Cebuanos can relive the fun and excitement at the Pasko sa Fuente, as it finally opens to the public after a two-year hiatus – particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For years, Cebuanos visited the Fuente Osmeña Circle to witness and take part in the festivities. Not to mention the bustling food strip within the nature park.
Unfortunately, the iconic Christmas destination didn’t have its usual festivities in 2020 and 2021, as the city struggled with the pandemic and the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.
In 2020, several health protocols were put in place, such as social distancing, which made organizing and attending the annual events difficult. As a result, they were put to a halt to minimize the spread of the virus.
All kinds of social gatherings were prohibited. During the traditional Christmas tree lighting, only a couple of government officials were present.
To make matters worse, Typhoon Odette wrecked numerous homes, properties, and tourist attractions, just weeks before Christmas in 2021.
Some establishments were able to get back on their feet and operate in full swing, but the night market in Fuente wasn’t one of them. More importantly, it was devastating to see the iconic Tree of Hope toppled over.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia claims that the Christmas tree is a symbol of the city’s resilience, as it now stands in time for this year’s Christmas celebration.
Thankfully, the city has been recording extremely low cases of the virus since the start of 2022. Many establishments have reopened, ushering in the return of this popular hangout spot for the Christmas season.
WHAT TO DO AT PASKO SA FUENTE
The Fuente Osmeña Circle is a great hangout spot for early morning outdoor activities, but when night time comes, the dazzling Christmas setups bring a more vibrant ambiance.
Aisles of white arches with lights wrapped around them are stationed at both entrances of the nature park. These beautiful walkways are the perfect way to start off your visit before taking part in the festivities.
The Christmas tree towers above dozens of high-rise buildings in downtown Cebu, standing almost as tall as the Crown Regency. Once the sun goes down, it lights up in different colors and patterns, adding to its impressive facade.
They change the design of the tree every year. In 2022, they took inspiration from gingerbread houses. Like the previous iterations, they included the image of the Sto. Niño, the patron saint of the island of Cebu.
Despite the tree taking up a large space, the park remains spacious enough to do many activities. You can expect a ton of kids playing, families having picnics, couples dating, and friends just loitering around.
There are a couple of stalls around the park selling a variety of toys and gift items as well.
Part of the festivities are the exciting performances of local artists and those who want to show off their talents on stage. They even have a K-pop dance competition, as well as some live band performances and pageants.
The Pasko sa Fuente is also a celebration of Cebuano food culture. The park has its own food strip, with vendors selling all kinds of delectable snacks, treats, and desserts. Take note that this will only run until the end of December.
The most common Cebu street food dishes are Filipino barbecue favorites like pork skewers, grilled chicken, hotdogs, and more, all roasted on top of a piping-hot charcoal grill.
These are best paired with puso (hanging rice), which is a staple among those who want a budget-friendly yet sufficient meal. Cebuanos love this combination so much that they can order tons of puso to pair with their barbecues.
If you want some light snacks, there are vendors selling roasted peanuts, tempura, and takoyaki.
Cebuanos can finally relive the fun and excitement they get to experience whenever they visit or pass by Fuente during Christmas time. The iconic nature park is perfect for those who want to celebrate the season with friends, family, and loved ones.
Together with many other Cebuanos, you can visit the night market and have a jolly good time. Don’t forget to take a photo of the giant Tree of Hope when you drop by!
If you’re looking for a chill hangout spot this Christmas season, Pasko sa Fuente has a lot to offer. It definitely looks like the annual celebration is here to stay, with Cebu City embracing the new normal.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fuente Osmeña Circle, Cebu City
5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
(Only until December 30)
You can ride any kind of jeepney that will pass by Fuente or Jones. Both entrances to the park are located across from B. Rodriguez street and the Casino Filipino. Traffic enforcers are present if you need assistance in crossing the street.