President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and First Lady Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos led the Christmas tree lighting in Malacañang on Saturday evening, formally welcoming the Yuletide season in the Palace.
In his short message, President Marcos warmly welcomed the guests, government officials and children inside Malacañang Compound as he emphasized that Christmas is a perfect time for reflection and a time for friends, families and loved ones.
President Marcos added that Christmas is for the children.
“Christmas in the Philippines — we have gained the reputation around the world for celebrating Christmas with more fervor than most other countries. And I think that is a good thing because I think all of us Filipinos, we take Christmas as a time for reflection and a time for — to spend with your friends, your family, your loved ones and, of course, to watch the children because as far as I’m concerned, Christmas is really for the children,” President Marcos said.
“And so, we watch the children and it brings us — the innocence that they bring to these festivities really… The expression I’m tempted to use is it blows out the cobwebs in your brain and in your heart and gives you a fresh start for the next year,” he added.
“So, I’m very, very happy to welcome you all here and to get the Christmas – the formal. Kasi Pilipinas, September pa lang may Christmas carol na sa radyo. But with the formal start of the Yuletide season and I suppose what is left now is for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.”
President Marcos and the First Lady also led the awarding ceremony for the winners of the “Isang Bituin, Isang Mithiin” nationwide parol-making contest, which was participated in by various students from different state colleges and universities.
The Batangas State University won the PhP1-million grand prize followed by the second placer, the University of Northern Philippines with PhP500,000 cash prize, and 3rd placer the Bohol Island State University with PhP250,000 cash prize.
All top 3 winners received laptop and mobile phone showcase on top of the cash prizes they received while their respective state universities and colleges received photo and video editing package, which include Gigabyte G7 Gaming Laptop with one year Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
The schools also received Canon M50 Camera and 1 DJI Ronin – SC Camera Stabilizer 3-Axis Gimbal, and 1 Insta 360 Flow AI-Powered Smartphone stabilizer.
A special “online voting” award was given to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines after it earned the highest number of “heart reactions” on Facebook, receiving PhP100,000 cash prize.|PND