The Muntinlupa City government ushered in the Yuletide season in the city with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree.
Mayor Ruffy Biazon, Rep. Jaime Fresnedi, Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac, City Administrator Allan Cachuela, councilors and department heads led the ceremonial lighting of the 50-ft Christmas tree on Nov. 18 located at the Muntinlupa City hall quadrangle.
The tree is adorned with thousands of lights and decorations. The city hall complex is also festooned with lights and a nativity scene is placed on the second floor of the main building.
Biazon said this is the first time that the Muntinlupa City government is celebrating the Christmas season since the pandemic in 2020.
He also surprised employees by announcing that after 7 p.m. on the same day, they could already check their ATM accounts for their year-end bonus and cash gift.
“Ito po ay isang special occasion dahil matapos po ang mahabang panahon na tayo ay medyo nawalan ng Pasko, ngayon nagbabalik ang Pasko. Tuloy ang Pasko sa Muntinlupa (This is a special occasion after a long time that we quite lacked Christmas , this time Christmas has returned. Christmas will proceed in Muntinlupa),” Biazon told the audience at the event.
More importantly, he said, the important reason to celebrate Christmas is to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Habang tayo ay bumabangon sa pandemya, tayo ay magse-celebrate ngayon ng Pasko. Gamitin natin ito para sa pagpapasalamat sa Panginoon, sa pagligtas sa atin at paglampas natin dun sa pinakamatinding bahagi ng pandemya (While we are rising up from the pandemic, we are going to celebrate Christmas this time. Please use this to thank the Lord for saving us and for passing through the worst part of the pandemic),” the mayor added.
Biazon still reminded people to take care but said Muntinlupa is facing a bright future full of hope.
“At para po sa mga empleyado ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa...kaya pagkatapos ng 7 o’clock, mache-check nyo na sa inyong mga ATM yung ating Christmas blessing, 13th month and cash gift (For the employees of Muntinlupa City ... after 7 p.m. you may now check your ATM for our Christmas blessing, 13th month and cash gift),” said Biazon.
He added, “Later on, may kasunod pa na ibang blessing din yan (Later on, there will be other blessing).”
Based on he guidelines of the Department of Budget and Management, the year-end bonus is equivalent to one month salary while the cash gift is P5,000.
Everyday starting Nov. 19, there will be a daily Christmas Lights and Sound Show at the Muntinlupa City hall quadrangle. Each night, there will be four shows at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.