For Generals who happened to be walking home at the Plaza Heneral Santos in the early evening of Monday, they might have been startled to find the whole place dark. It was no blackout though, but a prelude to the opening ceremony of the city’s annual Paskohan sa GenSan celebration. With police vehicles stationed at every entryway to the plaza and the adjoining City Hall and Council building, providing some illumination with their flashing sirens, the local government officially lit up the holidays lights on all locations mentioned after a mandatory countdown. They also unveiled their Christmas ID for 2017.
As TV Patrol SOCSKSARGEN tells it, City Mayor Ronnel Rivera personally oversaw the inauguration of Paskohan sa GenSan 2017. And despite the mandatory darkness in effect at the Plaza Heneral Santos and City Hall, a crowd of Generals have gathered there to witness and take part, gamely photographing the proceedings on their camera phones.
The primary Holiday decorations on City are the large “MERRY CHRISTMAS” lettering and snowflakes on the building’s façade, close to the roof where a large star of Bethlehem dominates the whole display. Over the lobby are gigantic Christmas present boxes, representing all the gifts that are given out to everyone before and on the big day of December 25 itself. Light fixtures also decorate the hedges out front, and hang on the branches of trees across the plaza.
When the decorations were finally lit up, the city government then previewed GenSan’s Christmas ID for this year with a video projected on a large screen in front of City Hall. The ID is a music video entitled “Mga Lugar Para sa Iyo” (“Places for You”), depicting a montage of the iconic and familiar sights of the holiday season in the city that is familiar to all Generals, such as the ever-present Christmas bazaar and amusement rides from the caterpillar and octopus to the Ferris wheel and more.
The song itself is performed by the five finalists of the recent GenSan Pop Idol competition, with the city officials providing the background chorus. Other scenes in the Christmas ID video show the various programs and activities done by the local government for GenSan. This was pointed out by Mayor Rivera during a press interview after the event, wherein he wished for the city’s continued development and economic growth for the benefit of both residents and visitors to GenSan.
There will be more events in store for the whole Paskohan sa GenSan festivities throughout the month, with the next big one set to happen on December 11.
Photo courtesy of SOXPH