Baguio City‘s new Christmas tree site symbolizes the city’s progress amid the still raging COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial city government said.
Baguio’s Public Information Office shared the significance of the tree in a post on December 2.
It was also a day after the province’s “Christmas in Baguio” festivities opened with a tree lighting ceremony along Session Road in the city.
“The story culminates at the Christmas Tree area at the top of Session Road where its landscaping symbolizes Baguio’s growth amidst the pandemic with a Cordilleran Belen portraying the main reason for the Season—the birth of Christ,” read the post.
“The landscape also depicts the country’s ‘parol’ tradition and the journey of the ‘three kings’ to Bethlehem,” it added.
It further described the small, colorful parols that adorned the tree and the star on top.
“The diamonds that are small parols on the Christmas tree represent the light and hope of every person in the city and the different colors symbolize its various approaches in overcoming the dark – the pandemic,” Baguio PIO said.
“At the top of the tree is a mandala-inspired star where a mandala is an art form of healing and represents our city’s goal as a community to heal and recover as one,” it added.
In the province’s official website, it was stated that the tall tree is called Tinatik Christmas Tree. It was created by an artist named Maela Liwanag Jose.
Another Christmas tree that was unveiled last Wednesday was located at the Rose Garden.
Both trees were lighted in a special ceremony and program that marked the first day of Christmas celebrations in the city.
Different social activities were also held for this occasion such as the lantern parade, dance performances and a fireworks display.
Session Road, Baguio’s main thoroughfare, was also closed from traffic throughout that day.
Prior to this, Baguio’s PIO advised that the lighting ceremony itself will not be available for public viewing for health and safety reasons.
“The public is encouraged to watch tis livestreaming in this page,” it wrote.
In a report, however, the event still drew in large crowds and social distancing rules were no longer observed.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong later reminded tourists and residents to observe the mandated minimum health protocols given the still persisting COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” Magalong said.