By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY - Tons of plastics were transformed into a sparkling Christmas attraction in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, as local residents marked the start of the 21st Bailes De Luces Festival in the town over the weekend.
People take photos on the colorful and bright lights Christmas attraction made of recycled plastic bottles in La Castellana, Negros Occidental. (Photo courtesy of Shiela May Gelera / MANILA BULLETIN)
Dubbed "Light a Tree," this year's attraction highlighted the use of recycled plastic materials, mostly bottles, as one of the town's efforts in support to its solid waste management program.
Thousands of residents, including those from nearby cities and towns, witnessed
how the entire municipal hall grounds were illuminated with lights during the switch-on of the Christmas display.
Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan said the town has become “a holiday destination for all, especially families.”
“Through this environment-friendly Christmas attraction, we hope to inculcate positive values and spur awareness on environment protection among residents especially the youth," she said.
The initiative also aims to showcase the creativity, craftsmanship, talent and skills of the students and teachers, she added.
The mayor said that the municipal government was steadfast in implementing measures toward environment protection and conservation like reducing plastic footprint in the locality.
She said that the objective of the program was to engage the community in collecting and recycling plastics, preventing the garbage from littering the streets, clogging the canals and polluting the environment.
"Since we have yet to establish our own sanitary landfill, we have to look first for strategies to lessen our garbage," she said, adding that "since plastic is non-biodegradable, we have to recycle it."
Basing on the "floral fantasy" concept, participating elementary and high schools creatively transformed the municipal hall grounds into a big garden-like attraction where colorful and bright flowers blossom.
The schools were clustered into six groups to make the Christmas attraction that will run until January 5 next year.