Feel-Good Christmas Trees From the World's Best Holiday Country, Part 1
Leyte, , Davao City, Tarlac, Ilocos Sur
Choose Philippines | Nov 07, 2014
Photo credit: Louie Lapat, CIO Tagum
Photo credit: Angela Kearney, UNICEF, via The Guardian
One of the many occasions when Filipinos can't wait to showcase our creativity is the Christmas season. We have our parols, banderitas, Christmas villages, floats, and awesome Christmas trees, from the humongous to the petite.
We have trees made of leaves at 30 feet, those adorned with dazzling lights at 50 feet, and those that are bare to the branches but touch our hearts and prove the Pinoy values of unity and resiliency.
1) San Manuel, Tarlac
A Christmas tree made of leaves from coconut and palmera stands at 30 feet in front of the Municipal Hall at San Manuel, Tarlac -- a city also known as the Belen Capital of the Philippines.
Exhibiting the Filipinos' creativity and ingenuity, the materials of the tree has been painted over with green and yellow colors to postpone its decay until January, Municipal Engineer Engr. Arnold Antolin said in an interview with ABS-CBN.
"Last year, dahon ng tubó ang ginamit, next year iba naman ang gagamitin," he added. (Last year, leaves of sugar cane were used, next year, we'll be using another material.)
2) Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
On November 10, the giant Christmas tree near the public market of Vigan City will once again light the cobblestone roads and ancestral houses of the heritage city.
Last year's tree stood (and rotated!) at more than 30 feet and highlighted representations of the New 7 Wonders finalist's rich arts and culture.
3) Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
A Philippine tradition since 1981, the giant tree at Araneta Center stands at about 86 feet. It is patterned * after the iconic Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
4) Tacloban, Leyte
Not even the most damaging calamity can stop the Filipinos from celebrating the Yuletide season and exuding the Christmas spirit of hope.
In the tent city of Tacloban, one of the cities laid to waste by supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013, the Christmas trees don't stand at 50 feet. They aren't as bright as the ones in Manila but they exhibit a different kind of greatness.
As published in The Guardian * through a photo essay by UNICEF worker, Angela Kearney, 'debris trees' can be found dotting the wreckage of the supertyphoon, uplifting the spirits of our countrymen.
5) Tagum City, Davao del Norte
The lighting of last year's giant Christmas Tree in Tagum City was proof of the Filipinos' unity in adversity. Survivors from the devastated province of Leyte joined in the festivities at Freedom Park in the highly-anticpated event of the Tagumeños.
Erected in the heart of the city at 78 feet, the tree is adorned with various shapes and sizes of flowers, angels, and birds -- all twinkling in the night. This annual tradition in Tagum started in 2000.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our feel-good series!