BY MARK L. GARCIA
And then there was light, despite the rain.
Sagay City lit up its newly-renovated plaza with lights and Christmas decor as it officially kicked off the city’s Christmas Fair, after a two-year hiatus, on the night of December 9.
The rain never stopped the ceremony as the city’s top executives, barangay officials and employees led the official switch-on which marked the start of the 2022 Christmas Fair with the theme “Let There Be Light.”
“Let us be the light which will brighten the way of the lost,” Mayor Narciso “Narwin” Javelosa Jr., said in his speech, adding “Let us all join hands and do our share in making this world a better and happier place for all not only during Christmas Season but every day of our lives.”
This is the first city-led event in the public plaza since the city government started renovations in 2019.
The plaza and its nearby streets were decorated with thousands of Christmas lights and lanterns and hundreds of parols made by the persons deprived of liberty (PDL) of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-Sagay.
The program was highlighted with a performance of Christina Aguilera’s “This Christmas” by Alexis Oblenida and Voice Idol of Sagay winners and NIPAC Dancers of Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology, accompanied by the Sinigayan Kahoneros band.
Javelosa added that this is a season of giving, caring, and sharing and Sagaynons must always do these to the sick and the lost as it is the true meaning of charity and love.
“Together, let us pay homage and thanksgiving to the Almighty for His faithful provision of all our needs and His abounding mercy and compassion for all our misgivings,” he said.
Prior to the program, an ecumenical service was led by various religious heads in the city, who led the prayers dedicated to the city officials and employees, and Sagaynons.
In his speech, Vice Mayor Leo Rafael Cueva also said that as we receive God’s light, let us illumine others through love, kindness, and generosity.
“Be the light for our City and help us achieve more for our people by doing your share,” he said, adding “The season is bright with the light of love that gives meaning to the holiday season. The light has shown and darkness cannot stop it.”
Meanwhile, 2nd District Representative Alfredo Marañon III also said that the annual Christmas Fair opening in Sagay was often met with rain, but it never stopped the ceremonies.
“For nine years that I have served as the Mayor of Sagay, the rain has always been there during our Christmas Fair opening. But this is not a hindrance for all of us but a reason to celebrate more for the blessing God had given us throughout the year,” Marañon said.
In his speech, he also said that darkness and light are two contrasting things that connote different things, and Sagaynons must desire light as we welcome the holiday season.
“Darkness and light are two contrasting things. Darkness means envy, hatred, and bitterness but the light connotes joy, hope, and happiness,” the congressman said, adding “as we usher Christmas season, let us unburden ourselves with ill feelings and desire light, joy, happiness, and good things.”
The program was anticipated by thousands of Sagaynons who flocked to the public plaza despite the rain and ended with a band concert of “East Line Quintet” and Sinigayan Kahoneros.
After the ceremonial switch-on, the Christmas Fair will be highlighted by a dog walk and talk on responsible pet ownership on Dec. 16; a fun run and walk and DepEd Christmas Lantern Parade on Dec. 17; Daigon sang mga Kasimbahan on Dec. 18; Sagay schools program at the plaza on Dec. 19 to 21; and closing ceremonies on Dec. 22.
There will also be nightly acoustic bands at the plaza promenade from Dec. 10 to 21, and a grand fireworks display on Dec. 31.*