SAN JOSE de BUENAVISTA, Antique: It’s barely 22 days before Christmas and anywhere you go around the province, people are busy preparing for the big day.
The provincial government of Antique turned on the Christmas lights installed around the EBJ Freedom Park on Thursday night. Old folks and children gathered to witness the switching on and were amazed at the spectacular fireworks.
In Central Antique, the town of Barbaza had a unique launch of its Christmas “village” featuring different Yuletide traditions from all over the world that students of Saint Anthony High School (SAHS) painstakingly created.
Every Grade level chose one country to portray. The Grade 11 class chose “Pasko sa Pinas” where they showed how Christmas is being celebrated in the country. The Grade 9 class chose to depict a “white Christmas” while Grade 10 presented the traditional Christmas in Rome.
Faculty and employees of the school had also their own “village.”
In the evenings, visitors and passers-by seeing these villages light up, will be reminded that Christmas is one event that make Antiquenos reminisce their own traditions.
The “villages” would also serve as tambayan or waiting area for the students of SAHS after they had attend the Misa de Gallo, which will start on December 16 and end on the 24th. Students could stay and be entertained by the tableaux while waiting for the school bell for their classes.
Similarly, the local government of Bugasong led by Mayor John Lloyd Pacete also initiated the setting up of international landmarks like the Singapore Merlion, the London Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower of Paris which are decorated with Christmas lights.
Mervin Kyle Rico, municipal tourism officer, said that these landmarks were put up in the Bugasong municipal plaza.
He added that through the replica of international landmarks, people from neighboring towns and even outside the province could have something to look forward to this Christmas and every Christmas in the coming years.
“It is also our tribute to our town mates who are working as overseas Filipino workers as they are our benefactors every time there is an affair or a celebration in Bugasong,” Rico said.
This Christmas activity also depicts the cooperation and the creativity of the different governmental agencies as well as private institutions in our town, he said.
Guests and visitors from all over the province are expected to flock to Bugasong town plaza at 6 p.m. on December 6 for “Sanlab 2016” which means the lightings for 2016.
These landmarks will stay until January 2017 when Bugasongnons will celebrate the annual “Bugas sa Lusong” Festival when more balikbayan are expected to come home. Only the belen or the nativity scene will be removed and replaced with the image of the Santo Nino as tribute to the Child Jesus whose feast is being celebrated in January.