Issue of December 2, 2018
     
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2018
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Local mall lends stunning facade in lantern parade
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

A few moments before the entrance of the St. Louis University lantern parade at Session Road on Dec. 1, a home-grown establishment unveiled its façade with a burst of glittering lights and upbeat Christmas decor, providing a scenic backdrop to the much awaited annual procession that for 10 years now, signals the start of Christmas in Baguio festivities.

The lighting of the Christmas facade of Porta Vaga Mall, considered a heritage structure beside the landmark Puso ng Baguio Building, has been made part of this year’s official Christmas in Baguio calendar of activities as a symbolic cue for the parade as it entered and wound through Session Road.

The event, which also included the launching of the mall’s new official logo, is made grander this year in an effort to live up to the inclusion of Porta Vaga’s Nativity theme last year in the Courier’s Nominations 2017 as “Most Christmassy lighted building of the year.”

The mall got a lot of public attention last year for its remarkable Christmas decorations that lent a complementing backdrop to the SLU lantern parade and right after became an instant hit among residents and tourists for selfie or groupie photo opportunities.

With the trendsetting endeavor, the City Tourism Operations Office is said to be planning to push all establishment owners in Session Road to take after such initiative and come up with their original Christmas decor designs next year.

In ushering the lantern parade this year, the Porta Vaga management prepared a Hollywood-like Christmas decor with one big, majestic lantern and an explosion of Christmas lights in its façade in line with its theme “Royal Christmas.”

“With the many challenges people of Baguio had and experienced this year, our objective is just to give fun and happiness and let people feel the Christmas spirit, in spite of it all,” the Porta Vaga management said.

The royal treatment extends up to the inside of the establishment to make patrons and revellers feel like a king and queen while in the premises. A mini Christmas Village has also been set up in front of its department store for viewing and photo opportunity.

“We are pleasantly surprised by the people’s response to our offering last year, and so we were inspired to come up with better decorations this time and in the coming years. We are flattered as well that we are being considered a model so that Session Road, the whole stretch of it, would soon be very attractive and appreciated by more tourists and residents,” the management said, adding, “If Session Road would be one big Christmas village, as City Tourism Officer Alec Mapalo puts it, it would stand for one word: unity.”

They also assured that while it explores ways to keep up with the trends in industry, Porta Vaga will continue to be preserved as a heritage building.


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Ganza & Solibao Restaurants
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Philex Mining Corporation
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