Despite COVID, ‘Pasko sa V. Rama’ to push through

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - November 27, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional Pasko sa V. Rama will proceed this year.

The Pasko sa V. Rama is expected to showcase the locals’ ingenuity and creativity through the conduct of several contests, including Belen decoration, lantern and Christmas three-making, best house and establishments’ decors.

Organizers have said it has become a real “Christmas village” where families can go for sight-seeing. Christmas decors and lights are expected to spark enthusiasm and bring hope and joy to everyone.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, in yesterday’s press launch at the City Hall, insisted on pushing through unlike the other traditional religious-related activities that had been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Big religious events cancelled include the traditional activities in line with the Holy Week and the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day as part of the preventive measures against COVID-19.

Earlier, Mayor Edgardo Labella issued an executive order banning traditional caroling during Christmas time in the city, also as part of its preventive measures against the spread of the virus.

Even the City Hall’s Christmas Party has been cancelled and the Emergency Operations Center has also discouraged large parties and get-togethers and to just do it among immediate family members.

As for the Pasko sa V. Rama, since the area will involve the whole stretch of the street, people will not be contained in a small space only. Overcrowding will be strictly avoided.

It is not a one-day event as well so Cebuanos can just schedule their visit if they want to.

Rama, chairman of the City Council’s committee on health, said there is a need to ensure that safety and health protocols will be observed.

The Pasko V.Rama will formally kick off on December 1, particularly at the Espina Compound.

The city government has also set aside a total of P474,000 for this Christmas event, the bulk of which will be allotted to the cash prizes for the different contests.

The winner of the Belen decoration contest will receive the biggest prize at P20,000 while the second placer will pocket P15,000 and the third to fifth placers P10,000, P8,000, and P5,000, respectively. There will also be consolation prizes.

For the lantern contest, the top prize is set at P15,000 while the second placer will get P10,000 and third placer with P5,000 plus seven consolation prizes at P1,000 each. As  for the Christmas tree contest, the first placer will get P2,000, P1,500 for the second placer, and P1,000 for the third placer.

For the best house decor, the top spot will receive P3,000 while the next two spots will receive P2,000 and P1,000, respectively, while the top establishments will take home P2,800, P1,700 and P1,200, respectively, plus a plaque each.

Awarding of winners is set January 8, 2021 but the public may see those symbolic Christmas decorations even after New Year. — Mary Ruth R. Malinao ,JMD (FREEMAN)

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