Christmas pictures a season of peace and unity, a time for togetherness as each member of the family comes to rest in each other’s warmth and tender love. This is one occasion that each of us remember the value of goodness as we realize the biggest blessing one can ever have- the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. It’s the best time for our hearts to let go of all hatred and painful bearings and replace it with holiness and praise instead. All come as one to honor and recognize the presence of God in our lives. With this cause we show our gratitude to Him as we celebrate in every way we think best.
We share our blessings through gift giving. Some touch hearts to show love. Lights and lanterns are spread and lit everywhere. We feast our eyes and stomachs in food- covered tables. And specially, we wear our best as we all go to His Holy Church for the Simbang Gabi.
What is even more special is to know that Christmas is for EVERYONE. From all walks of life, people are one and the same in the eyes of Christmas. Anyone can dream of his Santa Claus, you may be a child or not. Everyone can sing a carol! It exempts no one. Indeed, Christmas is everywhere because every place has its own ways of celebrating the Yuletide season.
This is very true especially in the Municipality of Lal- lo, Cagayan! It makes sure that “It’s really more fun in the Municipality of Lal- lo” every Christmas.
Now in its third year, the municipality is attracting tourists by its very grand and special celebration of Christmas– the showcase of a Mini- Christmas Village!
But wait, you might want to know how the idea of this Mini- Christmas Village was born?
Well, thanks to its ever dedicated and hard-working leaders, Mayor Florante “Anteng” C. Pascual and wife, former Mayor and First District Board Member Maria Olivia B. Pascual. They are the initiating heads behind the success and fame of Lal-lo when it comes to Christmas celebration.
And more thanks to the envy- motivated BM Olive. She was the mind behind the conception of this activity.
That simple wanting has turned to be an integral part of the history. It is the small starting point that led BM Olive to the concept. The moment she stepped out of the house, the determination to have the mini- village realized went with her.
From then, she searched the malls, not just in the Philippines but all around the world buying, gathering and collecting things that depicts Christmas. It became her passion until such time that she had accumulated a bounty of personal collections. Too many that she had to build a room especially for such.
As the Yuletide season approached town, BM Olive thought of making use of her collections to make others happy. Driven by the will to share the joy she had experienced with such, she shared it to the whole Municipality.
In the year 2011, BM Olive asked the support of the Municipal leaders, and with the blessing of her husband Mayor Anteng, the Lal- lo Mini- Christmas Village came to reality.
With the unified forces of the executive and legislative body, together with the help of other agencies and departments of the Municipality, they had successfully built for the first time a Mini- Christmas Village inside the Aladino Dupaya Gymnasium dubbed as “A Christmas Story.”
All Lal- loqueños as well as visitors from other places were invited to see the place and to experience a different and wonderful Christmas together with their friends and families- for free!All eyes feasted in fascination as they wander in every miniature which toured them to varied places of Christmas celebrations around the world. All were wowed with delight and glee for the unique yet enthralling Christmas experience.
Knowing how the event had helped people realize the joy of the season, and drawing pleasure from making others happy, BM Olive got more inspired the next year to conduct the same venture. In fact, she never got tired of collecting more that could add up to the improvement of the event. The Municipality was again a sight of an inspiring place in the year 2012 as it celebrated Christmas through a sequel entitled “Fascinating Christmas Panorama.”
Its second year proved to have been a triumph. In fact, the village had gotten even better. Yes indeed, the success of being able to give joy while sharing your own blessings is priceless. And yet, the smiles that shine in everyone’s face are far greater than any gift. They are the dearest light that enthuses one to work even more untiringly. With that for sure, it’s too much to serve as a motivation for the leaders to continue with the project in order to continuously provide the service that makes people happy.
Thus as anticipated, the indefatigable BM Olive sustained the legacy. This Christmas marks the third year of Lal- lo reveling the time of the year. With more efforts and infinite passion, BM Olive worked hand in hand together not only with her fellow public servants but also with the constituents. The Lal- lo folks had had their own shares of support. They contributed manpower and campaign for a greater success.
As a result of a long toil and perseverance, this year, the Municipality is proud to show the world the result of their work in making once again another pride- the ‘Fancy- full Christmas Paradise and Funtastic Christmas Trees at the Park.’
By Raquel T. Fronda