After a few setbacks, owing to the threat of Supertyphoon Ruby and the looming dangers of a Mayon Volcano eruption, the Karangahan Green Christmas Festival 2014 was finally declared open last December 13, 2014.
Although the Karangahan Festival had a soft opening three days prior, the formal opening was set on Saturday and was even marred by heavy rains which prompted the open air activities to the covered venue of nearby Albay Astrodome after the ceremonial lighting of the giant Christmas tree.
Stunning and elegant, this year’s edition, the fifth of its kind, once again featured a one of a kind organic tree made out of young camote plants, to symbolize not only the advocacy of environmentalism by the Provincial Government of Albay, but also the living dream of liberating the poor from hunger.
Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, who was tied up in his awarding ceremony for his Outstanding Alumni award from His Alma Mater, Ateneo de Manila, said in his message, delivered by Vice Governor Harold Imperial, that the Karangahan Green Christmas Festival is a joyful celebration that hopes to bring the spirit of Christmas to our province mates who remain here or who could not be with their loved ones elsewhere.
Governor Salceda also expressed dismay of losing the chance to host the APEC ISOM to the threat of a devastating typhoon but articulated that we simply have to move on, accept it, and to focus instead in the joyful celebration of the people’s resilience and strength.
“True to the needs of the world today, we are celebrating a green Christmas, green is the color of growth, it’s the color of hope, and green is clean,” he further stated.
Following the theme of the festivities, stall owners and producers were encouraged to deliver products made from indigenous green abaka while food being offered in the food stalls of the Culinaria Albay grounds would be made from indigenous green crops, fruits, and vegetables,
After the formal opening, attendees of the ceremony were entertained by comedian Neggi soliciting guffaws from the amused crowd, followed by shrieks and thunderous clapping when up and coming celebrity, Inigo Pascual took center stage. (PGA-PIO/December 15, 2014)