Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. said they adopted the Christmas landmark — replica of a fishing vessel adorned with Christmas decorations and colorful lights — to symbolize the city’s thriving tuna and fishing industry.
The Christmas boat, located at a corner of the Gen. Paulino Santos Park and Pioneers Avenue here, was launched by the city government during last week's opening of the fifth Paskohan sa GenSan.
"We're hoping that this would help attract more local and foreign tourists as well as additional investments," Acharon said.
The mayor said the local government initially spent at least P200,000 for the Christmas boat that was enlisted as the city's entry to the Lady's Choice nationwide search for the grandest Christmasterpiece or landmark.
But he said plans are already being made for further improvement of the giant mock-up boat structure's appearance and decorations.
Dubbed the country's tuna capital, the presently hosts seven of the country's eight tuna canneries. The industry reportedly employs at least 100,000 fisherfolk, and laborers in the area.
The city government launched the month-long Paskohan sa Gensan five years ago to highlight Christmas festivities in the city.
Acharon said they earlier adopted the Christmas festival as one of the four festivals hosted by the city.
Aside from Paskohan, the city government also holds the Kalilangan Festival every last week of February, the Yaman GenSan Business Month held every June and July and the Tuna Festival every September.
The mayor said the four celebrations were primarily intended to keep the economy of the city and its neighboring areas afloat all-year-round.
This year's Christmas festival activities include a Drum and Lyre competition featuring school bands of 11 private and public schools of the city, a Christmas tree contest and Dress-up-a -Tree Contest.
The local government is also hosting a series of concerts and celebrity shows featuring popular music and television artists from Metro Manila. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)