After leading a countdown among the 5,000-strong crowd at the oval plaza stage prior to the light-up, GenSan City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. formally announced the commencement of the month-long PASKO-SA-GENSAN 2007.
A dazzling fireworks display then ensued , illuminating the sky and eliciting screams of delight among the spectators, mostly members and supporters of the ten school bands which participated in the TUNOG TAMBOL, TUNOG LIRA Drum & Lyre Competition conducted earlier that afternoon.
Pasko-Sa-Gensan which started in 2003 under the administration of Mayor Acharon has been growing in grandeur and scale annually. For this year, the festival took on a theme which played around the city's fame as the country's Tuna Capital and on the resiliency of its people who have managed to survive a series of unfortunate events the past 5 years or so. Thus, the theme "KULAY PASKO ANG DAGAT NG BUHAY" was conceptualized as the rallying point for the festivities.
According to the mayor, "Not only will our displays, decors and activities remind us of the blessings we have gotten from the bounty of our seas but will also help instill in us the spirit of hope as symbolized by the vibrant colors of the sea creatures so much present in the festive hues of the Christmas season."
Indeed, if one goes around the city, colorful marine flora and fauna are displayed side by side with symbols of Christmas while the oval plaza takes on the character of a Grand Reef with a Giant Seaweeds Christmas Tree in the center.
Pavilions built by participating schools RMMC, NDDU, HTC, MSU and Golden State College are scattered near the tree, each one adopting a certain marine creature as its mascot.
Other than that are the Coral Carnival Pavilion (carnival rides), the Fisherman's Wharf Mini Trade Fair and Food Bazaar and the Seashells Pavilion (Kids Playground).
Nightly events are also scheduled at the Oval Plaza Stage with the city's FM Radio stations outdoing themselves with their concerts, dance parties and cultural programs.
Everything culminates at the same venue with a Closing Program on December 21 and a thanksgiving concert on December 22 dubbed as Pamaskong Bigtime Aginaldo-Pasasalamat Concert sponsored by the City Mayor's Office and ABS-CBN Socssargen. (GenSan CMO/avel manansala)