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Entering its third decade, the M Lhuillier Tree of Hope lights up the entire Cebu from Fuente Osmena, right at the city’s very center.

Rising 10-storeys high, it is made of a solid steel foundation weighing a ton and covered with the festive holiday trimmings befitting an iconic structure: 36 oversized acrylic stars, 400 green plastic wreaths, 600 red plastic flowers, 300 styro balls, 600 traditional Pampanga lanterns, 200 raindrop led lights, 300 typical parols covered in colored plastic charrol, 200 pieces of LED tubing, and three kilometers of series lights. This year, the tree also features a life-size diorama at the base depicting a nativity scene in honor of the season with custom fiberglass figures, flanking each side are mannequins adorned in Sinulog attire to pay tribute to the largest festival in the country celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of January, and on the side facing the street, the revered Sto. Nino in a handmade altar, the oldest Catholic relic in the country and Cebu’s spiritual guardian.

“This year, we light the tree with a renewed vigor and a rekindled purpose,” says M Lhuillier President and CEO Michael Lhuillier. “The year 2020 has only

made us appreciate more that it is only through working together as a team that we can weather the unprecedented challenges of a pandemic. As we light the tree on its 21st year in 2021, we look towards a steadily brighter 2022 as we beat Covid-19 and all its challenges as a family.”

AT THE TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY on December 1, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama (2nd from left) and Cebu City Vice Mayor Dondon Hontiveros (2nd from right) hand over the Key of the City, the highest symbol of hospitality, to Her Excellency Laure Beaufils, the Ambassador the United Kingdom to the Philippines. Flanking them are (extreme left) Senorito Michel Lhuillier, Chairman of the Board of M Lhuillier Financial Services and (extreme right) Michael Lhuillier, President and CEO of M Lhuillier Financial Services. Mayor Rama thanked the Lhuilliers for the gift of the tree for 21 years.

At the Pasko sa Sugbo launch and tree lighting ceremony, M Lhuillier Chairman of the Board Senorito Michel Lhuillier gathers the workforce of 21 local artisans onstage who handcrafted every single detail of this year’s behemoth structure—from the steel foundation to the delicate details of its adornments—as M Lhuillier pays tribute to every part of the expanding company.

Headed by Team Leader and main designer of the tree Brendon Cabarrubias, the artisans received an eco-bag filled with Cebu’s signature dried mangoes and other practical daily items as well as a substantial cash gift loaded onto their ML Wallet, the free M Lhuillier app.

A Tribute to the 21 local artisans who handcrafted the iconic M Lhuillier Tree of Hope was made even more significant when Senorito Michel Lhuillier announced that they had pre-loaded their ML Wallets, the free M Lhuillier app, with a substantial cash gift for Christmas. Flanking the 21 artisans of Mardam Signads led by Marvin Damaolao and tree designer Brendon Cabarrubias are Jude Millares, M Lhuillier Vice President & COO, Michael James Lhuillier, Senorito Michel Lhuillier, Michael Lhuillier and Joanna Maitland-Smith Lhuillier.

“The tree this year is a symbol of our thanksgiving to those whose hands make the brand a true success story,” adds ML Vice President Jude Millares, himself present in the original meeting between the City Government of Cebu and M Lhuillier on putting up a Christmas tree reminiscent of the Rockefeller tree in New York City. With its decidedly Filipino flavor, the Cebuano counterpart has become just as iconic.

The M Lhuillier tree remains lighted from today until January 2022 from 5pm to 5am daily, serving as a beacon of hope in the heart of Cebu City as we all heal from a challenging two years. As M Lhuillier’s Michael Lhuillier sums: “This year, its light shines differently as a renewed economy and a city emerging carefully from a pandemic with its best foot forward sparks hope in the air.”

M Lhuillier, the Philippines’ largest and most respected non-bank financial institution, continues to uphold its promise of being the Bridge and Tulay ng PaMLyang Pilipino with more than 3,000 serviceable locations nationwide. It continuously seeks better and innovative ways to serve its community by

providing fast, easy, and reliable financial services such as Kwarta Padala, Quick Cash Loan, Bills Payment, Insurance Plan, Money Exchange, Jewelry, ML Wallet, ML Express, ML Moves, and Telco and online TV Loading.

Follow M Lhuillier Financial Services, Inc. on Facebook, or visit mlhuillier.com for more information. For inquiries, contact Customer Care through its toll-free number 1-800-1-0572-3252 or email [email protected].

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About The Author

Raymund Ravanera is an accomplished and experienced graphic designer with almost 20 years of creative expertise working in the graphic design industry. He loves the latest gadgets, food and movies. Currently, he owns and manages megabites.com.ph, an online technology and lifestyle blog since 2015.

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