Island Garden City of Samal Lights Up its Christmas Tree

In its continuous efforts to boost tourism in Samal, the Department of Tourism, in partnership with the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), conducted a ceremonial lighting of Christmas Tree dubbed "Light up for Samal Christmas Lighting Program" last Wednesday, December 16, 2015 and again members of Davao Bloggers Society were invited which included me. Thanks to DOT for having us there and for providing us very sumptuous dinner.

"The Christmas tree symbolizes the festivities of the season. We also want that with this tree, people will remember that peace and justice should reign in the season," said Roberto Alabado, Department of Tourism 11 Regional Director.

For IGACOS Mayor Aniano P. Antalan, the ceremony is also a thanksgiving activity for a successful collaboration of the private and public sector in the year that was.

"This year, we are delighted that we have successfully implemented programs and projects that contribute to the development of our beloved island. IGACOS has never been this better, amidst the challenges of time, we are able to cope with the demands in the public service," Mayor Antalan said in a statement.

"Tonight's lighting ceremony is an extraordinary special event as it symbolizes our continued hope to enlighten the future of our island city through the convergence of various stakeholders: the local government, the national agencies, the private sectors and most especially, the Samaleno people," the mayor added.

The Department of Tourism, meanwhile noted that this activity is one of more activities that the department has prepared for the bigger promotion of the island destination. "We are promoting Samal as a peaceful and a must-experience year-round destination, where people can enjoy the Christmas season and have an enjoyable holiday experience here in the island," said Alabado.

The 20-foot Christmas tree is strategically located at the rotundra in  in Babak, Samal, in the crossways going to Samal from Davao and to the destinations. The ceremonial lighting was led by the officials from DOT, namely Assistant Secretary Arturo P. Boncato, DOT-XI Regional Director Roberto P. Alabado, IGACOS Mayor Aniano Antalan, and Samal Island Tourism Council President Generose Tecson. The activity also featured performances by Neil Llanes (human beat box contestant from recent Asia's Got Talent), Anonang High School Chorale, and Samal National High School Chorale, Rondalla and Drum and Bugle.

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