Christmas tree rises amid rubble in Tacloban

Christmas tree rises amid rubble in Tacloban
Hundreds of people watch the lighting of the giant Christmas tree in front of City Hall.

TACLOBAN CITY - From the trash left behind by Supertyphoon "Yolanda" has risen a tree of hope.

Despite the thousands of people killed and the destruction wrought by the worst typhoon to hit the country in decades, Christmas will still be observed in this unsinkable city.

Signifying the start of the Yuletide season, a 55-foot-high Christmas tree has been lighted to the cheers of residents on the grounds of Tacloban City Hall on Kanhura Hill.

But it is no simple Christmas tree-its decor includes the used water bottles and galvanized iron pipes left behind by Yolanda when it raged through this city of 221,000 people on Nov. 8.

"The tragedy should not give us a reason not to celebrate Christmas and I am glad that City Hall has its own Christmas tree," said Bella Cular, 45, whose house on Santo Niño Street was among those destroyed by the typhoon.

"That gives us hope that all is not lost, that Christmas is still with us," Cular said.

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