Zamboanga Sibugay Festival of Lights opens Nov. 16

By Dennis Baguio

November 14, 2018, 7:38 pm

Workers rush the completion of a theme park in preparation for the opening of the Festival of Lights on Friday, November 16, at the Capitol grounds of Zamboanga Sibugay province. (Photo by Dennis C. Baguio)


IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay -- Nestled at 300 feet above sea level, the province's Capitol grounds will be transformed into little Disneyland on Friday (Nov. 16) when the Festival of Lights opens.

Provincial Tourism Officer Helen Dongog noted that this year’s festival has “become bigger and brighter after a success on the first launching of Festival of Lights last year that brings the magic of the Christmas Holiday season.”

“You don’t need to go to Hong Kong, Australia, and London just to visit Disneyland,” Dongog said.

She said this year’s Festival of Lights brings to life the most visited theme parks around the world such as the Ocean Park (Hong Kong), Legoland (Malaysia), Disney Castle (Disneyland Hong Kong), Luna Park (Australia), Minnie Mouse’s House (Disneyland in Orlando, Florida), Astro Blasters (Disneyland Hong Kong), Harry Potter Castle (Japan), Sleeping Beauty Castle (Disneyland Paris), Hello Kitty (Japan), and Hollywood Pictures (Florida, USA).

The mini-Disneyland theme park, constructed by the 10 participating local government units and government agencies, including cooperatives, is found in the front of the Provincial Capitol here.

Dongog said the festival aims to boost the tourism industry of the province, as well as entertain and educate residents.

Governor Wilter Yap Palma will lead the lighting of the thousands of lights on Friday, to be followed by fireworks display.

“This is the best way to celebrate Christmas,” the governor said, as he urged everyone to heed the call for unity and peace in the province as we celebrate 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.

Each theme park is an entry of the participating groups, which 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 starting November 16 and will culminate February 28, 2019, the 18th founding anniversary of this province. (PNA)