SAN Jose City -- This northernmost city of the province continues to live up to its new billing as the first-acclaimed “Christmas Capital” of Nueva Ecija.
This after the 2018 Christmas Lantern Parade and Competitions participated in by 12 secondary schools and learning institutions was held and sponsored by the city government led by Mayor Mario “Kokoy” Salvador on Saturday night here.
Hundreds of local residents, as well as visitors and spectators, lined up the streets to watch the night spectacle as the grand parade for the designated route of the lantern parade and competitions started from the V.S. Gripal Rice Mill in Bgy. Calaocan and ended at the covered court of the City Public Market in Bgy. Rafael Rueda Sr.
During the event, various multi-colored designs of these giant parols made up mostly of recycled materials and farm products were put in display by the 12 participating schools, to serve as a fitting follow-up to the Dec. 10 Christmas lighting activity dubbed, “Liwanag ng Pasko sa Bagong San Jose”, which helped earn for the city the new moniker “Christmas Capital of Nueva Ecija.”
City tourism officer Darmo Escuadro said this year’s lantern and chanting competitions gave away a cash bonanza totaling more than P100,000 to the top three winners and the remaining nine non-winners.
Students from the San Jose City National High School (SJCNHS) swept the opposition, winning both the lantern parade and the chanting competitions. For the feat, they were awarded a total cash prize of P22,000.
For the lantern fest, the Tayabo High School and the Porais National High School captured the second and third places, respectively, while Kita-Kita High School and Tondod High School bagged the 2nd and third in the chanting contest.
Mayor Salvador, who came with his wife Veronica, a prime mover of the said yearly Christmas spectacle, urged the competitor-students and their schools to be more creative, artistic and original in their lantern designs in taking another shot for the top three places in next year’s competitions.
Also present at the event were Vice Mayor Glenda Felimon-Macadangdang, city Councilors Neneng Adawag, Pat Salvador, Ronald Lee Hortizuela, Roy Andres and former Councilor Gerard F. Ignacio.