Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso assured his constituents of a hopeful and optimistic holiday season as the local government of the capital city is expected to roll out its holiday events in the coming weeks.

In a directional meeting with city government officials, Domagoso announced that the traditional ‘Simbang Gabi’ will be held at the Kartilya ng Katipunan, with the help of the Quiapo Church.Likewise, Manila City Tourism Officer Charlie Duñgo said that anticipated Christmas masses will also be held at the Kartilya ng Katipunan starting 8:00 pm on December 15. City government offices, bureaus and departments will actively participate in the masses.Duñgo, who heads the Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila (DTCAM), added that they will organize a coffee festival called ‘Kape’t Luntian’ at the Bonifacio Shrine Garden, in coordination with Sagada Coffee.With these events, Domagoso said Manileños would be able to remain hopeful, even during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let the City of Manila be the beacon of hope during this season,” Domagoso said, assuring his constituents that the local government will continue to work hand in hand with them for a cheerful holiday season.”We will not be stopped by the pandemic. Ang gusto ko makita nila is welcome po sila sa Maynila. What is the purpose of government? Government is service, public service,” he added.

On the other hand, the Manila City government is also planning to organize “Paskuhan sa Maynila,” an upcoming month-long bazaar spearheaded by the Bureau of Permits.

Bureau of Permits Director Levi Facundo said preparations are still underway for the program, but he stressed that the program will not only help businesses boost their income but also allow them to generate more jobs for Manileños. “We really wanted to remind them that hope is not lost. The fact na natapos natin yung taon is already a blessing, and we’re looking to a better year,” Facundo said.

“You being with your family in that moment, eating puto bumbong, listening to some music, bonding with your loved ones, is a big thing. It makes you breathe even just for a day from the stress that COVID-19 has brought you,” he added.The Mayor said the month-long bazaar will also give business owners the platform they need to reach more consumers.

“If we can provide an outlet for these businesses to reach many new clients for immediate future, why not? Let us help them. Generate more jobs. Give businesses an opportunity to open,” Domagoso said.Christmas food packages will also be distributed to over 650,000 families residing in the City of Manila, and gift packs will be given to senior citizens.

Domagoso said that through these efforts, citizens of Manila will be inspired to look forward for the coming of 2021.”It’s new year. We have to inspire our people that 2021 is a new year. In line with our statement, our rules are always certain: Sa Maynila, lahat pantay-pantay – walang mahirap, walang middle class, walang mayaman. Sa Maynila, walang maiiwan,” Domagoso said.