#CDNChristmas2020: Christmas tree-fountain of life: A Cebu City barangay’s prayer amid the pandemic
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Barangay Inayawan was among the southern barangays hit badly by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with almost 200 COVID-19 cases within the barangay during the peak of the pandemic from May to July 2020.
Yet despite the suffering the residents faced, the barangay has found a light in the darkness through a unique Christmas tree that symbolized life with actual water flowing among its layers.
The Christmas tree, which currently stands at 15 feet, has at least four layers of rubber basins painted like roman concrete with an archaic design and lined with Christmas lights.
Water flows from the top star and trickles down slowly to the basin below while additional sprinklers also line each basin to allow more water to flow down the other basins in lower levels.
The flowing water on the tree-fountain provides a majestic effect of moving lights as the lights on the tree are reflected on the strings of water flowing from each layer.
It can be said that the tree is made significantly of water as each layer becomes part of a whole when the sprinklers are on, and the trickling waters become the branches and leaves of the Christmas tree.
Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo conceptualized the idea as he watched Youtube videos of do-it-your-own fountains during the pandemic.
“Malingaw ko maghimo-himo sa amoa og kanang fountains nga gagmay. Nya nakahuna-huna ko, nindot man tingale nga ang Christmas tree sa barangay fountain pud. So nangutana ko sa atong staff, ana sila kaya man,” said Repollo.
(I enjoy creating my own small fountains. And then I thought about it that it would be better to make a Christmas tree of the barangay fountain. So I asked my staff if they can do it.)
The barangay spent P30,000 on the actual building of the Christmas tree designed by resident, Joseph Acedilla. The designer said it took almost three weeks to complete as the building a water proof fountain that would also serve as a tree was somewhat tricky.
“Nainspired ko sa Fuente Osmeña Circle nga fountain, kay siempre pag pandemic wala gyod nakaadto og nakakita ang mga taga Inayawan sa fountain. Dayon mao na gibutangan natog Christmas touch ang design para hayag ang Pasko,” said Acedilla.
(I was inspired by the fountain of the Fuente Osmeña Circle because of the pandemic there were those from Pardo, who did not have a chance to see the fountain. That is the reason that we put a Christmas touch to the design so that our Christmas will be brighter.)
The residents in Inayawan were struck in awe with the unique Christmas tree that had never been seen in their area.
Ralph Jaca, a resident, told CDN Digital that he was surprised upon the lighting of the tree because prior to it, the design looked bare and simple.
However, when the tree was lighted last December 12, 2020, the sparkling lights reflected by the flowing made the simple structure bloom into a piece of art.
“Water flows and flows. Bisag unsa pa ang nahitabo sa kalibutan (Whatever happens in the world), life goes on,” said Jaca.
For Repollo, the tree-fountain symbolizes life after the pandemic as the world is finally seeing hope for a vaccine to be available in the first quarter of 2021.
The barangay chief, who has lost many of his residents to COVID-19, said the water in the tree-fountain was a symbol of life — a hope that as the world suffered, life will continue to flow and move on.
“First and foremost, although we have undergone sufferings sa ( of) COVID-19, it’s not a reason to stop celebrating Christmas. Our Christmas tree is a symbol of hope. We should never stop moving,” said Repollo.
For a barangay that has suffered through so much, the Christmas tree-fountain was a prayer for healing and for a brighter year ahead./dbs
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