Mangilao community becomes even closer after theft of park Christmas tree

Marvin Francisco, the Mangilao mayor's office administrative assistant, recalled what happened the night before the incident. (PNC photo)

After finding out a tree was stolen from the Silver Star Park, Mangilao residents banded together not only to replace the tree but offer other Christmas donations to show their strong holiday spirit.

What could’ve been seen as a negative setback in the village of Mangilao, actually brought a community together for something special this holiday season.

Marvin Francisco, the Mangilao mayor’s office administrative assistant, recalled what happened the night before the incident.

“Our staff and management have been working on our Christmas tree display since Thursday, Friday and Friday. We had our lighting, and the following morning, our Christmas tree was discovered to be missing around 7 in the morning after the lighting,” Francisco said.

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Jenei Aguon, UOG Endowment development coordinator and a Mangilao resident, is a part of the Mangilao community watch group and when she woke up early in the morning to messages that the tree was stolen, she quickly posted about it on Facebook.

Sure enough, her fellow residents immediately responded.

“People started messaging me. My friend, Janise (Guerrero), was saying I have a tree and some decorations if you want it. My friend, Vernielyn (Castro), who was Mrs. Guam 2019, also donated a tree which I’m picking up later today. I guess it’s just our community. We’re just so used to giving and helping out. People just stepped up to the plate and started dropping off stuff,” Aguon said.

She added: “For me, I’m just trying to make Mangilao Children’s Park a destination where families can go and take pictures because we don’t have the one in Tumon right now. Malesso has theirs, that coconut Christmas tree, right? Barrigada has their park up … who else? Dededo has their park, Agana has their plaza but Mangilao, we’re just kind of out there. Our mayor and the staff, they’re doing such a great job promoting the Christmas spirit with everything going on, we’re (the Mangilao community) trying to help that out, just spread the Christmas joy.”

Francisco also acknowledged the community’s efforts.

“We were thankful and grateful for our friends, Jenei, and the Mangilao residents for getting together and bringing this out to the public. We were lucky to receive our donations, additional trees, and some other items we’ll distribute out to the public,” Francisco said.