Photos by Lino Santos
It already feels Christmas in Makati Central Business District today.
Not because the traffic situation has gotten worse or that more shoppers are flocking to the malls, but because the favorite hangout spot of many young professionals and residents in the Ayala area once again twinkles with colorful lights to bring holiday cheer to everyone.
For the sixth time this year, the Ayala Triangle Gardens transforms into a magical paradise as 1.6 million colored LED bulbs adorn the trees in the garden and dance to the beat of Christmas songs.
The Ayala Triangle is considered Makati City’s version of New York’s Central Park—albeit the former’s land area is only two percent of the latter’s—as it serves as a place where friends meet up, a respite for tired employees during lunch break or after work, and a space where health buffs run along the perimeter or do exercise routines for an hour or two.
It is a welcome breathing space amid the bustling district all year-round, but come Yuletide season, the Ayala Triangle Gardens becomes a tourist destination. For two months, the 20,000-sqm space becomes more alive with its Festival of Lights, a lights and sound show which is “the only one of its kind in the Philippines,” that has made it on Conde Nast Traveller’s coveted list of “Seven Most Spectacular Lights in the World.”
This year’s edition of Festival Lights goes up a notch as award-winning directors Voltaire de Jesus and Luther Gumia work together with acclaimed musicians and composers Jazz Nicholas and Mikey Amistoso to stage a brighter and merrier show, happening every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Jan. 8, 2017.
“We’ve prepared another magnificent show that will definitely spark everyone’s merry hearts, bringing families, friends and the whole community together and remind them of the joys of Christmas,” says Shiella Aguilar, project development manager for Makati.
The lights and sound show at Ayala Triangle features three themes, each with different light showcase and musical arrangement, namely Christmas Fiesta, Sweet and Magical Christmas, and Classic and Epic Christmas.
Christmas Fiesta is a three-minute showcase of upbeat music that encapsulates the festive Filipino Christmas celebration. The LED bulbs dance rapidly along the tune of “Kumukutikutitap.”
The second medley, Sweet and Magical Christmas, is sweet and nostalgic as old music inspired by magical, heroic and period films rearranged in a new way fill the air while sparkling lights glimmer in varying beats.
Meanwhile, Classic and Epic Christmas is indeed an epic five-minute spectacle that features lights dancing to the magical Disney music.
This year’s Festival of Lights marks the first time the organizers are using field lights on the ground to match the string lights on trees for a “fuller effect.” Laser lights, which provide a three-dimensional showcase, are also used in two medleys.
Also for the first time, The Gourmand Market is bringing its well-loved gastronomic delights to the garden on Dec. 9 to 11. In addition, Thanksgiving Masses will be held at the Fountain Area every 6 p.m. from Dec. 15 to 23.
This yearly holiday tradition surely is a wonderful treat to the busy people in the business district. After all, who wouldn’t be delighted to catch up with friends or jog or sit back in a garden filled with stunning lights dancing to the beat of Yuletide carols? No one, because despite of vehicle and people traffic, the Christmas spirit is alive and well in Makati City.
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