In keeping with its annual Maliwanag ang Pasko tradition, the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) once again opened the Liwanag Park to the public with a lighting ceremony held Wednesday evening (December 2) at the company’s headquarters in Ortigas, Pasig City.
The whole Meralco compound literally lit up on cue when Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, along with other Meralco executives, pushed the button signalling the opening of the park, which in recent years has been a popular Christmas destination in Metro Manila.
Department of Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro also graced the lighting ceremony and received, on behalf of DepEd, a donation of 2,000 solar lamps from Meralco employees, partners and customers. The donation is the result of One Meralco Foundation’s “One Child, One Lamp” campaign launched in November to raise funds to donate solar lamps to public schools in mountain and island villages without electricity.
Public officials and community leaders from the municipalities in the Meralco franchise area were also present during the ceremony. Earlier, they received recognition from One Meralco Foundation for their contribution to the foundation’s Household Electrification Program which brings electricity to low income families within the Meralco business area. Since 2007, the program has energized more than 15,000 families.
The Meralco Liwanag Park
Among the park’s many features are Christmas figures and a gigantic tableau of the nativity scene made entirely of scrap copper wires. Visitors may hitch on a ride via a miniature train, reminiscent of the days when rail operations were a part of the company’s vast portfolio of businesses (Thus, the “R” in the MERALCO acronym which stands for “Rail”). The train’s tracks circle a giant Christmas tree which is decorated with lanterns crafted from old electric meter covers and LED lights. Another attraction, especially for the kids and die-hard action movie fans, are two large robots fabricated from parts of decommissioned Meralco service vehicles and basket trucks.
The park also houses a night bazaar where visitors can go shopping for clothes, gift items, food products, among others. Proceeds of the bazaar will go to One Meralco Foundation’s “One Child, One Lamp” campaign which aims to provide solar lamps to students in public schools without electricity.
The Meralco Liwanag Park is open every day from 4:00pm to 10:00pm until January 10, 2016.