In the heart of the Philippines, the spirit of Christmas ignites a profound and cherished celebration, making it one of the most anticipated and well-loved holidays in the archipelago. As the calendar inches closer to December, the air in the bustling cityscape of Metro Manila becomes infused with festive energy. The bustling streets and lively neighborhoods bear witness to a transformation as preparations for the holiday season go into full swing. From the warm glow of parol lanterns to the unmistakable sounds of Christmas carols, the Philippines truly come alive during this magical time of the year.
In the midst of this joyous anticipation, we embark on a journey through the vibrant streets of Metro Manila to unveil five enchanting Christmas attractions that promise to captivate hearts and create lasting memories. These carefully curated destinations represent the epitome of Yuletide cheer, offering a kaleidoscope of lights, sounds, and festive wonders that beckons both locals and visitors to join in the merriment. Let us explore these splendid havens of holiday enchantment, where the essence of Christmas is brought to life in the heart of the Philippine capital.
Festival of Lights (Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City)
Immerse yourself in the magical Festival of Lights at Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City, a nightly spectacle from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. until January 14, 2024. Under the theme “Christmas Night with Countless Lights,” this year’s event unfolds in three mesmerizing segments. The first, “Kaleidoscope of Sight, Sound, and Light,” treats spectators to dynamic light projections dancing to familiar local Christmas tunes, including the classic “Tuloy Na Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko” by APO Hiking Society. The second part transports visitors to a bygone era with spirited marching band renditions of timeless Christmas carols like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams and “A Jolly Christmas” by Frank Sinatra. This section delivers a delightful fusion of jukebox-style melodies and jazzy beats, offering a harmonious blend of the old and the new.
For those craving a contemporary twist, the third segment features a lively medley of popular K-pop songs, infusing the atmosphere with a hip and modern vibe. The celebration extends beyond the light show with two additional art installations starting on December 2. “Wish Upon a Light” invites guests to share their Christmas wishes on an interactive LED screen, transforming the area into a magical wishing pond. To conclude your visit, explore the “Liter of Light” installation, showcasing the artwork “Elemento” by Filipino artist Leeroy New. This multifaceted Festival of Lights promises an unforgettable experience that seamlessly blends tradition and innovation in the heart of Makati City.
Your Home for Christmas (Araneta City, Quezon City)
Araneta City brightens up the holiday season by making the City of Firsts your home for Christmas through its traditional giant Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
The City of Firsts lit its iconic giant Christmas tree in a star-studded festivity on November 10 to kick off Araneta City’s “Your Home for Christmas” celebration for 2023.
This year, the giant Christmas tree glistens in gold, silver, and a touch of red colors to suit the colors of Yuletide season. It is adorned with 7,500 warm white LED bulbs, 20,000 pieces of white and gold glossy Christmas balls, 250 pieces of red and gold stars, 3,000 pine garlands, and 300 pieces of sputniks and snowflakes. Complementing the overall design of the giant Christmas trees is a golden carousel that was placed underneath the tree, signifying the return of the classic Fiesta Carnival to its original home.
First lighted in 1981, Araneta City’s giant Christmas tree has become the soul and symbol of all Yuletide celebrations inside the City.
BGC’s Holiday Fireworks Display (Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City)
Bonifacio Global City (BGC) has recently unveiled its festive holiday decorations, transforming the area into a warm and homey atmosphere. However, the holiday cheer doesn’t stop there. BGC is taking the celebrations to new heights with weekly special fireworks shows until the end of the year.
For those in BGC on Fridays, especially office workers and Taguig residents, a visual treat awaits. As part of their annual holiday display, BGC is not only adorning the landscape with giant Christmas trees and interactive installations but is also presenting special fireworks shows every Friday at 7:30 p.m. until December 29. Named “Sparks in the Sky,” this pyrotechnic spectacle aims to enchant and uplift holiday spirits. While visible throughout the business district, the BGC administration suggests catching the show near 5th Avenue for an optimal view, allowing spectators to enjoy the fireworks against the backdrop of the second 3D digital billboard in the area.
A Holiday Season Filled with Light and Magic (Okada Manila, Parañaque City)
Okada Manila is gearing up for a festive Yuletide season with a lineup of spectacular events. This includes the highly anticipated Noel Bazaar, the dazzling Christmas Tree Lighting, and the introduction of the Christmas Village, along with a mesmerizing Light Show at the Fountain Foyer and Crystal Pavilion, serving as the focal points of the holiday celebration. The renowned venue, known for its diverse portfolio, recently unveiled the expansive Crystal Pavilion as a new events venue for trade events, exhibitions, and large-scale gatherings. This November, the Noel Bazaar kicks off its bazaar series with the maiden Lifestyle Edition at the Crystal Pavilion, providing guests with a unique shopping experience featuring over 100 merchants, a Celebrity ukay-ukay in collaboration with GMA-7, and free entry from 1 pm to 11 pm.
On November 18, Okada Manila’s enchanting Yuletide season begins with the lighting ceremony of its 30-foot Christmas tree at The Fountain Foyer of the Crystal Corridor. Titled “A Night of a Thousand Lights,” the event includes performances by Jayda Avanzado, the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Okada Manila Entertainment Group (OMEG). The festivities continue with the launch of the Christmas Village and a dazzling Light Show at the Crystal Corridor, running from November 18, 2022, to January 15, 2023. Additionally, Okada Manila offers special holiday dining experiences, including the “Holiday Medley Fiesta” at Medley Buffet and festive offerings at various dining venues.
Meralco Liwanag Park (Pasig City)
Meralco, renowned as the Philippines’ leading electricity provider, showcases a spectacular Christmas display known as Meralco Liwanag Park. Adorned with approximately 100,000 Christmas lights and lanterns, the park creates a mesmerizing spectacle. Typically featuring a quaint Christmas village and an impressive larger-than-life belen, Liwanag Park, as of now, awaits its official public opening. Nevertheless, you can still appreciate the enchanting sight by viewing it from the exterior of the Meralco Headquarters in Ortigas.
Enchanting Christmas Delights
As we conclude this exploration of the enchanting Christmas spirit in the Philippines, it becomes evident that the anticipation for this beloved holiday transforms not only the bustling cityscape of Metro Manila but also various corners of the archipelago. From the vibrant streets of the capital to iconic destinations like Ayala Triangle Gardens, Araneta City, Bonifacio Global City, Meralco Liwanag Park, and Okada Manila, the essence of Christmas is palpable in every glittering light, festive melody, and captivating display.
In Metro Manila, the air is charged with festive energy as preparations for the Yuletide season go into full swing. Our journey has unveiled five exceptional Christmas attractions, each offering a unique blend of lights, sounds, and holiday wonders. From the captivating Festival of Lights at Ayala Triangle Gardens to the heartwarming giant Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Araneta City, the dazzling fireworks display in Bonifacio Global City, the enchanting Meralco Liwanag Park in Pasig City, and the grand festivities at Okada Manila in Parañaque City – these destinations encapsulate the magic of Christmas in the Philippines.
As we immerse ourselves in the warmth and joy of the holiday season, these splendid havens of holiday enchantment beckon both locals and visitors to create lasting memories and embrace the true spirit of Christmas. May these festive attractions serve as beacons of light and magic, ushering in a season filled with joy, unity, and the timeless traditions that make Christmas in the Philippines truly special.