The giant Christmas tree standing majestically beside the Manila City Hall is a symbol of hope for Manileños and all Filipinos especially at a time when the country is battling a surging pandemic and natural disasters.

During the tree’s lighting ceremonies on November 23, 2020, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso likened the star on top to a guiding light in the middle of darkness.

“Tuloy ang buhay, tuloy ang Pasko (Life must go on, Christmas continues),” Domagoso said.

Domagoso told Manila residents not to lose hope saying everyone would all emerge wiser and stronger from the experience.

“Pag nalulungkot tingnan ang makukulay na ilaw na ito, sa dulo nitoy may sinag tala (whenever you feel sad, just look at the colorful lights, on top of this you’ll find the star), the symbol of hope, I want the city of Manila to be the symbol of opportunity, hope, and love for mankind,” Domagoso said, as he asked Manileños to extend and show care and concern to others because Christmas is the season of love, sharing, and caring.

Christmas trees always represent the holiday season worldwide. In the Philippines, which celebrates the world’s longest Christmas season, it stands tall as a symbol of hope, resilience and enduring spirit even in the midst of crisis.

This 2020, a difficult year, Filipinos have persevered and are determined to face the coming year head-on better and stronger.

The giant, glittering Christmas tree sparked hope among Manila residents. Netizens posted their reactions on Domagoso’s Facebook page, sharing their messages of hope and positivity this time of the year.

“Malalagpasan din natin ito (we will get through this). Just hold on and keep praying. Miracles happen every day. Stay safe and God bless everyone,” Erwin Sta-Cruz said.

“Sa kabila ng iba’t ibang krisis tuloy pa rin ang Pasko (despite the crisis we all experienced, there will be Christmas),” Willnor Corre said.

“Hope is still there. Merriest Christmas to all,” Shine Elvas said. (Marita Moaje, PNA)

(Photo grabbed from Isko Moreno Domagoso Facebook page)