Going around town these days puts you in a Christmassy mood, as you see glittering and colorful lights that dazzle you with the message—the happiest time of the year is at hand. I have been invited to several Christmas Tree Lighting ceremonies that, for a while, it had become a daily routine. Here are some of those I managed to attend:
Century Park Hotel
This hotel was among the first to hold its Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony with Chairman Lucio Tan himself and his family in the lead. As if the brightly colored tree ornaments were not enough, amiable general manager Anthony Tan also invited the Miss Earth beauties to further mesmerize guests and make the occasion even more vibrant.
What is interesting about an event in this hotel is the buffet spread that they offer guests. For a cocktail occasion, you are confronted with a full buffet, heavy enough to qualify as a lavish dinner. Their giveaways from their bakery was also a nice touch, reminding everyone of the plethora of baked items they offer.
Diamond Hotel Philippines
Being the only hotel in the metro run by a lady general manager, Vanessa Suatengco, I am always impressed by the feminine touch in its service and décor, which is why I look forward to its events. Their massive beautifully decorated tree is at the entrance to their Corniche restaurant.
Their guest of honor was Manila Mayor Isko Moreno who was in his element and gamely posed for selfies with anyone and everyone. He even gave TV interviews after the ceremony.
I have to say that the dinner buffet spread at Corniche is fit for royalty. The choices are many and, indeed, filling. And, I will always be partial to the scenic bayside view this hotel offers.
I am always curious at what Rachy Cuna, the hotel’s in-house interior designer, puts up for Christmas. As expected, he did not disappoint. This year, he did away with the big Christmas tree but, instead, put up many smaller trees around the lobby, and further enhanced the elegance of the famous lobby chandeliers by adding some classy trimmings that are uniquely “Rachy.” The Yuletide trees are made of cloth with elegant calado designs, and lit from underneath, as perfectly described by Manila Hotel president Joey Lina.
They also had Manila Mayor Isko Moreno as guest of honor. Making the occasion even more significant was the presence of little children from the Hail Mary Choir who rendered Christmas carols for the overflowing lobby crowd. Mayor Isko then led the gift-giving to the starry-eyed children.
City of Dreams
The 32-foot Christmas tree at the main entrance has 10,000 LED lights, and surrounded by gigantic Santa’s toy gifts for children. As part of the luxury resort’s commitment to sustainability and a green hospitality industry, the Christmas tree lights and those of the other décor, are powered by the sun through the installation of a solar rooftop panel at the parking building, a first among the integrated resorts in the country.
Making the occasion even more special was the participation of Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid who rendered Philippine pop songs and Christmas melodies. City of Dreams will showcase its Grand Holidays Parades on all weekends of December, every 5:00 p.m.
Luxe Duty Free
This luxury section of Duty Free Philippines, located at the Mall of Asia Complex, formally opened the other day with a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony led by Sen. Nancy Binay who was assisted by chief operating officer Vicente Angala. It was interesting to see a beautiful tree decked with colorful indigenous materials amidst all those luxury signature brand outlets spread over the two-story building.
What I found really beautiful was the dinner table set-up for us, guests. All table ornaments, including the overhead lamps, were made of Philippine materials sourced from the different regions of the country, as shown in the photo on this page. It was an event that was proudly Filipino.
As one of the Best Hotels in the World, as proclaimed during the recent Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards, the hotel had to put up a tree worthy of its stature—and they did. A gigantic dazzling blue tree has been put up in one corner of its spacious lobby.
Led by Elizabeth Sy, president of SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation, the lighting ceremony was also participated in by Pasay City Mayor Imelda Calixto, SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation executive vice president Peggy Angeles, general manager Laurent Boisdron, and some members of the diplomatic community.
The ceremony was followed by cocktails and a spectacular musical concert at the ballroom featuring Ballet Philippines, The Nightingales, Imusicapella, and the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra. The festive event highlighted the hotel’s dining, rooms, and spa Holiday offerings which are now available until the end of the Christmas season.
For feedback, I’m at [email protected]YOUR weekend CHUCKLE
A spa hotel is just like a regular hotel, except that behind the reception counter is a big picture of a pebble.
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