Baguio tones down Christmas activities

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The traditional merry-making in the city during the Yuletide season will not be as festive this year as the city government decided to tone down the activities for the month-long celebration of the Christmas in Baguio.

Supervising City Tourism Operations Officer Engr. Aloysius C. Mapalo said the city will have limited activities for the annual Christmas celebration in Baguio in view of the community quarantine protocols to prevent the possible surge in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases that might compromise the city health care system.

He disclosed the events that will be allowed during the Yuletide season will be the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at the top of Session Road that will be preceded by the walkthrough the Christmas highland story courtesy of the City Planning and Development Office.

The city tourism officer claimed Session Road will be closed to vehicular traffic on December 1, 2020 for the walkthrough of the Christmas highland story to be in strategic areas along the city’s main thoroughfare capped by the lighting of the Christmas tree.

According to him, the details of the Christmas highland story will be provided on readable information materials placed near the Christmas decorations that tell a story up to the area where the Christmas tree is situated.

Mapalo reported that the city is also considering pushing through with the annual New Year countdown to welcome the year 2021 despite the prevailing health pandemic to light up the toned down revelry.

He asserted the city government has to take the lead in complying with the prescribed health and safety protocols, especially during the Yuletide season where there will be numerous gatherings among families, clans and organizations to celebrate the Christmas even with the mandated limitations.

Previously, the city government, in partnership with the private sector, had lined up numerous crowd-drawing events for the month-long Christmas in Baguio as added attraction for residents and visitors spending their Yuletide break in the city.

Mapalo stipulated there are many visitors who have already made reservations in the different accommodation establishments in the city for their stay in the city this year-end break which will boost the efforts of the city government to gradually, safely and responsibly revive the tourism industry that spurred many of the city’s economic activities.

One of the major city events that had been cancelled is the traditional lantern parade of the St. Louis University (SLU) that usually coincides with the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Mapalo expressed optimism that with the easing up of the community quarantine guidelines in the coming months, the city ‘stourism industry will recover and regain its vibrance. By Dexter A. See