DAGUPAN CITY – Paseo de Belen along the new De Venecia Highway is now open from 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon to 1:00 o’clock in the morning until January 7 next year to enable everyone to see the city’s newest Christmas attraction featuring the 20 Nativity Scenes set up by the different barangays in clusters or solo.
Former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr. and Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, along with Colegio de Dagupan President Dr. Voltaire Arzadon, Professor Caroline Jaraula of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, the 2016 City Fiesta Executive Chairman Epee R. Rafanan and 2016 City Fiesta Hermano Mayor Dennis C. Canto, cut the ceremonial ribbon formally opening Paseo de Belen on Dec. 7.
The Paseo de Belen is one of the innovations initiated by Mayor Fernandez by bringing all the nativity scenes in the barangays in one place instead of these being displayed in each barangay as in the past.
This will enable everyone to have an easy access to viewing the different ‘belen’ art works of the people in the barangays.
“Each barangay has its own potential people who are good in arts and culture and Belen-making is our way of bringing their best out of it along with the guidance of their respective Punong Barangays. In fact, in one Belen, the mangers were designed by a former inmate and I am so proud when I watched them building their respective mangers,” said Fernandez.
On the other hand, De Venecia hailed the collection of Christmas ‘belen’ in one place as one of the best achievements of Mayor Fernandez for the city of Dagupan.
“I am already turning 80 on December 26 and I have never seen in my entire life a collection of these ‘belens’ in just one place. This is another major accomplishment of Mayor Belen for the city of Dagupan,” said De Venecia.
Notably, the ‘belens’ are all made of indigenous and recycled materials.
During the launching of the 'Paseo de Belen', the Balon Dagupan Children’s Choir serenaded the crowd with their rendition of Christmas carols.
The carnival nearby the Paseo De Belen is also now open for families and guests to enjoy. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)