It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas right in the heart of the City of Smiles starting tonight when Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia will lead local government executives during the 6 p.m. lights-on ceremony at the Bacolod Public Plaza, where the iconic bandstand transforms into a “Lights Castle” and the symbolic Diamond Jubilee Tower facing Araneta Street, becomes the “Tower of Lights”.
CHRISTMAS GIFTS TO BACOLODNONS
Dr. Andrew Tan, head honcho of the Alliance Global Group, Inc. that includes real property developer Megaworld Corporation and Emperador Distillers, Inc., gifted Bacolodnons with Christmas lights and decorations at the Bacolod City Government Center and the Bacolod Public Plaza.
Dr. Andrew Tan is an adopted son of the city and had been named as Bacolod’s honorary mayor.
95,000 PLAZA LIGHTS
About 95,000 Christmas lights will clothe the bandstand, the 75th Jubilee Tower and some trees around the plaza for the holidays, executive assistant Sandra Sycip said.
Leonardia thanked Dr. Andrew Tan and his corporate executives for their generosity and for their love for Bacolod.
The mayor also expressed confidence that with continued public-private partnership, Bacolod’s economic progress will soar to greater levels in the coming years.
“We were able to keep a dynamic local economy despite the many challenges during the last two years. With our resilience and strong resolve, things could only get better and the future a lot brighter under the new normal,” Leonardia said.
TUNNEL OF LIGHTS
Visitors will also be greeted by the 40-foot (12.19-m) “Tunnel of Lights” from the Gatuslao Street side as they enter the plaza area to make for an exciting photo opportunity experience inside the passageway that will be accented with multi-colored neon and led string lights, Sycip said.
The mounting of the Christmas lights at the plaza, site of many historical events and also served as the venue for arena performances of the world-renowned annual MassKara Festival dance competitions, was mainly sponsored by Emperador Distillers, Inc.
Responsible for lighting the BCGC or New Government Center last November 29 to usher in the holiday season was Megaworld Corporation.
More appropriately called as the 75th Anniversary Jubilee Tower, the landmark was, inaugurated on June 18, 2013 by the city government. Based on the concept made by Leonardia, the Jubilee Tower stands as a reminder of Bacolod’s creation as a chartered city.
President Manuel L. Quezon signed Commonwealth Act No. 362, otherwise known as the “Charter of the City of Bacolod,” on June 18, 1938.
“That singular act catapulted this city to a distinct status that started its rise to become one of the premier cities in the Philippines. This monument will also serve as a welcome arch to symbolize the openness and hospitality of the Bacolodnon to visitors, tourists, immigrants and friends from all over the country and the whole world,” the tower’s dedication marker said.
WELL-LIT NGC ATTRACTS THOUSANDS
Bacolodnons witnessed the transformation of the BCGC that was illuminated with 18,360 Christmas lights late last month by Megaworld Corporation that developed the high-end Forbes Hill residences and the mixed-use, sprawling l estate called Upper East fronting the BCGC.
The New Government Center of Bacolod is considered as one of the most photographed landmarks in the Philippines today.
KEEPING SPIRITS HIGH
The lights and decorations at the NGC and the public plaza will keep the city’s spirits high amid the difficult times, Sycip said.
Emperador Distillers will also set up a corporate booth at the plaza for sampling of its latest flagship brand coffee brandy.
The Christmas lights and plaza decors, Sycip said, will remain until after the celebration of the Chinese New Year or the Bacolaodiat in early February 2022.
The lights at the Jubilee Tower will stay year-round, she added.*