Simple Christmas in flood-stricken Munti

From Manila Bulletin

Christmas this year won’t be the same for many typhoon-battered residents of Muntinlupa City, but then it’s how you celebrate the occasion that would make it memorable, Muntinlupa Mayor Aldrin San Pedro said last Monday.

“Christmas celebration in our city will be simple and meaningful this year given that thousands of residents have been devastated by the recent typhoons,” San Pedro said.

As of Monday, several villages in the city, specifically those lined up beside Laguna de Bay, are still submerged in floodwater, he said. Eight out of nine barangays in Muntinlupa sit along the lake, which overflowed due to voluminous rains dumped by tropical storm “Ondoy” last September.

More than 3,500 families had to be evacuated at the height of the storm. San Pedro said the coming Christmas celebration will focus on giving and sharing to the thousands of constituents who were affected by floods.

“My heart goes out to all the families who have lost their homes and properties. We will make their Christmas more meaningful,” the mayor said, adding that the city government has been working double time to help the “Ondoy” victims.

Authorities expect flood in the streets to persist until January, or when water from the swollen lake recedes.

Despite the less-than-merry outlook, familiar sights of Yuletide are still being set up in Muntinlupa.

For instance, the traditional giant Christmas tree at the city hall quadrangle is now being prepared.

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