Our country’s tourism industry always looks forward to Christmas, when business is at its peak. Hotels and resorts run high occupancies due to balikbayans, staycations, etc. and their food and beverage outlets have to cope with overflowing bookings for all kinds of celebrations.
Airline seats are all sold out to families and groups of friends who prefer to spend the Holidays outside the country. Travel agencies are abuzz with bookings to all parts of the world. Local Tour Operators have their hands full with bookings from their international partners demanding interesting itineraries that showcase the very best of our country.
All these point to one of the reasons why the Industry goes out of its way to really celebrate the Christmas Season. Of course, our being a predominantly Christian country is the other reason why the year-end Holidays always mean sparkling celebrations, dazzling colors, and a bounty of culinary specialties for everyone. Here are a couple of samples on how the hotel industry celebrates the Yuletide Season.
White and silver Christmas
This year, New World Manila Bay chose white and silver as the motif of their Christmas decor: “A White Christmas, Illuminating Lives.” The hotel lobby is filled with attractive ornaments, all in these colors, making you feel you’re in a Winter Wonderland as you enter.
The official lighting of their Christmas Tree had Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and hotel General Manager Mark Heywood turning on the giant switch, as Christmas carols were sung in the background by the Symphony of Angels, a choral of children. This was preceded by a live violin performance by a cancer survivor from Kythe Foundation. There was also a snow machine continuously spraying the lobby with tiny white flakes, completing the wintry ambience of the place.
Living up to the theme, the hotel’s special guests at the Tree-lighting event were the children of Kythe Foundation who are afflicted with cancer and other chronic illnesses. It was so heartwarming to see all of these children, enjoying themselves in such “wonderland” and, later, partaking of the hearty dinner buffet at the hotel’s popular Market Café.
This annual tradition of New World Manila Bay is certainly a most noble activity, as the hotel not only gives thanks to its supporters but also gives back to the community it does business in.
Towards the other end of Roxas Boulevard, another hotel marked the lighting of its Christmas tree with the aforementioned theme, showcasing an “artistic” celebration. Conrad Manila’s Yuletide symbol is a masterpiece in modern art. Designed by the famous artist Impy Pilapil, who is known for her graceful works in glass, metal, and stone, the metallic tree stands tall in one corner of the lobby. It is made of premium stainless steel rods, small metallic sheets shaped into graceful waves, and accentuated with glistening orbs. It looks even more dramatic in the evening as lights of subtle hues are beamed from above it.
The official tree lighting ceremony was participated in by SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. SVP Peggy Angeles, US Ambassador Sung Y. Kim, Austrian Ambassador Bita Rasoulian, Felicidad Sy, SM Hotels & Conventions Corp. President Elizabeth Sy, Pasay City Mayor Antonio Calixto, SM Prime Holdings Chairman Hans Sy, and Conrad Manila GM Harald Feurstein.
With the evening’s Program hosted by Wellness Guru Cory Quirino, and the Christmas Tree all lit up, a musical concert followed, featuring the Philippine Youth Symphonic Band and the Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir.
The beautiful evening festivities ended with Cocktails at the C Lounge where Santa Claus took time to have his photo-op with the guests, before he settled down at the designated Santa’s Corner at the Atrium. While sipping their favorite drinks, the guests also had an unobstructed view of the 7PM fireworks display in Manila Bay. Conrad Manila certainly knows how to do things in style.
May the Blessings of this Season bring you the best of everything you need. Merry Christmas!
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