by Paulyne L. Fermin
Filipinos are known to celebrate Christmas the earliest and the longest. Once the “ber” months hit, we start playing Christmas songs, shopping for gifts, and putting up Yuletide decors. And why not? It is after all the most wonderful time of the year!
Last Nov.11, Manila Hotel officially welcomed the start of the holidays by way of its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. At exactly seven in the evening, the whole lobby lit up with a thousand lights and a thousand smiles. Distinguished guests from leading corporations, the diplomatic community, and media witnessed the traditional Grand Lobby Lighting as well as the launch of the Christmas Village. “For 2016, the hotel takes inspiration from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The 170-year-old story about the heartless miser Ebenezer Scrooge who does not believe in Christmas until he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future has valuable lessons to teach us to this day” said NianLiwanag-Rigor, assistant VP for PR and communication of Manila Hotel. “So here in the hotel, we keep the spirit of Christmas all through the year!”
HOME SWEET HOME. Get your fill of Christmas sweets and treats at the gingerbread house.
Meet and Greet Santa.
The Christmas Village ribbon cutting ceremony with The Manila Hotel officers Valerie Ty, brand director; Nian Rigor, AVP for PR; and Atty. Jose Lina Jr., president. Also in photo are representatives from this year’s partner brands Made in Candy, Charming Charlie, and Lotus Biscoff.
HOLIDAY FUN. Take your photos by the majestic Christmas tree and giant nutcrackers in the Grand Lobby.
A WALK THROUGH CHRISTMAS TOWN
I’ve been bringing my kids to this event for the past two years and they are always excited to see what new things are in store. In keeping with its promise to create unforgettable memories for the family, much effort was given in building a better and bigger Christmas village this year. My five-year-old daughter R’s eyes were darting this way and that. After taking her picture with Santa at the entrance, she dashed to the Candy Land and picked out a pack of sweets for herself and her older brother M. Other stores along Parsons Street include The Holiday Kitchen where you get to sit on dainty white wooden chairs while you enjoy sumptuous meals prepared by the hotel’s renowned chefs, Cookie Corner where baked goodies and coffee are served, and of course you must drop by Trinkets and The Toy Emporium for toys and other novelty items. Then let the kids grab a bucket of popcorn before entering the Grand Cinema. List of movies and time of showing are in the marquee. Do exchange your money for Christmas paper currency at the Mayor’s office before you enter the town. You need the Hamley’s bear notes to purchase and buy your tickets at the moviehouse.
The best news is that entrance to Christmas Town is now free for everyone! It’s open starting Nov.12 Monday to Friday (1 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday including public holidays (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.). This year’s partners are Hamley’s of London Ltd., Made in Candy, Charming Charlie, and Lotus Biscoff.
Nothing signals the start of the Noche Buena Season like the smell of bibingka and putobumbong. Enjoy this heavenly delicacies along with tsokolate and salabat for a truly authentic Filipino holiday feel. What’s more is that you will be serenaded by various musicians and singers starting Dec. 16 at the Carols at the Lobby.
Looking for more Christmas gift options? The Grand Dame holds a distinct reputation for having one of the best confectionaries in the land. Its list of delectable creations include milk and dark chocolates, its infamous French macarons, pralines, and a wide variety of cookies and shortbreads and so much more. These are beautifully packaged in custommade hampers and paired with exclusive wines. A fabulous and generous gift to your friends and loved ones, for sure! Just visit the Christmas Goodie Counter to make your purchases.
If you’ll be home for the holidays, you might want to consider the hotel’s Christmas Village package from Dec.1 to 31 for only P7,317 +++ (inclusive of breakfast for two) Every booking is inclusive of two Holiday Kitchen vouchers (free popcorn, candies and cookies, milkshakes and cupcakes). Get a free Willy the bear stuffed toy too! Now that’s a real holiday treat. This offer is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 20.
It’s never to early to plan for the holidays!
For inquiries and reservations, please call 527-0011 local 1175 to 1178.
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