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All Abloom

December is finally here, the trees are up and all is full cheer!


By Mary Angela Barlongay, Cessa Gatmaytan,
and Sara Grace Fojas

All the Christmas lights are on, from north to south, from east to west. It’s official, it’s Christmas time! But the merry and bright season of December won’t be complete without the Christmas tree, whether big or small or green or white. Let Manila Bulletin Lifestyle show you the brightest, most festive trees this year. So now, ‘let’s light our Christmas trees for a bright tomorrow,’ and stop all the hate and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas—love, peace, and joy.

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Snow Queen and Unicorns

It was a night full of smiles, Christmas carols, gift giving, and a feast at Marriott Hotel as they lit up their 26-foot-tall Christmas tree bedecked with white and gold ornaments and fairy dolls. The guests were welcomed by Snow Queen Tessa Prieto-Valdez, who wore a glittery white gown with matching crown. Himig Roseña Choral of Colegio de Sta. Rosa Makati serenaded everyone with their angelic voices while little ballerina, Sage Espiritu, wowed the guests with her graceful performance. As the night deepened, a special guest came to visit. With a strike of her magic wand, Marian Rivera-Dantes lit up the Christmas tree, marking the start of Christmas at the Marriot. Christmas is known as the season of giving and Marriot Hotel shares its blessings with the Philippine School for the Deaf, raising funds to start the construction of additional dormitories for the indigent students. Every purchase of Rio, the Unicorn, will aid in this advocacy. The limited edition stuffed toy is available at the lifesize gingerbread train at the hotel lobby for only P500.

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Season by the Sea

It’s a “Refreshing Christmas” at the Pan Pacific Manila. Celebrating the season with a creative nod to Pacific beaches, the main attraction at the lobby is the 12-foot-tall Christmas tree lavished with coastal and sea-essential ornaments. Shells, pearls, sand, and starfishes all around the hotel beautifully incorporated on the design with the hues of blue, white, and silver made prominent with glass details and coral tabletops. During the Christmas tree lighting, the Butler Chorale serenaded the guests with Christmas carols while guests enjoyed a festive buffet feast. Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada graced the ceremony.

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Christmas in our Hearts

For more than a hundred years, Manila Hotel has spread so much Christmas joy for many a holiday season. They enchant guests with their cheerful decor and scrumptious food. This year, the hotel’s theme is inspired by Christmas Carol, the Charles Dickens classic—a story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kinder man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The grand lobby of this Grand Dame of hotels the Philippines is surrounded by red, green, and gold ornaments and the larger-than-life rendition of the toy character in the classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker beside the 22-foot Christmas tree. Kids will surely love the Gingerbread House and the new Christmas Village which houses stuff for sale for Christmas shopping. Everyone’s favorite Christmas movies are also on show at the 3D Grand View Cinema. A paradise full of sweets made special by Made in Candy awaits you at Candy Land and capture that special moment at the photo booth.

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Winter Wonderland

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Century City Mall in Makati brings you a white crisp frosty experience. The mall’s design for this season is predominantly white—the color of snow, purity, and serenity—with polar bears and cheerful lights, transforming the mall into a winter wonderland. Take photos and have #MerrierMoments with the polar bear at the Christmas Polar Express station or catch Santa Claus every weekend. You may also find unique gifts created by the Pursuit Manila, a community of Christian female creatives at the Christmas Fair happening today and from Dec. 10 to 11.

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Glitter and Cheer

With its 12-foot-tall golden Christmas tree made from dried leaves and abloom with colorful ornaments, Novotel Manila Araneta Center wanted to show the world who they were and what they could offer with their Sparkle and Cheer Christmas. The hotel’s chosen charity, the Verlani Voices from the Virlanie Foundation, home for children who are abandoned, abused, exploited, neglected, and orphaned, was the hotel’s main performers during the Christmas tree lighting where they sang sweet Christmas carols as guests enjoyed a relaxing casual dinner at the bridal garden. To spread happiness this Christmas, the hotel and other sponsors will donate money to the foundation to improve the lives of the children.

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La Dolce Vita

A Yuletide ambiance, inspired by Italy and displayed with elegance, Marco Polo Ortigas created a stare-worthy Christmas tree in silver, gold, and blue on the 24th floor of the hotel for its “Magico Natale: Splendid Venetian Celebrations.” Christmas as the season of sharing, Marco Polo also launched Wings of Hope, which raises funds for the Philippine Eagle Foundation and delights a child at the same time. The guests can purchase the stuffed toy for P600, and put it on the Wings of Hope Christmas tree with their personal letter to their chosen recipient. The project aims for two goals: to bring joy to the children and to advocate for the conservation of the national bird, the Philippine Eagle. (Kimberly Cura, Centro Escolar University)

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Music and Magic

Resort’s World Manila (RWM) is sharing laughs and magic this Christmas season. The 20-foot Christmas tree filled with white ornaments represents this year’s theme—“A Magical Christmas.” “On our seventh year (celebrating Christmas), we told ourselves that ‘why don’t we do something different in terms of the theme,’” said RWM’s chief integrated marketing officer Martin Paz. For years, RWM has been doing fiesta celebrations just in time for the hotel’s Grand Fiesta. “But at the same time, we don’t want to go far from what we are offering, the thrills. So we said, let’s call it out, it’s a magical Christmas. So, all of our surprises this year are magical,” he adds. “On Christmas Day, we have Ariel Rivera together with the UP Singing Ambassadors. During the New Year’s countdown here at the Plaza, we have Yeng Constantino, Ely Buendia, among others. And if that’s not enough, same time, during New Year, we have The Company at the Bar 360 while at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, we have Lea Salonga and Bamboo,” says Martin Paz.

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