BAGUIO City's budget for the Yuletide tree atop Session Road is worth P1.2 million.

Engineer Alec Mapalo, Supervising Tourism Operations officer, confirmed the amount for this year's tree centerpiece for the holidays with a Cordilleran theme and story in synch with decorations at the main road and at the Malcom square.

Mapalo clarified that the budget is for the tree alone and does not include other decorations set up around the city.

The tree was built with the aim to echo the spirit of unity and hope, featuring the Bendian dance and the nativity scene at the base of the installation in synch with Cordilleran patterns adorning the city as part of the holiday celebration's collective story.

At main thoroughfares, the Benguet Bendian dance is highlighted with other traditional dances seen at the center islands with the Cordilleran symbol of the kalasag.

Meanwhile, the nativity scene at Malcolm square represents the six provinces of the region with wooden panels and stained glass art setting the tone for the region's united in the celebration of Christmas.

SunStar has inquired with the Baguio City Information Office on the total cost of decorations, but has yet to receive a breakdown.

On December 8, the first Nativity panel at Malcolm Square was lit, as a first of the 12 panels of the Nativity installed at Malcolm Square as part of the Christmas story-themed decor depicting the events leading to the Birth of Jesus will be at 6PM tonight.

The first panel depicts the appearance of Angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary as written in the following Scripture reading for December 8, 2020, the Angel Gabriel Appears to the Virgin Mary from Luke 1:26.

Henceforth the rest of the panels will be lighted each night for the next 12 days.

Panel 1: Angel Gabriel appears to Virgil Mary, Panel 2: Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, Panel 3: Angel Gabriel appears to Joseph, Panel 4: Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, Panel 5: All the inns are full, Panel 6: The Birth of Jesus, Panel 7: Angels announce the birth of Jesus to shepherds, Panel 8: The three kings: Melchor; Panel 9: The three kings: Baltazar, Panel 10: The three kings: Gaspar, Panel 11: The Holy Family escapes to Egypt, Panel 12: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth.

The 12 Nativity panels were installed at Malcolm Square along with the six ethnic boards representing the six provinces of the Cordillera signifying Cordillera's oneness in welcoming the birth of Christ.

This is part of the story-telling themed Christmas decorations at the city's central business district designed to tell a Cordilleran-style Christmas story portrayed through ethnic symbols and patterns.

The decorations were designed and installed specially and uniquely to portray the meaning of Christmas and to give tribute to the Cordillera people's resilience in weathering obstacles like the Covid-19.

"This is Baguio's way of commemorating the birth of Jesus as well as celebrating life and unity amid the trials and tribulations brought about by the pandemic and other challenges," Mayor Benjamin Magalong said. (With a report from Baguio City Public Information Office)