March 3, 2024

It’s easy to forget that Christmas is just around the corner what with the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing unofficial non-campaigning of some candidates for national and local elective positions in our beloved republic of political dynasties.
Even Santa must be weeping for us. Anyway, as Baguio celebrates another year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the city continues to uplift the spirits of residents and visitors through its annual tradition of displaying Christmas decorations through a Christmas story.
City Planning and Development Officer Donna Tabangin said that if 2020 celebration was about a highland story, this year’s will extend to that of the lowlands through the display of Christmas decors inspired by the Parol story.
“This is our way of reaching out to our families and relatives outside the city so we can celebrate the season together,” she said. At Malcolm Square, people will celebrate the local way – with a community bonfire since the highlands didn’t have any parols but celebrated with a “light of fire” that embraces the highland culture expressed through Cordilleran silhouettes and symbols. A #BreatheBaguio installation is also in place representing the city’s unique brand.
The Parol story continues along Session Road with decors depicting a blend of highland culture and lowland traditions, including the Ibaloy bendiyan performed for healing and celebrations.
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.
The landscape also depicts the country’s parol tradition and the journey of the Three Kings to Bethlehem. 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 the pandemic, Tabangin said.
“Despite our differences, we are all going towards one goal which is healing and recovery,” she said. Tabangin said that 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. Happy holidays!

Here’s “Grow Old with Me” by John Lennon: “Grow old along with me/ The best is yet to be/ When our time has come/ We will be as one/ God bless our love/ God bless our love”

May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.