CDC President Felipe Antonio B. Remollo, during a radio interview at a local public affairs program, made the announcement saying the plan for the CDC Parade Grounds was an offshoot of the success of the CDC-initiated “human chain” fund-raising project for the benefit of victims of Typhoon Sendong held last Dec. 28.
This event, Remollo said, gathered about 3,000 people and was also highlighted by performances from six winning participants of the recently-held giant lantern festival from the City of San Fernando.
Remollo said the CDC Parade Grounds has been a favorite venue for many tourism and sporting events. He also revealed that the state-owned corporation has allotted P30 million for various refurbishment work inside the Freeport, which includes the Parade Grounds.
Among the refurbishment work intended for the 20-hectare Parade Grounds include lighting and illumination of its 2.3-kilometer pathway and the construction of a bike lane.
Remollo added that the CDC is also planning to convert the residential area along the stretch of the Parade Grounds opposite the historic barn houses into “quaint restaurants” like American-style diners and alfresco cafes.
Taking cue from Singapore, Remollo said the CDC is also laying the groundwork for the transformation of Clark into a “Christmas City.”
“Singapore is not even a Catholic country but it is reinventing itself as a Christmas City. And we can do that as well in Clark,” said Remollo.
Remollo also revealed during the radio interview that CDC engineers have already visited Bais City in Negros Oriental province to study the design of the city’s giant Christmas tree.
He said Bais City for the past 40 years has been known for its elaborate and colorful giant Christmas tree, where thousands of tourists flock to the area to witness its ceremonial lighting every December.
As part of the plan to make Clark as a Christmas City, Remollo said the CDC will build a Christmas tree twice the size of Bais City’s 70-foot Yuletide symbol. He added that the CDC’s Christmas tree will incorporate the technology of City of San Fernando-based lantern makers “to make it a unique structure.”
Also included in the CDC’s Christmas City plan is the launching of various Yuletide-related activities like the 12 days of Christmas-theme around the giant Christmas tree, the annual “Pasko sa Clark,” ballroom dancing, and mini concerts.
“Families and tourists can hold picnics around the giant Christmas tree. They can also watch exhibitions from the winning entries of the Giant Lantern Festival and we also plan to invite pyrotechnics experts, who can highlight the event with fantastic fireworks displays,” Remollo said.
Source: CDC Public Relations Department