By John Noel E. Herrera
The Iloilo Provincial Capitol once again became a Christmas attraction in the city after it was illuminated with vibrant colors and lanterns during the Kasanag sang Paskwa sa Kapitolyo’s official lighting on Dec 1, 2022.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said this year’s lighting celebration comeback was more than just the glow of Christmas lights around the Capitol building, as the celebration also highlights the province’s recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Ang aton nga selebrasyon, preparasyon, ini gin pangabudlayan naton. We are here tonight kay gin bululigan naton ang pandemya, kung wala kita nagbuligay sang tyempo nga to, we would not be here tonight celebrating Christmas and having our lantern parade. The real light is all of us and the happiness of the whole province because we sacrificed together during the time of pandemic, and the way forward is padayon kita magbuligay nga masustinir naton ang gin-daog naton kontra sa pandemya,” Defensor said.
“Hindi lang ini umpisa sang selebrasyon, more important to us that this is a thanksgiving, pasalamat naton ini kay natagaan na kita sang kapasidad kag kahigayunan nga mag tipon kag mag sinadya. Nagapasalamat kita kay nakabangon na kita sa pandemya,” he added
Different from the usual string-type Christmas lights, the provincial government opted to use multi-colored laser lights this year to illuminate the capitol building and grounds, Casa Real, and all other structures in the compound.
The installation also features colorful lights on the path around the capitol grounds and as well as lighted lanterns on the trees, and along the Casa Real
The lights display did not just illuminate the whole Capitol, but it also lets people radiate positivity as they were all smiles while taking pictures, bringing back memories of the joyous Christmas celebration before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The provincial government also held a lantern parade starting from the capitol complex to the Drilon Bridge, Esplanade 9, Muelle Loney Bridge, Esplanade 8, Carpark Building, Bonifacio Drive sidewalk, and back to the capitol’s main gate, with employees wearing lighted headdresses and colorful props, engaging the public to join the lighting celebration.
Food kiosks were also invited to welcome and cater to the visitors to the capitol grounds every night, in partnership with the Local Economic Development and Investment Promotions (LEDIP) Office, while there will also be a trade fair until Dec 7, 2022.
The lighting of the Capitol grounds during the Christmas season has become one of the regular Christmas attractions in the city, but it was temporarily halted for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.