By Zaldy Commanda
BAGUIO CITY – The 45th edition of ‘Silahis ng Pasko’, the longest-running Christmas season offering in the city, unveiled its list of Yuletide treats this year.
Former Councilor Narciso Padilla, head of the National Correspondents Club of Baguio which sponsors and coordinates the 45-year old event with the city government through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) said the activities will begin with the Grand Opening Day Extravaganza on Dec. 1 featuring activities for children.
Thousands of day care center children and parents garbed in Christmas costumes will once again spread cheer along Session Road for the annual Mardi Gras at 8 a.m.
The parade will end at the Melvin Jones Park for the Silahis ng Pasko opening program to be graced by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Rep. Marquez Go.
At 2 p.m. the Mr. and Miss Little Silahis ng Pasko will be staged at the Malcolm Square featuring the awards ceremonies, children’s “kultora-o-rama,” and dancefest.
On Dec. 2, the Share-A-Joy Children’s Christmas Fun Alley and Raffle Joys will be held for Little Helping Hands, newspaper boys, shoeshine boys, baggage boys and bag sellers.
A Palaro and raffle will also be conducted at 9 a.m. at the Malcolm Square.
Dec. 8 will be the Immaculate Conception Day festivities with a Thanksgiving Holy Mass at the NCCB Shrine of the Brown Madonna along Km. 7 in Asin Road, Tuba, Benguet for peace, solidarity and progress.
On Dec. 9, the Philippine Military Academy cadets will be at Burnham Park for the traditional silent drill exhibition at 10 a.m. .
At 2 p.m., the cadets will move to the People’s Park at 2 p.m. for Christmas concert of the PMA band.
The Quest for the Baguio Lucky Christmas Family will happen on Dec. 8-9 with the winning family to receive a red carpet reception, accommodation, sightseeing tours and courtesy calls on ranking government officials.
Simultaneously on Dec. 7-8, Silahis will revive the Quest for the Baguio Lucky Foreign Visitors, an international tourism promotions program, to be coordinated by mediamen Thom Picana and Primo Agatep.
The Baguio City National High School will stage the Dancing and Singing Christmas Tree at 2 p.m. at the Malcolm Square.
Dec. 15 will be reserved for the Special Day for Special People which will feature an amateur singing contest and instrumentals at 8:30 a.m., a chess tournament for the blind / vision impaired and a children’s palaro for the blind, mentally challenged, hearing and speech impaired and the orthopedically impaired at the Malcolm Square.
On Christmas Day, Silahis will stage the Santa Claus on the Road and the Quest for Lucky Christmas Baby 2017 while the counterpart New Year Baby will be selected on Jan. 1.
On Dec. 27, Silahis ng Pasko will sponsor a Holy Mass at 4:30 a.m. to be officiated by St. Vincent parish priest Rev. Fr. Jeffrey. Habado at Malcolm Square.
The Baguio Lucky Balikbayan and the Cordillera Sportsmen Day will be held on Dec 29 at 9a.m. at the Sunshine Park.
Padilla said they will award the lucky balikbayans in the individual, family and couple categories and the Balik nang Balik Balikbayans during the event along with the 12 Outstanding Baguio-Benguet Elderly Luminaries.
The event will also serve as the Baguio-Cordillera International Athletes and Sportsmen “Mabuhay” get-together party.
A fellowship over the native dish ‘pinikpikan’ will cap the event.