By Chooli Julia Nuyana
The evening skies lit up in dazzling Christmas colors and festive spirit instantly filled the night air of Antipolo as the city celebrated the beginning of the Christmas Season with the lighting the Yes Christmas Tree at the Sumulong Park Wednesday, November 29.
“Mga Antipolenos, 26 days na lang, Pasko na!” said Master of Ceremonies, Dodie Coronado starting a countdown for Christmas as the crowd marveled at the biggest Christmas Tree in Antipolo which was made of recycled materials.
The Yes Project is the flagship of the Ynares administration. Launched in 2013 it has three components: Greening, Cleaning and Recycling. Through the years, it has proactively led the province of Rizal in environmental care and conservation.
The ceremony was led by the Governor of the Province of Rizal Rebecca “Nini” Ynares and Vice Governor Reynaldo San Juan Jr. They were joined by Andrea “Andeng” Ynares, wife of the City Mayor Casimiro “JunJun” Ynares III; House Representatives Cristina Roa- Puno and Romeo Acop; Vice Mayor Josefina Gatlabayan; the city councilors; and the 16 punong barangays.
A dedicated advocate of the Clean and Green program of the Yes campaign in Rizal herself, Gov. Ynares spoke of the importance of protecting the environment by addressing the issue of climate change and how citizens play a vital role in protecting the environment.
“Hindi na lingid sa inyong kaalaman, na kailangan na talaga natin seryosohin ang problemang ito sapagkat ang temperature na ng mundo ay umabot na sa maximum level. Magtulong tulong sa paglilinis ng ating mga basura upang ito ay hindi maanod sa karagatan,” she said.
“Ano man ang ganda ng ating mga programa sa Kapitolyo o munisipyo ito ay hindi magtatagumpay kung ito ay hindi bubuhatin ng ating mga barangay sa kahuli-huliang myembro ng ating nasasakupan.”
She called out citizens and asked them not to stand by idly but instead take action and help preserve the environment.
“Sana po makipagtulungan kayo sapagkat ano ang silbi ng kaunlaran kung nanganganib naman ang buhay ng ating mamamayan. Lahat ng ating kasalanan at kalapastangan sa ating kalikasan, tatangapin natin ang katapat na kapansanan,” she said.
The wife of the City Mayor gave the welcome remarks thanking the city for building the biggest Christmas tree made of recycled materials.
“Kung hindi po ako nagkakamali ito na po ang pang lima na YES Christmas Tree dito sa Antipolo, na taon taon ay paganda ng paganda!” she said.
The Invocation was led by Father Reynante Tolentino, Shrine Rector of the Immaculate Concepcion Parish; and the Panatang Yes ng Rizaleno was led by the city vice mayor.
The program ended with an extravagant fireworks display which garnered loud cheers and applause from awestruck onlookers.