The city government has opened its annual “Christmas in Baguio” celebration but reiterated the importance of “responsible celebration.”
Mayor Benjamin Magalong, during the traditional lighting of the Christmas tree on Session Road on Tuesday evening, said city residents can celebrate Christmas but should always be on guard as the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic persists.
“Let us not be careless, reckless, and be responsible not only for ourselves but for our family as well. Gawin nating ligtas ang Pasko ng Baguio, listas sa pandemya, ligtas sa sobrang abuso sa katawan, ligtas sa anumang panganib na dulot ng walang katapusang kasiyahan (Let us make Christmas in Baguio safe, safe from the pandemic, safe from abuse of our bodies, safe from any harm that may be caused by overjoy),” Magalong said while addressing residents who physically and virtually joined the lighting ceremony.
The city annually opens Christmas in Baguio festivities every December 1 with the lighting of the giant Christmas tree at the top of Session Road. It is preceded by the Christmas lantern parade of Saint Louis University where hundreds of lanterns in different shapes, sizes and figures are paraded by Baguio’s biggest academic institution on the city’s main thoroughfares.
The pandemic has limited the opening day to the lighting of the Christmas tree and lighting of the “highland Christmas story” lights and panels along the stretch of the city’s main thoroughfare.
This year’s decoration is focused on the theme “Highland Christmas Story” where Baguio’s culture is used as base in making the lights and panels.
He said the people can still celebrate but should always follow health and safety protocols like wearing of mask and face shield, hand washing, and physical distancing.
Magalong, however, said certain traditions are not allowed at this time such as house to house Christmas caroling and parties, and attendees to “simbang gabi” (dawn mass) will be limited inside the church.
While the usual activities are absent in this year’s festivities, he said a meaningful Christmas celebration can still be observed by the family. (PNA)
Photo Credit: www.pia.gov.ph