The yuletide season was in full swing at Mandaue City in 2022. Hundreds of Mandauehanons and neighboring Cebuanos flocked to the city’s heritage park to experience the nightlife during the Christmas season.
Visitors walked around and marveled at the mesmerizing setups, while others enjoyed the different Filipino street food sold at the lively food bazaar.
The giant Christmas tree was first lit up during the 85th anniversary of the inauguration of the Mandaue Presidencia, the city’s decades-long city hall, on December 1, 2022.
This was a successful event that many anticipated, as the island slowly recovered from the struggle of the pandemic. The Mandaue City government, under the leadership of Jonas Cortes, brought in more activities to make it more memorable.
GIANT CHRISTMAS TREE
The main highlight was the giant Christmas tree in the middle of the park. Unlike the Tree of Hope at Fuente Osmeña Circle, this one used a more minimalistic design.
The Mandaue City Christmas tree was hollow, void of any large Christmas decorations hanging from its branches. Its thin and curved exterior was wrapped with dozens of Christmas lights that changed colors to create a dazzling light show.
Visitors hung out by the benches to marvel at the structure’s massive size and spectacle. But it wasn’t the only thing to admire at the park.
The Christmas 2022 signage in front of the tree served as the entrance. The “0” in 2022 was an arch that led to the dazzling setups, creating a magical feeling as you enter.
Behind the park were tartanilla carriages with lights installed around them. Visitors could climb up and get on the carriage for some fun conversations with their friends.
Tall tree-shaped structures were also at the park for visitors to walk around and use as a backdrop for photos. Mandaue residents, both young and old, surely enjoyed the mesmerizing display.
The park wasn’t the only place with lights shining for the Christmas season, as the historic Mandaue City Hall also had several interconnected lights surrounding it. The lights emphasized the building’s Neo-Greco architecture.
Aside from the display, Mandauehanons flocked to the park to witness the showcase of Christmas lanterns made for the Parol-making contest. Barangay Ibabao-Estancia won first place.
MANDAUE CITY FOOD PARK
The heritage park also celebrated the culinary culture of Cebuanos, as the Mandaue City government reopened its popular Mandaue food park to showcase the city’s best flavors.
The street food industry in the Philippines is notable, with hundreds of food parks all around the country ready to serve both locals and foreigners. This is also a way for Cebuanos to show the types of dishes they have mastered throughout the years.
Many stalls sold different dishes, such as barbecue skewers and exotic grilled food like Isaw (Chicken Intestine) and Pork Blood.
You could even try out famous snacks like the potato twisters, which has become a staple food park snack in many local night markets, such as the Colon Night Market. With a crunchy exterior and scrumptious flavor from the cheese powder, it is extremely fun to eat.
Some vendors stayed along the sidewalk selling snacks and trinkets. Kids enjoyed the different colors and flavors of cotton candy, while others could purchase a locally made necklace to gift their loved ones.
Unfortunately, the food park lasted from December 7 to 16, from 5:30 PM – 11:30 PM. However, the Mandaue City government may look to revive the food park on special occasions like the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, Mandaue’s patron saint.
As 2022 came to a close, people could still visit the gargantuan Christmas tree and witness the beautiful light displays at the Mandaue City Heritage Park. Families, friends, and even couples came to watch the Christmas tree come to life, filling the air with holiday cheer.
Mandaue City successfully brought the spirit of Christmas to both its residents and neighboring Cebuanos. We can all expect an even grander celebration next year as the Heritage Park continues to be a go-to Christmas destination in the city.