Imus celebrates Pinoy Paskuhan
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - December 21, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Christmas is a grand event all over the Philippines, but the city of Imus, Cavite takes it a notch higher by combining the merriment of the season with a distinctly Filipino flavor, thanks to the city’s historical richness.

A neighbor of Kawit, Imus is the home of Aguinaldo’s Magdalo faction and is proud of its deep Filipino roots, which it aims to bring alive in its Christmas celebrations.

Imus has a tradition of colorful Christmas celebrations, starting in 1990s, when the government enjoined the townsfolk to enliven the entire city in a blaze of lights – with each barangay trying to outdo the other by decorating homes with Christmas ornaments. The activity brought to light the Filipino spirit of bayanihan and pakikisama, with people working together to create a truly festive atmosphere in their respective barangays. Since then, the practice has lived on, participated in by residents from both affluent and less prosperous districts, thanks to the support of local government officials.

In keeping with this tradition, Imus held opening rites last Dec. 1 to usher in its Christmas festivities. The ceremony included switching on the colorful lights that adorn the huge belen (nativity scene) at the plaza, kicking off a month-long Christmas extravaganza.

Proud of its people’s musical capabilities, the city celebrates the joys of the Yuletide season in 2014 with an exciting line-up of musical variety shows scheduled throughout December, all of which will showcase the amazing talent of Imus residents. Everyone can look forward to the Christmas Carol Choral Competition with very talented choral groups from various elementary and high schools in the city. 

One of the highlights of this year’s Paskuhan is the Panuluyan 2014 on Dec. 23. This is a reenactment of the journey of Mary and Joseph as they searched for a place where she could give birth to Jesus Christ. In the Imus depiction, there are four pre-selected locations in different parts of the city where Virgin Mary and St. Joseph will ask to be let in for the night.

The Panuluyan ends with the glorious birth of Jesus, and in its aftermath, the visit of the magi. Acting as the three kings are Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi, Vice Mayor Armando Ilano and Congressman Alex Advincula of the 3rd District of Cavite, who will present their gifts to the Holy Family.

The Panuluyan will showcase the depth of talent of Imus residents. Actors who will play the key roles were chosen for their vocal and acting talents, which reflect their musicality. Eye-catching costumes and stage design of the entire Panuluyan production showcase the artistry of the people. 

“We strive to make Christmas more meaningful and joyous in Imus, and we do this by celebrating our people’s unique strengths and abilities, and bringing them together in a spirit of cooperation and togetherness. Through our activities, we are able to create a sense of unity among our people,” said Mayor Maliksi.

Spearheaded by the City Tourism Office, this year’s Paskuhan will also focus on the warmth and hospitality of Filipinos,  alongside the traditions that earned the city of Imus the title of Christmas capital of the Philippines. 

“We aim to bring back the missing touch of small-town Christmas spirit and cherished practices that are often sought by balikbayans and other travelers from here and abroad. This is a glittering culmination to cap the year and showcase the heart and soul of Imus,” said Corazon del Mundo, municipal tourism officer.

At the same time, Paskuhan aims to show the warmth and hospitality that overflow in this town and to capture the essence of camaraderie and cooperation among barangays, a great way to celebrate the meaning of the Christmas season – love, peace and hope for everyone.

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