It’s lights on for Tree of Hope this Dec. 1

By: /Siliman University Intern Julien Piñero, Jose Santino S. Bunachita November 11,2017 - 09:12 PM

SYMBOL OF CHEER. Despite being toppled by Yolanda’s winds in Nov. 8, 2013, the Christmas Tree of Hope remains a symbol of Christmas cheer for residents and visitors to Cebu City.
CDN Photo/Junjie Mendoza

With the Christmas season kicking off last September 1, work on the M. Lhuillier Christmas Tree of Hope at the Fuente Osmeña Circle in Cebu City is expected to be completed before December 1.

A familiar, welcome sight right during the Christmas season in the heart of Cebu City since 2000, the 115-foot Christmas Tree of Hope is adorned with all sorts of eye-catching ornaments that light up as soon as the sun sets over the city skyline.

Decked with sliver metallic foil with four colors, the Christmas tree’s giant leaves are covered with fine plastic screen to give it better protection from the unpredictable weather.

It also has 25,000 blinking lights and 500 star lanterns along with assorted diadems and poinsettias.

The Christmas Tree of Hope is considered the tallest Christmas tree in the country’s southern regions.

At the base of the tree stands a Sto. Niño image, a reminder to every passerby about the true meaning of the season.

As had been the custom, the tree will be taken down after the annual Sinulog observance in January.

John Adiong, who headed construction on the tree, said they started work last September 25.

The lighting ceremony attended by M. Lhuillier and City Hall officials and witnessed by city residents is followed by a fireworks display.

It also kicks off the Pasko sa Sugbo program that includes a month’s worth of holiday entertainment at the Fuente Circle.

Michel Jones Lhuillier, owner of the M. Lhuillier Group of companies that sponsored construction of the Christmas Tree of Hope, said they volunteered to put up the giant Christmas tree to brighten up Fuente Osmeña Circle during the Christmas season.

For years, the Christmas Tree of Hope stood without incident for a decade until the earthquake in October 15, 2013 and the gale-force winds of Super Typhoon Yolanda a month later toppled it a few weeks ahead of the lighting ceremony.

Adiong recounted that they reinforced the tree’s foundation to make it more resilient.

Aside from resilience, Mr. Lhuillier said the Christmas Tree of Hope is meant to cheer up Cebu residents in the midst of trying times.

“There’s always hope. … That’s the idea of the tree. That the people will have hope in life. They’ll still succeed in spite of the adversaries that will come,” he said.

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TAGS: Christmas, circle, December, entertainment, Fuente, hope, January, lights, love, meaning, season, tree, witnessed

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