200 lanterns, giant tree signal start of Ilonggo Christmas

200 lanterns, giant tree signal start of Ilonggo Christmas

ILOILO CITY- Christmas spirit is here as this “City of Love” kicked off the simultaneous lighting of 200 colorful star-shaped parols (lanterns) and a giant Christmas tree at the Garden Atrium of the Festive Walk inside Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao District on Friday night.

Lawyer Jobert Peñaflorida, outgoing chapter president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Iloilo, said the Ilonggo Christmas Parol of Hope 3.0 is the final project of their board of directors.

It started in 2019 with PCCI chair Dr. Sandra Gomez at the helm where 1,700 lanterns were placed all over city streets.

Last year it was cut to 700 and this year, down to 200 lanterns.

“Today is indeed a special day for PCCI and for Iloilo in support of the Iloilo city government to bring back Ilonggo Christmas Parol of Hope 3.0. This heartwarming project has always been anticipated by our fellow Ilonggos and never fails to bring joy, happiness, and love to the community,” Peñaflorida said.

The lanterns were made by persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the Ungka District Jail of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

The colorful lanterns were mounted along the major thoroughfares with the help of the city engineer’s office.

“It is not the number of parols but the joy and love that the parols continue to bring to inspire all of us to follow the lead of Mayor Jerry (Treñas) to recover together (amid the pandemic),” Peñaflorida added.

Treñas, in his message during the lighting ceremony, lauded the Megaworld and the PCCI, the prime movers of the event.

“I am lucky to be here in Iloilo, to be the local chief executive of Iloilo City because I have found it very enriching that our partnership is very strong not only to make Iloilo revive its economy after this pandemic but also to push for Iloilo to be developed,” he said. (PNA)

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