Over 21,000 visit Malacañang for Simbang Gabi, viewing of Palace Christmas tree
MANILA, Philippines — Over 21,000 Filipinos went to Malacañang to attend the “Simbang Gabi,” the traditional nine-day dawn masses leading to Christmas Day, and view the Palace Christmas tree and lantern displays at the Kalayaan grounds.
The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) said on Sunday that from Dec. 17 to 24, a total of 2,895 Filipinos attended Simbang Gabi.
Meanwhile, 14,998 Filipinos visited the “Pailaw sa Kalayaan” from December 18 to 24, according to a report from the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. earlier opened the Malacañang for Simbang Gabi goers and allowed the public to visit the display.
READ: Marcos invites public to Palace grounds for ‘Simbang Gabi’
He also made a surprise visit after the mass ended on Christmas Eve, where he waved to visitors enjoying the free delicacies such as puto bumbong, bibingka, and hot chocolate.
Malacañang also opened its doors to ordinary Filipinos who wanted to spend their Noche Buena there.
Some 3,200 visitors went to the Kalayaan grounds on Christmas Day, the OPS said, citing the PSG.
The Chief Executive earlier made a surprise visit while on his way to a get-together with officials and personnel of the Radio and Television Malacañang (RTVM) on December 21.
READ: Marcos surprises Palace visitors
In his Christmas message to the nation, President Marcos said it is imperative for everyone to emphasize the true essence of the holiday season, which is love.
“It is this true and simple love that Christmas represents—the same one that we constantly desire and need—that allows it to be more than just a Christian tradition. Across beliefs, all the generosity and goodwill stirred in this season are welcomed,” the President said.
READ: Celebrate Christmas with ‘simplicity, sense, and meaning’ – Marcos
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