It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the City of Manila—particularly at the Rizal Park.
The National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) sparked the beginning of the Christmas season in the city Monday night by formally lighting the park’s giant Christmas tree, belen, and other Christmas decor.
The event, called “Light On, Luneta,” was done simultaneously with similar ceremonies in other Manila landmarks such as the Manila City Hall, Intramuros, National Museum, and the Philippine Post Office.
According to Flor Buclatin, chief of staff and officer-in-charge of NPDC’s cultural and public affairs division, almost 8,000 people visited the Rizal Park Monday to check out the lights and Christmas ornaments—and have their photos taken, naturally.
What to watch out for: A lighted nativity scene or belen can be found near the Japanese Garden. Angels usher guests towards a 40-ft. high tree, brought to life by capiz parols. Multi-colored capiz lanterns accentuate the Aguinaldo House which is also lined with LED lights. Small star-shaped lanterns and capiz lights watch over the park, while poinsettia lanterns bedeck the lampposts. Another tourist draw is, of course, the dancing fountain that comes alive in an array of festive colors.
Buclatin says they reused many of their decors from last year, like some of the parols, angel figures, and the base of the giant Christmas tree.
“Mas meaningful siya ngayon kasi mas madami ang pwedeng maka-enjoy. Dahil nag-ease ng restrictions, mas madami ang makakapunta sa park,” says Buclatin of the park’s decor. Standard Covid protocols of physical distancing and wearing face masks are still observed at the park. Buclatin reminds parents to always keep kids within their sight as they have received reports of missing children.
The park is open until 8PM, but the NPDC is planning to extend it until 10PM on or before December 1. Since it’s already dark by 5:30PM, people start to go to the park around this time to enjoy the festive-looking Rizal Park, says the OIC.
Photos courtesy of the National Parks Development Committee