Issue of November 24, 2019
     
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Baguio Christmas tree returns to Session Road
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

The Christmas tree of Baguio, which we thought found a permanent home at the Rose Garden of Burnham Park will not be there this year.

The Christmas tree will be displayed anew at the Upper Session rotunda, the Baguio Tourism Council (BTC) announced Nov. 20.

The site where the tree used to stand will become a stage for nightly performances for the “An Enchanting Christmas in Baguio (AECB)” – an event organized by the BTC in partnership with the City Tourism Office. 

AECB creative director Ferdinand Balanag said the tree, with an estimated height of 18 feet will be simple, but elegant. It will feature natural plants highlighting poinsettias and pine cones, and will have an irrigation system to keep the plants hydrated.

Balanag said the city government allotted P300,000 for the installation of the tree and the BTC will be giving a counterpart, which it solicited from its sponsors. 

The AECB was launched yesterday at the Rose Garden with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bayanihan Dance Troupe performing.

During the city council’s Oct. 28 session, City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo that apart from the traditional Christmas activities in Baguio such as the SLU Lantern Parade , the Mardi Gras, and the Silahis ng Pasko, he also presented the line-up of activities for the AECB.

He said there will be weekly performances at the Rose Garden as part of the Yuletide activities in Baguio.

The Filipino tradition of simbang gabi will also be done  every 6 p.m.at Rose Garden.

Simultaneous with the launching was the unveiling of 20 thematic chalets where products not usually seen and bought in stores will be sold.

Mapalo said the BTC and the city government decided to adopt a European-inspired Christmas market this year in its attempt to be featured in international travel magazines. 

The Christmas fair will be similar to the Christmas markets in Europe like in Vienna, Austria; Prague, Czech Republic; Strasbourg, France; Berlin, Germany; Krakow, Poland; Budapest, Hungary and even some Asian countries like Tokyo, Japan; Singapore, and Taiwan. 

There will also be bonfires and picnics around the chalets. The BTC will also organize a soup kitchen, he added.

Mapalo said from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, activities include decorating Burnham Lake into a swan lake; Christmas art exhibit at the Dominican Heritage Hill; light show; nutcracker parade featuring Philippine Military Academy cadets; ballet performance by Baguio Ballet; University of Baguio cantata, barangay beautification contest, lights and sounds show, special event for persons with disabilities, New Year countdown, and fireworks display.


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