Heritage Sites

Feel-Good Christmas Trees From the World's Best Holiday Country, Part 1

Leyte, , Davao City, Tarlac, Ilocos Sur

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Choose Philippines | Nov 07, 2014

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

Photos and story by Aldrin Soriano, ABS-CBN North Central Luzon

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.

Photos and story by Aldrin Soriano, ABS-CBN North Central Luzon

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.)

VIEW: Did you know that Tarlac is the Belen Capital of the Philippines?

Photo by Melanie Grace Heng, ABS-CBN Dagupan

2) Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

Photo credit: Baby Carla Jimenez *

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.

Photo credit: bigboyvillaruiz, via skyscrapercity.com *

VIEW: Make This Time-Traveling City One of World's New 7 Wonders

Calle Crisologo | Photo credit: Joseph Andie Lamug

3) Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City

Year 2007 | Photo from 'The Giant Christmas Tree in Araneta Center' Facebook

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.

Year 2011 | Photo from 'The Giant Christmas Tree in Araneta Center' Facebook

VIEW: Just an MRT ride away from Cubao is the Ayala Triangle Gardens Lights and Sound Show in Makati.

Photo credit: rebarcena, via shadowness.com *

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.

Photo credit: Angela Kearney, UNICEF, via The Guardian *

Photo credit: Angela Kearney, UNICEF, via The Guardian *

5) Tagum City, Davao del Norte

Photo credit: Louie Lapat, CIO Tagum *

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.

Photo credit: Louie Lapat, CIO Tagum *

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.

VIEW: Tagum City's Holiday Tree of Light

Photo and story by Mindanao Editor Ida Nanette Damo

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our feel-good series!

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