Business still good as Mandaue Plaza spruced up for Christmas

Posted on December 24, 2012

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Parking space at daytime, food court at night – the Mandaue City Park is now spruced up for Christmas.

As soon as the cars pull out of the park, food vendors – those selling peanuts, tempura, fishball, popcorn, eggs and balut, siomai, sweet corn and that ubiquitous “pongko-pongko” (hanging rice) get ready to cater to the al fresco ‘diners.’

Those dining out on the go in the Mandaue City Park are in for a more pleasant ambiance as the city government put up Christmas decor and lights.

And for as little as P15, a person can already eat a complete meal of rice and viand from ‘pongko-pongko’ vendors; three quail eggs sell for P10; one tempura for P2.50; sweetcorn for P20; and peanuts for P5.

Even 33-year-old car park attendant Ricardo Sibonga loiters awhile after the car pulls out to enjoy the colorful Christmas lights as they are turned on.

All trees and plants in the plaza were decorated with Christmas lights while a Christmas tree recently lighted by Mayor Jonas Cortes is filled with colorful lanterns.

Sibonga has been working as a motorcycle watcher for the past five years. He said every December, he waits to watch the Christmas lights saying, “Makawala problema kung maniga na ang suga.”

(My problems disappear for awhile when the Christmas lights are turned on.)

For park photographer Leonides Calopes, his hands are busier pressing the shutter button of his digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera as more people want to have their photos taken with the colorful lights in the background. Calopes sells photo prints for P40-P50 depending on the size.

Calopes says the Christmas decoration in the plaza is spectacular and he noticed more people wandering at the place now.

He himself feels the spirit of Christmas while sitting in one of the concrete benches waiting for the next pose.
“Bisan man gud man lingkod lang ko dinhi kay ang mga tao maka feel man nga pasko na jud,” (Even just sitting down here, you can feel the Christmas spirit.),” Calopes said.

“Ing-aron nga hayag kaayo gaan kaayo akong pamati sa pasko bisan wala kwarta,” (Now that the plaza is well-lighted, I feel very good even if I do not have money),” he added.

The Christmas lights and decors in the plaza, Calopes said, eases a bit their worries over their shrinking income as more plaza goers employ digital devices.

“Daghan naman gud phones nga naay camera run (There are now a lot of phones with camera),” said Calope, who also works as a barangay tanod in Maguikay when not taking pictures in the plaza. /Jucell Marie P. Cuyos, Reporter

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