Baguio residents told to have a meaningful but safe Christmas celebration

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Christmas celebration in the city continues with reminders to residents to have a meaningful but safe merrymaking amid the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

City Epidemiologist Dr. Donnabel  Panes urged residents to sacrifice a little by keeping to the health protocols while celebrating at the same time.

“It will be a different Christmas this year but let’s do it so we will be able to see each other again next  Christmas,” Panes said.

“Please be on guard, wear your personal protective equipment (PPEs), boost your immune system, open your windows for ventilation, avoid big family gatherings and the crowd,” she said.

Things may not have gotten off to a good start due to the controversy stirred by the opening event last Dec. 1 but the city is bent on achieving a significant albeit subdued and safe celebration this year.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong, in his message during the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas tree program which ushered in the city’s celebration, said that as the city gets into the spirit of the season, it will continue to strive to make the celebration safe and healthy on account of the pandemic.

“We will do it for one reason and that is because we love our family, our close friends, our neighbors, our city and all those coming to celebrate with us,” he said.

Addressing the apparent breach in health and safety protocols during the program which attracted a sizeable crowd, the mayor said he is taking full responsibility for the incident.

“It is unfortunate but please do not blame anyone other than me as your mayor,” he said.

He said the city’s celebration will continue to be guided by the COVID safety protocols issued by the national government and this will include prohibitions on some traditional activities like caroling and family and clan reunions.

Simbang gabi will be allowed but with limitations, he said.

“Let’s not be complacent. Let’s not allow ourselves to slacken or slide back to our careless ways,” he said as he called on the people to continue adhering to the safety measures of wearing masks, observing physical distancing, proper hand washing and sanitizing.

Let us keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from this virus as we commemorate the birth of Christ, he said. 

Aileen P. Refuerzo


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