By Raydes B. Barcia

Tabaco City – For several years now, the city government of Tabaco, in Albay, has been using pedicabs in place of reindeer in the Christmas village as a way of honoring the thousands of pedicab drivers in the city of love, faith and hope.

On the first day of advent, the city government of Tabaco lit up the Candy Land Christmas village wherein giant ice cream, Christmas tree adorned with colorful candies and the pedicabs are the center stage of its reindeers.

Tabaco City is known as the “Padyak Capital” of the Philippines where the sikad-sikad has served Tabaqueños for decades. The city of love, the padyak (pedicab) capital in the country lit up a Candy Land Christmas village using recycled materials and plastic brisk to lessen the carbon footprint.

The sikad-sikad of Tabaco is like other pedicabs – a bicycle with a sidecar – but what sets it apart is that, each one is handcrafted by Tabaco smiths and metal workers.

The local pedicab has become a symbol of the hardworking Tabaqueño. It also symbolizes Tabaqueños’ strength, innovation, and commitment to a clean environment as it does not emit harmful chemicals that destroy the ozone layer.

The local sikad-sikad (pedicab) takes center stage as Santa Claus’ ride of choice in the Christmas village in Tabaco city.

The Santa Claus carriage is being drawn not by the reindeers, but by the pedicabs adorned with red color and Christmas light.

The lighting up of Christmas village in Tabaco City coincided with the opening of St. John the Baptist parish, two years after it was destroyed by super typhoon Rolly on November 1, 2020.

The Christmas lighting activity and reopening of the century-old church in Tabaco City on Saturday evening was attended by thousands of people despite heavy downpour.

Yearly, the Tabaco City government selects different theme for its Christmas village. This year, Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro said that they have chosen the candy village to let the children be happy and enjoy at the people’s park, after two years hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Consistent with their environmental programs, Mayor Krisel said that they used recycled materials to lessen the carbon sink.

We are using plastic as eco bricks and preserved old materials for our pro-environment campaign and so continue to bloom and grow amidst the pandemic and calamities. Pandemic teaches us a lesson as we grow together and stronger with adversity and so we learn to adapt and innovate during the hardest lockdown of global pandemic,” she said.

We used the technology to continue our businesses locally. We bloom after all the storms in our lives because we have to continue and we continue to live after the darkest and challenging time. We don’t appreciate darkness with all lights but in darkness we see the light that brings forth life, happiness, joy and hope,” the lady mayor said. (Raydes B. Barcia)

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