For more than two decades now, Cebu City residents and guests alike are greeted by a towering beauty every time they pass by Fuente Osmeña come the holiday season.
Its magnificence is appreciated, its presence felt. The 10-storey-high Christmas tree is made of solid steel weighing around a ton, and it is decorated with “festive holiday trimmings befitting an iconic structure,” said M Lhullier (ML) in its press statement, the company behind the setting up of the iconic structure annually.
Here are the decorations of ML’s Tree of Hope in numbers:
- 36 oversized acrylic stars
- 400 green plastic wreaths
- 600 red plastic flowers
- 300 styro balls
- 600 traditional Pampanga lanterns
- 200 raindrop led lights
- 300 typical parols covered in colored plastic charrol, 200 pieces of LED tubing, and three kilometers of series lights
For its 2021 installment, the holiday tree showcases a life-size diorama at the base depicting a nativity scene with custom fiberglass figures. Also, in anticipation of the Sinulog festival every January, there are mannequins in Sinulog-inspired garb that pays tribute to the mother of all festivals in the Philippines.
“This year, we light the tree with a renewed vigor and a rekindled purpose,” said ML president and chief executive officer Michael Lhuillier. “The year 2020 has only made us appreciate more that it is only through working together as a team that we can weather the unprecedented challenges of a pandemic. As we light the tree on its 21st year in 2021, we look toward a steadily brighter 2022 as we beat Covid-19 and all its challenges as a family.”
This year’s tree is extra special as well as it was handcrafted by 21 local artisans. They were honored on stage during the Pasko sa Sugbo launch and tree lighting ceremony, greeted by ML chairman of the board Michel Lhuillier. The artists in the group, headed by main designer Brendon received a bag filled with dried mangoes and other practical daily items, plus a cash gift loaded onto their ML Wallets.
“The tree this year is a symbol of our thanksgiving to those whose hands make the brand a true success story,” said ML vice president Jude Millares. Millares was present in the original meeting between the City Government of Cebu and M Lhuillier on setting up the gigantic Christmas tree reminiscent of the Rockefeller tree in New York City.
Michael Lhuillier adds: “This year, its light shines differently as a renewed economy and a city emerging carefully from a pandemic with its best foot forward sparks hope in the air.”
M Lhuillier is the Philippines’ largest non-bank financial institution with more than 3,000 serviceable locations nationwide. It continuously seeks better and innovative ways to serve its community by providing fast, easy, and reliable financial services such as Kwarta Padala, Quick Cash Loan, Bills Payment, Insurance Plan, Money Exchange, Jewelry, ML Wallet, ML Express, ML Moves, and Telco and online TV Loading.
CEREMONY. Present at the tree lighting were Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama (second from left); Cebu City Vice Mayor Dondon Hontiveros (second from right); Her Excellency Laure Beaufils, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Philippines; Michel Lhuillier, M Lhuillier (ML) Financial Services chairman of the board (left); and Michael Lhuillier, president and CEO of ML Financial Services.
ICONIC. M Lhuillier’s Christmas tree in the middle of Cebu City.
TRIBUTE. M Lhuillier honors the 21 artisans responsible for putting up this year’s Christmas tree by pre-loading their ML wallets, the free M Lhuillier app, with a cash gift.
December 04, 2021
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