Thousands of people from all walks of life on Monday night gathered and witnessed the switch-on ceremony of the City Hall Christmas lights and decors that kick-off the “Pascua na Zamboanga” festival (Christmas Festival in Zamboanga).
The ceremony coincided with the 110th anniversary of the construction of City Hall, making it one of the most important landmarks, a symbol of Zamboanga and a legacy and treasure of this city’s colorful history.
The switch-on ceremony was preceded by Christmas chorale presentation by selected students and grand children of the City Hall employees.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar led the switching-on of the Christmas lights and decors held in front of City Hall.
Officials of the city government and from the security sector as well as from the private sector joined Salazar during the ceremony.
City Hall remains lit up for the entire month of December in celebration of the yuletide season, to the delight of residents and tourists alike.
This year’s yuletide theme for City Hall will be Anghel de Navidad (Christmas Angels) and will have designs and decorations prepared by the City General Services Office (GSO).
Aside from City Hall, angel-themed displays are also the fixture in this city’s parks and recreation centers including the Plaza Rizal, Plaza Pershing, Paseo del Mar, and in major thoroughfares.
The city government has allotted PhP2 million for this year’s Christmas decors.
Government workers, students and families were seen taking pictures and “selfie” when the Christmas lights and decors were lighted.
Salazar said the public is welcome to gather at the City Hall grounds that would be lighted nightly.
In marking the 110th anniversary, Salazar highlighted City Hall’s transformation from being Provincial Capitol building during the American military regime to the present day, which is the seat of governance of this city.
Historical records showed the construction of the City Hall building began during the American military regime (1903-1914) when Zamboanga City was the capital of the Moro Province.
Major Leonard Wood, the first American military governor initiated the construction of the then Provincial Capitol building. (PNA)