CONCEPCION, Tarlac, Dec 5 (PIA) -- Four towns, which coincidentally comes from the first congressional district, bagged the Grand Municipal category top prize of this year’s Belenismo sa Tarlac.
Officials from San Clemente, San Manuel, Moncada, and Anao personally received their trophies and cash rewards from President Benigno Aquino III during Saturday’s festive awards night in Concepcion town.
San Clemente’s belen, which is situated in the municipal hall, is filled with colorful lights highlighted by life-size figures of Joseph, Mary, and the Child Jesus that is encircled by trees made from abaniko fans while San Manuel depicted the nativity in a fishing village locale.
Moreover, Moncada’s entry features an eight-rayed sun similar to the one found in the Philippine flag while Anao’s belen is surrounded by five giant Christmas trees and hundreds of small lanterns of varying colors.
Ramos and La Paz both placed second and Pura ended third in the mentioned category.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police - Tarlac City Police Station took home the top honor in the Grand non-municipal category with a belen fashioned like a policeman’s cap and VES Food House of Capas landed first in the monumental category with its entry made completely out of chicken feathers.
Our Lady of Remedies Parish of San Manuel and San Sebastian Cathedral of Tarlac City were both declared as victors in the church category while Bienmer Estacio of Cristo Rey High School - Capas, Diane Balmores of Tarlac National High School - Main, and Christine Ann Solis of Marawi High School - Camiling were named as co-winners in the Diorama high school category.
Albert Dancel, 26, fine arts graduate Albert Dancel captured for the fourth time the top spot in the Diorama personal category with a barrio fiesta-themed belen made of 3,300 bamboo toothpicks and other indigenous materials.
Belenismo was conceived in 2007 by the Tarlac Heritage Foundation and Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church to restore the religious and social significance of the belen (nativity scene) as a symbol of Christmas and promote the bayanihan spirit among Tarlaqueños as well as to increase tourist volume in the province during the holiday season and intensify its claim as the “Belen Capital of the Philippines.”
Entries in the diorama categories have a length of 120 centimeters, a depth of 80 centimeters and height of 80 centimeters while entries in the monumental category have a height of not less than three meters and are displayed in the rooftops, lobbies and gardens of participating offices and business establishments.
On the other hand, entries in the grand categories have a height of more than three meters and are exhibited in municipal halls, plazas and major thoroughfares around the province such as McArthur and Romulo highways. (WLB/CLJD/PIA-3)