As a prelude to the city’s parochial fiesta this coming November 23, the city formally lit up its Holiday Tree last November 13, 2014 at the Freedom Park. The annual event has become a highly-anticipated program, where thousands of Tagumenyos join in the countdown to signal the formal lighting of the city’s Christmas icon which is present in every holiday season since the start of the new millennium.
No less than Mayor Allan L. Rellon and Gov. Rodolfo P. del Rosario, along with the rest of the city officials, led locals in lighting this year’s 61-feet holiday tree adorned with 373 meters of rope lights, 645 sets of rice bulbs and 319 assorted sets of decorative designs consisting of snow flakes, leaves, birds, stars, raindrops and sequential lights.
Adding flare to this year’s icon is the humungous life-sized eagle—with a wingspan of 5 meters and a height of 1.5 meters—sitting atop the holiday tree and just below a multi-colored star representing the Almighty Creator, lighting the path of the eagle representing the ten-point development agenda of the Rellon administration.
Mayor Rellon bared that the city allocated 600 thousand pesos for the annual structure and some of the materials used were recycled from last year’s holiday tree. The private sector also donated a substantial amount for the provision of Christmas lights.
Thursday’s ceremony was marked with grand musical performances from the chorale groups in the city, brass bands, the symphonic orchestra and the dancing traffic officers, eliciting cheers and smiles from people from all walks of life and from different cultural and religious affiliations.
Anwar Maadel, a government employee and a proud Muslim, said that the city’s Christmas icon never failed to muster hope and unity among the tri-people of Tagum every year.
“It is a symbol of the joyous spirit of Christmas with all its hopes and dreams and that truly Filipino culture of being one as a people and as a family,” added Ida Damo of ABS-CBN’s Choose Philippines.
Aside from the Freedom Park, major streets and government buildings in Tagum are also decorated with lights, adding to the vibrancy of the Tagumenyo Christmas spirit.
The holiday’s tree comes to life nightly starting at 6 PM and will be lights out at 2 in the morning.
Written by Louie Lapat, Photo credits by Leo Timogan, both men are from CIO Tagum.