“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go…” This is exactly the right song one should be singing when visiting the City of Tagum today.
The City of Tagum in the province of Davao Del Norte is branded as the Palm City of the Philippines and home to the various festivals celebrated every year. As a matter of fact, it is the only city in the whole Davao Region (Region XI) to boast 14 different grand festivals that truly depict the colorful culture, vibrant lifestyle and good governance of the Tagumeños.
This holiday season, the City of Tagum once again made another mark in the whole Davao Region as they welcome the Yuletide Season with the traditional Lighting of the Giant Holiday Tree. Luckily, I am amongst those honored guests given the privilege to witness this event up close and personal.
With a towering height of 108.60 feet (33.10 meters), the Giant Holiday Tree of the City of Tagum is considered as the tallest in the Davao Region and probably in Mindanao. Its traditional lighting spearheaded by no less than the father of the City, Mayor Rey Uy, marks the beginning of the bright shining glittering Christmas Season in the whole City of Tagum.
For six years now, the Giant Holiday Tree which is conveniently situated at the City’s Freedom Park has attracted thousands of visitors and tourists to come to the City to feel its Yuletide Spirit. It has become the City’s landmark that Tagumeños and visiting guests look forward to every Holiday Season. For this reason, the City Government of Tagum considered the Giant Holiday Tree as a landmark fit to be given much interest as part of the City’s tourism campaign. Thus, the City Engineer’s Office is tasked to come up new plans and fresh designs to make the Holiday Tree more appealing and inviting every year. Like the Giant Holiday Tree, its annual Traditional Lighting is also an anticipated event that everyone, including this writer, look forward to this Holiday Season.
And on the breezy evening of November 16th, 2011, this year’s Giant Holiday Tree came to life as Mayor Rey Uy together with other City Officials switched on the thousands glistening lights of the towering Christmas tree. At 33 meters in height lighted in full glory, the Giant Holiday Tree becomes the main attraction of the evening putting every spectator including myself in much awe and admiration.
This year’s Giant Holiday Tree is adorned with the different symbols of Christmas Season. Decorative shapes of flowers, snowflakes, angels blowing horns, doves, fruits and musicals notes abound the steel tree. Thousands of pixie lights and rice bulbs ranging from yellow, green, blue and red put these decorative shapes to life. The giant Bethlehem Star on top made the Holiday Tree more interesting and eye-catching.
During the formal lighting ceremonies, spectators are treated to a Street Choir Performance of the Tagum City Composite Chorale and Symphonic Band. The Christmas Carols sung by the 100 Voices Ensemble added flavors and drama to the lighting of the Giant Holiday Tree.
My friends at the City Information Office of the City of Tagum led by Mr. Edwin Lasquite proudly told me that the Giant Holiday Tree is the symbol of the love, peace and progress that the City of Tagum is experiencing day by day. He added that it has been the vision of Mayor Rey Uy that the Giant Holiday Tree will be fitting venue that will provide Tagumeños an opportunity to commune together to celebrate the yuletide season and share its message of peace. It is a holiday spot where families can come and bond together during yuletide season.
Having attended the grand lighting of the Giant Holiday Tree and felt its significance to the City of Tagum for two years now, I concluded that Mayor Rey Uy’s vision has reached thousands of people not just in the City of Tagum but its neighboring cities and towns as well. I, for one, was among those individuals looking forward to witness the lighting of the significant steel tree feeling one with the Tagumeños in welcoming the Yuletide Season. But it was not just the lighting of the Giant Holiday Tree that I’ve witnessed, but the message of love, peace and hope delivered and shared during the event.
To the people of Tagum and Mayor Rey Uy, thank you for opening your doors for us to experience “Christmas in the City of Tagum”!