Zambales lights up with Yuletide colors


IBA, Zambales — With barely three weeks before Christmas, local government units in Zambales began lighting up government buildings, parks and other public spaces to bring traditional Yuletide cheers to residents in what will be their second Christmastime under the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Friday night, the provincial government swathed the capitol building here in full Christmas regalia, with hundreds of residents from various towns throughout the province witnessing the lighting ceremony and cheering for the accompanying fireworks.

Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. and other provincial officials turned on the lights at the Capitol in a ceremony that was livestreamed via the provincial government’s Facebook page.

Residents pose with gov. Ebdane before the lighted-up Zambales capitol building

Ebdane announced in the same ceremony the relaxation of quarantine restrictions in the province in time for the Christmas season and in consideration of the growing number of vaccinated residents.

“We have long been cooped up at home, and have experienced a lot of difficulty under the pandemic, but I feel glad that we have been resilient and now we are looking forward to better times,” Ebdane said.

He said that Zambales is now accepting visitors from other areas, and has allowed contact sports among the youth, as long as they are already vaccinated. He added that the provincial government has lifted the liquor ban, provided that the alcoholic beverages will be consumed only in private residences.

“If the situation improves furthermore until the yearend, we may also consider relaxing curfew hours and allowing more face-to-face classes for the youth,” Ebdane said.

At least 10 local schools, most of them in remote upland communities, were included by the Department of Education in the pilot program for limited in-person classes since last month.

The governor also noted that the Covid-19 infection rate in the province has been going down after more residents have been vaccinated. “As of last night, there are only 32 positive cases left in the province, but let us not be complacent and continue with wearing face masks and disinfection,” he said.

“With this, we have also allowed all the LGUs to set up local Christmas bazaars where you can shop for Christmas presents. We are all looking forward to a peaceful but lively holiday,” Ebdane added.

The Christmas lighting ceremony ended with a raffle draw that gave away prizes like bicycles, washing machines, cellular phones, bags of rice, and a laptop to the grand prize winner.

Meanwhile, some local government units have followed suit in decking local parks and municipal buildings with lights and decorations for the holidays.

The towns of Masinloc, Botolan, Cabangan, San Narciso, San Marcelino, Castillejos and Subic have put up similar lighted displays that attract residents at night.

Image courtesy of Jomar Romero

Read full article on BusinessMirror

Leave a Reply