Cagayan de Oro Christmas village display depicting 9/11 attack draws flak

December 16, 2022 - 3:59 PM
Photo shows a Christmas village and a scene that resembles the 9/11 terrorist attack (Cagayan de Oro City Information Office/Facebook; u/jk521/Reddit)

An entry for a Christmas village display contest in Cagayan de Oro was criticized on social media for its concept featuring a scene that depicted the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York, United States.

The Christmas village features displays of famous historical landmarks of the U.S. These include the Hollywood sign, the Statue of Liberty as well as the twin towers of the World Trade Center, among others.

The design that made online buzz features a plane hitting the twin towers of the World Trade Center.


The Christmas village immediately drew criticism online as it was perceived to be “insensitive.”

“I don’t know what message they are trying to portray, but this is highly inappropriate at the onset. Very insensitive at the very least. People died, and lives were ruined. This is not something that should be a part of a festive celebration,” a social media user said

“Bruhhh, so along the process of creating that, no one said or advised them that’s not a good idea? G*g*, tragedies are not for anyone’s amusement,” a Reddit user wrote

“That is the most insensitive sh*t I’ve ever seen,” an online user commented

“This is definitely not okay, under any circumstance,” a social media user said

“I wonder what they were trying to achieve. Big oof indeed,” a Reddit user commented

The display’s concept features the terrorist attack dubbed as 9/11. It was carried out by the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda.

They hijacked airplanes and performed suicide attacks on three sites such as the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

This terrorist attack took the lives of 2,996 people. Twenty of them were reported to be Filipinos. 

Last year, America marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. 

RELATED: US honors 9/11 dead on 20th anniversary of attacks | 9/11: The controversial story of the remains of the World Trade Center

‘Christmas around the world’

Meanwhile, the Christmas village display in question is part of Cagayan de Oro’s “Christmas Around the World: Christmas Village Display.”

Each barangay showcased their version of Christmas villages dubbed as “Pasko de Oro.” The displays can be viewed by the public at Plaza Divisoria, in Cagayan de Oro.

The Department of Tourism – Northern Mindanao Office promoted the attraction on Facebook. It features displays inspired by various countries.

“No need to travel far just to experience the Christmas traditions of other countries,” the DOT-NMO said.