topmost of the tree and switched on the light for the entire Christmas tree which marked the start of the “Pasko sa Kapitolyo 2020.”
A blessing of the Christmas tree followed shortly officiated by Monsignor Roberto Alesna.
“As we come to illumine this tree may the light and cheer it gives be the sign of the joy in our hearts, may all those who delight in this tree come to the knowledge and joy of Salvation,” Alesna said in blessing the Christmas tree.
Afterwards, Garcia awarded the winners of a parol-making (lantern-making) contest. Richard Norton Mision of the Municipality of Consolacion received P10,000 for his “Ang Pasungan” (The Manger) creation. He received his prize in the presence of Consolacion Mayor Joannes “Joyjoy” Alegado and members of the Provincial Board Edsel Galeos, Christopher “Dong” Baricuatro, Kerrie Keane Shimura, Raul Bacaltos, Andrei “Red” Duterte, Jerico Rubio, Jerome Librando, among others.
Christopher Cesar Javier took second spot for his lantern bearing the theme: Peace, Love and Joy. He received P15,000. Javier, who is from Mandaue City, received the prize from Garcia in the presence of Councilor Cynthia Remedio.
Dino Ylanan, also of Mandaue City, took the plum with his lantern dubbed “Balaang Gabii” (Holy Night) and won P20,000.
The parols were chosen based on the following criteria: 30 percent on theme or concept, 30 percent on innovation of materials, 40 percent for presentation and impact.
An appreciation dinner capped the event. Tokens were handed over to groups and individuals who have helped the Cebu Provincial Government at the height of the pandemic.
Prior to that, 5th District PB Member Red Duterte, on behalf of Vice Governor Hilario “Junjun” Davide III and the entire Sangguniang Panlalawigan, said in his welcome speech that the event is a way to “appreciate the year that was bisan unsa pa kalisod sa atong naagian; still thankful ta sa atong Ginoo; kitang tanan nagtigum para sa Sugbo, para sa mga Sugbuanon, ug para sa Pilipinas. We hope nga moarang-arang na ang atong situation sa mosunod nga mga buwan.”
As for Monsignor Alesna, he blessed as well the groups and individuals who served as partners of the Cebu Provincial Government in pooling resources to assist constituents affected severely by the health crisis.
“We pray for all collaborators who have lived up to the Cebuano spirit of ‘united we stand, divided we fall.’ The pandemic has not dampened our spirit,” he stated. (Eleanor Valeros)