THRILL and excitement have enfolded the atmosphere during the Christmas lights-on ceremony and, at the same time, a surprise birthday celebration for Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson held at the Capitol Park on December 13, 2021.

It was the first time that the Capitol employees have gathered to attend the dual celebration, which was also a source of the happiest moment for the employees following the Governor's announcement of the P65,000 Christmas bonus for all employees, with the approval of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Jeffrey P. Ferrer.

The Capitol building and park were spruced with Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and decors, further accentuated by a 20-minute firework display that marveled at the splendid scenery of the sky.

This is the joyous Christmas gathering after the fulfillment of the mass vaccination of the majority of Negrenses and provincial government officials and employees that made the community safer for everyone.

Lacson said, "This is everyone's favorite season, which is different from last year due to the pandemic (and) there are so many reasons why we love Christmas. The gathering of family and friends is on top of our list. I would like you all to look at our present circumstances differently.”

“But we have more time to reflect and ponder on the significance of the birth of our Savior, Lord Jesus Christ. I am genuinely delighted and grateful to light up the Capitol and lagoon with my fellow public servants, which is serendipitous as it is also my birthday,” he said.

“This is just a coincidence (that) as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, let us also rekindle and renew our promise to our fellow Negrenses, and that is to work to the best of our abilities towards the best interest for what we give and do for the welfare of others are the true source of our joy and life's meaning,” he also said.

The governor said, "the coming of Jesus evokes the spirit of sharing, love, community, and unity. After all, there is so much more to unite us than divide us. Together, we are all in this to make Negros Occidental a better place for all Negrenses."

“Yes, humanity may have faced adversity of unparalleled degree, but we have persevered in faith. We shall allow the magnificence and glory of the season to strengthen our trust in God, for our Saviour has come to us. May the light of hope that every Christmas brings remind us of Him, who is the source of all light. Merry Christmas and God bless us all," Lacson told the attendees of the event.

For his part, Ferrer said, "this is the time of the year that we are genuinely grateful to the Lord Jesus that He gave us this chance to celebrate the joyful season of the year amidst the Covid-19.”

He said that this season manifests our gratefulness to Him for keeping us safe and having this chance to be together to celebrate this meaningful occasion.

Ferred added that this season symbolizes the birth of Jesus Christ, and this also implies our renewed spirit towards our faith in God and our love for our family and fellow Negrenses.

“Let me joyfully welcome you all to the official Christmas lights-on ceremony. May we enjoy this moment and let us resonate the beautiful message and spirit of the Christmas season, which is to spread love, increase our faith in God and hope for the betterment of our beloved province and people. I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year," the vice governor stressed.

FIREWORKS SPECTACLE AND THE P65,000 BONUS, A BIG BANG FOR ALL

Lacson has announced that all Capitol employees will receive a Christmas bonus of P65,000. The employees were leaping and jumping upon hearing it, which induced an unexplained excitement that innately persisted. It was something lengthy, just like the magnificence of the fireworks display that beautifully glittered the skies and faces of the people watching it.

MUSIC ICON JOHN LESACA PERFORMS ON BEHALF OF CONG. MARILOU ARROYO

Internationally acclaimed violinist John Lesaca, husband of Negros Occidental Fifth District Representative Ma. Lourdes "Marilou" Arroyo, has performed his rendition of Filipino and Christmas songs during the lights on ceremony and birthday celebration of Governor Lacson.

Lesaca is known as a musical genius who loves great music. He said he only performs in a crowd like the Negrenses, who have an excellent taste for music. He did it on behalf of his wife, Cong. Arroyo was also present during the celebration with businessman Frankie Uy and his family.

During his birthday celebration, Arroyo has personally greeted her Primo Governor Lacson.