Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay—The provincial capitol grounds of Zamboanga Sibugay, nestled 300 feet above sea level, will be transformed into a “little Disneyland” as this year’s Festival of Lights opens on Nov. 16.
This year’s festival, according to acting Provincial Tourism Officer Helen V. Dongog, has “become bigger and brighter after a successful on the launching last year of Festival of Lights that brings the magic of the Christmas holiday season.”
She said this year’s festival “is even more illuminating” as the province celebrates Christmas symbols for the second year in a row.
Dongog said the Festival of Lights is a highly-anticipated event, captivating the hearts of Sibugaynons.
“You don’t need to go to Hong Kong, Australia, and London just to visit Disneyland,” she said.
For this year’s festival, the provincial government is erecting replicas of the most visited theme parks around the world.
They include the Disney Castle of Disneyland, Astro Blasters of Disneyland and Ocean Park in Hong Kong, Legoland of Malaysia,, Luna Park of Australia, Minnie Mouse’s House in Orlando, Florida, the Harry Potter Castle and Hello Kitty in Japan, the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Paris, and Hollywood Pictures in Los Angeles.
The theme park, constructed by the 10 participating local government units, government agencies including cooperatives, is being built in front of the provincial capitol.
Each theme park is an entry of the participating groups. The entries will go through three rounds of judging and will be judged based on creativity and interpretation, quality of workmanship, artistic combination of lights, and overall attractiveness.
The festival of lights will run daily from Nov. 16 to Feb. 28, the 18th founding anniversary of the province.
Dongog said the festival aims to boost the tourism industry of the province, apart from providing entertainment and education in celebrating the Christmas holidays.
Governor Willter Yap Palma will lead the lighting of thousands of lights and will also join the crowd in cheering the fireworks that will light up the sky.
“This is the best way to celebrate Christmas,” Palma said.
He urged everyone to heed the call for unity and peace in the province as the country celebrates Christmas.
“We want to give back to God for the blessing we received. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with renewed hope that restores much-needed peace and unity to the province, no matter one’s belief,” Palma said.
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