LOOK: The Manila City government began on Monday, November 22, its Christmas celebration by holding its annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, together with Vice Mayor Doktora Honey Lacuna and Cong. Yul Servo-Nieto, led the simultaneous lighting of the Christmas decorations at Kartilya ng Katipunan and six other sites.

Some of the areas participate were Rizal Monument, Intramuros, National Museum, Manila Post Office, Metropolitan Theater, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

“Let this light be the symbol of hope that in the coming new year, there will be better things for us. May magandang naghihintay sa atin sa liwanag na yan, nagpapaalala sa ating mga Pilipino na ang Kapaskuhan ay masaya, may pag-asa. Ang Kapaskuhan ay may magandang kinabuksan na naghihintay para sa atin,” Domagoso said.

“Let this tree be a reminder that there will be good things for us in the coming weeks, months, and years of our lives. May awa ang Diyos, kapit lang,” he added.

Joining Domagoso were Vice Presidential candidate Doc Willie Ong, senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc of Aksyon Demokratiko and other city government officials.

As part of his Christmas season message, Domagoso said that spiritual relationship with God should be strengthened regardless of the circumstances.

“Sabay-sabay po tayong manalangin, magpasalamat, at huwag niyo nang tipirin na kausapin ang Diyos na humingi ng mga bagay na ninanais ninyo sa buhay. Habang busy is Jesus, dapat busy rin tayong manalangin at humingi ng tulong sa Kanya,” he said.

“Lagi tayong mananalig anuman ang gagawin natin, anuman ang pagsisikap natin, anuman ang pagpupunyagi natin, dapat lagi tayong maniniwala na may mas makapangyarihan sa Mayor, mas may makapangyarihan sa Presidente, iyon ang Diyos,” Domagoso added.

For her part, Lacuna said that the celebration of the Christmas season cannot be stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic while also reminding the implementation of health protocols at all times.

Lacuna then hope that the lighting of Christmas Tree at Kartilya may become a symbol of hope and inspiration to the lives of the public amid the pandemic.

“Ang Christmas tree na may iba’t ibang palamuti at ilaw ay tila nagsisilbing simbolo ng pag-asa at nagbibigay inspirasyon sa bawat isa na tuloy ang buhay anumang pagsubok ang ating harapin,” Lacuna said.

“Ipadama natin ang kagalakang hatid ng pasko sa ating pamilya, mga kaanak, mga kaibigan at sa ating kapwa. Tuloy pa rin ang pasko at tuloy na tuloy pa rin ang buhay,” she added.

(Photo by K R De Asis/MPIO)