Four Centuries of History and Progress: Valenzuela City Lights Tree of Hope, Begins Celebration of its 400th Founding Anniversary

It’s the season of celebrating history and the yuletide cheer!

Welcoming two momentous events in one, the City of Valenzuela commenced the “Tree of Hope” lighting ceremony at the Valenzuela City People’s Park and was graced by special guests: Jose Mari Chan, Patrick Quiroz, and The Itchyworms. Alongside, the ceremony also marked the beginning of a three-month-long celebration of the 400th Founding Anniversary of the city.

The “Tree of Hope” lighting ceremony is a yearly tradition of the city, setting the Christmas spirit early for the Valenzuelanos. This traditional lighting of the 50-foot tree, along with several decors and installations, has been long-running since 2004.

This year, the lighting ceremony is coupled with another historical commemoration — the kick-off celebration of the 400th founding anniversary of the City of Valenzuela. It is a modern Pinoy Christmas theme bridging the past and future, as a herald to 400 years of history and progress. Mayor WES Gatchalian will be joined by SM Supermalls President Steven Tan and CDO Foodsphere Inc. Assistant Vice President Jason Ong in lighting up the Tree of Hope this year.

Dedicating the Tree of Hope, the city also welcomed PWD children and teens as the primary beneficiaries for this year. Likewise, students from the city’s state universities the Pamantasan ng
Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV) and Valenzuela Technological College or VALTECH (formerly named ValPoly) were also invited to partake in this event. The historical evening occurred at the heart of the city, the Valenzuela City People’s Park, where many of its residents gathered to witness the gleaming lights from the display.

Mayor WES Gatchalian extended his warm greetings and emphasized the meaning of the Tree of Hope. “Sa ating ‘Tree of Hope’ Lighting ngayong gabi, nawa ito ay hindi lamang maging simbolo ng pag-asa, kung hindi rin magsilbing paalala, na ang liwanag na gumabay sa ating sa nakalipas na apat na raang (400) taon, ay siya ring liwanag na gagabay sa ating hinaharap.” [For our ‘Tree of Hope’ Lighting tonight, may this event not be a symbol of hope, but also serve as a reminder that the light that has guided over the past 400 years, will be the light that shall guide us in the future.]

Joining the event were Vice Mayor Lorie Natividad-Borja, Mayoress Tiffany Gatchalian, City Councilors Ricarr Enriquez, Gerald Galang, Niña Lopez, Sel Sabino-Sy, Mickey Pineda, Atty. Bimbo Dela Cruz, Louie Nolasco, Marlon Alejandrino, SK Federation President, Councilor Goyong Serrano, and Liga ng mga Barangay President, Councilor Jonjon Bartolome.

The PWD children and teens performed a meaningful doxology to start the event right. To further make this a night to remember, the local government invited the Christmas icon, Jose Mari Chan, to sing his signature song, “Christmas in Our Hearts” while setting the Tree of Hope and the fireworks alight. A colorful and dashing fountain display provided the finishing touches to the ceremonial night.

Following days after the event, multiple attractions in the city such as Valenzuela City Family Park, WES Arena, Fatima Avenue, and Polo Family Park were also set to illuminate their Christmas installations.

A post-lighting concert took place at the Valenzuela City Amphitheater wherein special guests, Patrick Quiroz and the band, The Itchyworms, livened up the stadium. Valenzuelanos jammed with some of their iconic songs, concluding the monumental night on a strong note.

Getting the ball rolling, the tree-lighting occasion is one of the city’s main festivities for its 400th founding anniversary tribute. The day of the commemoration is November 12, following Pueblo de Polo’s founding date, November 12, 1623. Back-to-back celebration awaits the city with Polo Fiesta and Casa de Polo inauguration as two of the grand slated events at #Valenzuela400 this month.

Meanwhile, some of the anticipated huge events for the upcoming months are as follows: Oktoberfest, Polo Fiesta activities, Mass at San Diego de Alcala Church, Casa de Polo blessing and inauguration, Industry Summit, Gawad Dr. Pio Valenzuela Awarding, Cultural Night, Valenzuela’s coffee table book launch, a visit from delegates of Bucheon, South Korea, Food Fiesta, and a Christmas Bazaar. These activities in line were all open for the Pamilyang Valenzuelanos.

For the past 400 years, the City of Valenzuela sought several developments and innovations — and it has never stopped evolving. From an agricultural provincial town of Polo to a highly urbanized, industrial, and liveable city, this notable transition led Valenzuela to be recognized as one of the progressive cities in the country.

Reaching four centuries of growth and progress is a milestone worth celebrating for the Pamilyang Valenzuelanos and an inspiration to continuously commemorate and bring honor to the rich history that established the city.


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