Saturday , May 26, 2018

Baguio’s tale of two Christmas trees

TWO Christmas trees have caught the attention of the city.

Mixed reactions have been aired on the aesthetics of both trees going viral on social media and are a current debate topic on the streets.

The "tree" atop the session road rotunda is a giant art installation by Tinatik artist Maela Liwanag Jose while a 74 feet tall tree stands at the Rose Garden at Burnham Park.

The Jose art installation is described to have references to the culture and art not only of Baguio but the whole of the Cordillera. It aims to tell the story of creation starting from the sun, rain, mountains, plants, animals and man. It will embody the symbols of the Cordillera such as the ‘bulul’, the lizard and the tattoo patterns an line with the Christmas season, the installation will resemble a Christmas tree.

The tree at the Rose Garden, meanwhile, is made of recycled material with garlands, frames and lights from last year.

The City Mayor’s Office said the budget for the Christmas decorations around the city, except in Melvin Jones, totaled to P1.3 million including the lanterns attached at the lamp posts.

Mayor Maurico Domogan said the decorations are already done and is installed which leaves little to do about the uproar on the aesthetics.

Domogan said he personally prefers brighter colors for decorations but declined to comment further on the Jose installation.

The Jose installation is a voluntary project in celebration of the city being a Unesco creative city, with the city government paying for materials used by the artist which has yet to be given pending evaluation and actual costing.

However, the actual cost of decorations may be lesser than the budget since the Rose Garden tree’s decoration are mostly recycled and used materials.

Councilor Elmer Datuin, Christmas in Baguio lead, says the decorations in the city have been bidded out or are projects by the city under the tourism committee and budgeted by the government.

At the Melvin Jones, Datuin said there is a bidded out project consisting of synchronized lights and sounds show at the People’s Park featuring a nightly spectacle of dancing lights at the park with a 20-minute interval. It will run for the whole duration of the holiday season with an estimated budget of P1.5 million.