CHRISTMAS KITES. Colorful kites made as Christmas lanterns were displayed at the public beach of Sipalay City in southern Negros Occidental on Tuesday (Dec. 6, 2022). A group of local kite-makers and flyers create these decors through the sponsorships of partner establishments and individuals. (Photo courtesy of The Mixed Food Restaurant)

BACOLOD CITY – The City of Sipalay in Negros Occidental, known as the “Kite Tourism Capital of the Philippines,” displays locally made colorful kites as Christmas decors mainly in the city’s public park for the whole month of December.

At least 34 lantern-type kites, with LED lights, have been created by a group of kite-makers and flyers through the sponsorships of partner establishments and individuals tapped by the City Tourism Office.

“This is a fundraising activity for our local kite makers. The sponsors buy the kites that are then displayed as Christmas decors,” city tourism officer Jerick Lacson told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

On Tuesday, one of the sponsors, The Mixed Food Restaurant, posted on Facebook photos of Christmas kites mounted around the “Wow Sipalay” signage at the public beach.

Also, Sipalay will feature lighted Christmas kites that will be flown during a two-night show on Dec. 16 and 17.

In March this year, Sipalay, Negros Occidental’s top beach destination located in the south, has been declared the Kite Tourism Capital of the Philippines during the staging of its 8th Burangoy Kite Festival.

In conferring the title, the Kite Association of the Philippines recognized Sipalay’s enduring commitment to promote the traditional Filipino kite culture as an annual tourism activity.

Lacson said they promote sustainable tourism by showcasing the kite festival as a family-friendly activity, kite flying as an eco-friendly sport, and kite making as a venue to promote local arts and culture.

In 2018, the annual Sipalay kite festival was named the grand winner in the Best Tourism Event (Sports) City Category of the Pearl Awards organized by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines and the Department of Tourism. (PNA)