The 42-foot Belen is a grand spectacle showcasing the versatility of employing indigenous materials as well as recycled ones. It is also the tangible testimony of the hard work invested by the thirty (30) artistic hands and minds who collaborated and labored together for a month to deliver this wonderful monument of the Christmas season.
SM City Tarlac’s entry reigned again at the 12th Belenismo sa Tarlac Awards Night bringing home the Grand Champion award under the Grand Monumental – Non-Municipal Category for the third consecutive victory on November 29, 2019.
The event was graced by DSWD Secretary Rolando D. Bautista, Guest of Honor and Speaker Gen. Noel S. Clemen, Chairman of Tarlac Heritage Foundation Dra. Issa Cojuangco Suntay, LtGen. Ramiro Rei, MGen. Bob Daus, and MGen. Lenard Agustin.
SM City Tarlac now holds the Hall of Fame Title for winning three consecutive years (2017, 2018 and 2019) in Belenismo sa Tarlac organized by Tarlac Heritage Foundation, Inc. Signifying God as the source of life, purity, and wisdom, a 9-foot fountain in the middle enlivens the Belen. Its intricate design is given life by one of Tarlac’s main agricultural products – sugarcane. Complementing the colorful water-and-light-producing fountain were indigenous jute sacks and bagasse fibers wrapped around it. Bagasse is a pulp-like residue after extracting the sugarcane stalks. Meanwhile, the creative use of real hay for the manger not only relives the biblical scene, but also highlights another major product of Tarlac.
(photo from left to right) Tarlac Heritage Foundation Chairman Dra. Issa Cojuangco-Suntay, Group Marketing Manager North 3 Ms. Chie Manarang, SM City Tarlac (SMTL) Marketing Officer Darlene Salunga, Guest Speaker Gen. Noel S. Clemen, SMTL Mall Manager Michelle Charlene B. Chua, SMTL Marketing Manager Kathleen Galarosa, SMTL Marketing Officer Charis May David
For a sophisticated flowing water effect of the fountain, SM City Tarlac opted to use treated wastewater from the Mall’s Sewage Treatment Plant so as to further promote environmental sustainability. The base platform was made of cracked, damaged tiles from the warehouse of the Mall. These were repainted and placed in fastidious manner to achieve a bright, gradient effect.
As tourists appreciates the Belen, they are also given the opportunity to submit themselves into prayer as the Belen displays four renditions of the “Prayer Before The Belen” – in English, Filipino, Kapampangan, and Ilocano.
A total of 42 entries competed for this year’s Belenismo. Truly, this showcases not only the spirituality of Tarlaquenos but also their versatility and resourcefulness by using indigenous materials as well as recycled ones.
The Tarlac Heritage Foundation, Inc. was registered by a group of incorporators who aim and focus on the preservation of the cultural heritage of the Province of Tarlac for the future generations by providing and introducing projects and programs that would assist the Tarlaqueños in the preservation, protection, promotion and enrichment of the Province of Tarlac’s rich historical and cultural values and resources.