BACOLOD CITY – The City of Bago in Negros Occidental, declared as one of the world’s Top 100 Green Destinations in 2023, is highlighting sustainable tourism in this year’s Christmas celebration.
At the Bantayan Park, decorations are mostly made of zero plastic and eco-friendly materials while at Buenos Aires Mountain Resort, indigenous materials such as “ramay” or dried banana leaves, bamboo and palm fruits are used for the Filipino-themed mini-Christmas village.
“This is part of the local government’s climate action to lessen the carbon footprint incurred by its residents,” senior tourism operations officer Mae Ann Furtos said in a statement on Thursday.
Furtos said they want to maintain Bago City as a green destination after its sustainable tourism practice earned it a spot in this year’s Top 100 Green Destinations, an international platform that acknowledges and celebrates the most inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism development.
A 9.2-meter hall stands at the Bantayan Park, one of the city’s prime tourist destinations, where reusable and recycled decorations are being used.
There are also two Christmas-inspired telephone booths nearby.
“We also decorated our park with natural decorations like small ornamental plants that look like Evergreen trees and other greenery which somehow remind us of Christmas,” Furtos said.
During the parade of lights on Monday joined by students of Bago City College, some 50 "parol" (Christmas lanterns) ornaments designed by the students were illuminated using solar lights.
Furtos said the solar-lighted lanterns will be donated to the beneficiaries of the city’s “Paskwa sang Pag-asa” project.
“The recipients are mostly families with no electricity at home. These Christmas lanterns will give them the light that they need. We hope it will be lit up as long as it lasts and that it could spur hope especially to the less fortunate fellow Bagonhons,” she added.
At the local government-maintained Buenos Aires Mountain Resort in Barangay Ilijan, the “Paskwa sa Bukid” is part of the city’s Christmas celebration for the second year.
It features six Christmas-themed “bahay kubo” built and crafted by the resort staff led by tourism operations officer Jose Marlo Gamo during their year-end team building activity.
The Christmas village’s centerpiece is a "belen" (nativity scene) artwork created by Bagonhon artist Rommel Cadigal.
“Through this, the local government aims to spread Christmas cheers to the residents of the highland barangays,” Furtos said. (PNA)