TACLOBAN CITY- At exactly 7 pm tonight, officials of Tacloban and Palo and invited guests are to light a giant lantern which will serve as among the highlights of the 50th year anniversary of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
Here in the city, close to 7,000 people are expected to join the city government-sponsored activity that will start with a street parade and will end with the lighting of the ASEAN landmark lantern at the grounds of the City Hall.
Mayor Cristina Romualdez issued Executive Order 2017-08-066 suspending classes in all levels today.
“We are honored that Tacloban was chosen as among the sites for the lighting of the ASEAN lanterns. And we are showing our support to the ASEAN by having this activity…which will show unity among ASEAN nations,” Romualdez said.
As ASEAN turns 50 years since its creation August 8, 1967, lanterns will be lighted up in 50 chosen sites across the country with the main event to take place at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to be lead by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Philippines is this year’s ASEAN chair. Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar are the other member-countries of the bloc which has combined population of more than 625 million and home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies like the Philippines.
All the 50 lanterns, made of fiberglass and designed with ASEAN logo and commissioned by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, will be lighted simultaneously at 7 pm.
Here in the region, aside from Tacloban City and Palo, similar activity will also be held in Ormoc City.
In Palo, the landmark ASEAN lantern placed at the historic MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Barangay Candahug, Palo.
Series of activities have also been lined up by the municipal government under Mayor Remedios ‘Matin’ Petilla before the main event will take place.
A parade called ‘walk for peace’ starting from Pag-Ibig Plaza, which is located across the municipal hall, will be held to be participated by town officials and representatives from different sectors.
To enliven the occasion, contingents coming from different municipal festivals will entertain the public.
The Tacloban and Palo occasions will end with a fireworks display. (JOEY A. GABIETA)