10 Cheery Christmas Sights to See Around Manila
(SPOT.ph) Christmas decorations are put up as early as September—only in the Philippines. By December, the whole city lights up. Everyone is suddenly busy shopping and partying—which only makes the traffic terrible. Luckily, yuletide cheer is seen and felt everywhere. It’s a beautiful thing to be reminded that this is the season to be merry. So look around you. It’s easy to find beauty in a city such as Manila.
There's always the colorful sight of parols all lined up along Gilmore, and kids never get tired of the animatronic animals at Power Plant. We’ve rounded up 10 other places with festive and larger-than-life decorations sprawled across the city that you should check out. Ready your cameras!
If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, check out Greenbelt's Fashion Walk. It's lined with shimmery, silver trees. Blue light is cast upon the area at night, transforming it into a dreamy, fairy tale-like scene.
University of the Philippines Diliman
As part of UP’s “Aninag 2015” Christmas celebration, the Oblation Plaza features the installation art of sculptor Toym Imao, along with intricate lanterns from Pampanga. The plaza is also lined with mini torches leading to the Oblation, which stands as the main torch.
Shangri-La Plaza goes back to traditional decorations this year to trigger a sense of nostalgia. The entire mall is filled with berries, pine cones, Christmas balls, crystals, poinsettia, and chandeliers.
Bonifacio High Street
A giant Christmas tree stands on Bonifacio High Street, along with a red train carrying boxed presents. It's Instagram-worthy day or night!
Ayala Triangle is once again filled with a canopy of lights and colors. This year, the fifth "Festival of Lights" features three different light shows: band and jazz music, African rhythmic drumbeats, and techno-electronic tunes. The show runs until January 3, 2016.
Witness the Philippines’ oldest churches light up at the center of Makati to highlight the traditional Pinoy Christmas. Florist and stylist Zenas Pineda designed the light installations on Ayala Avenue to replicate the architecture of 10 Philippine churches 300 years old and above.
SM North EDSA
There’s also something for Disney lovers! SM North EDSA brings a festive Christmas experience to kids of all ages with “Season of Magic.” Spot your favorite Disney characters around colorful decorations, gift boxes, and a 24-foot Christmas tree that sets the joyful mood for the holidays.
Greenhills Shopping Center
People not only flock to Greenhills for shopping—they go here to watch the C.O.D. Christmas show, too. This year, the show is entitled “Hometown Christmas.” It features the story of balikbayans and the unique way of celebrating Christmas in the Philippines. The show runs until January 3, 2016.
University of Santo Tomas
This year, the oldest university in the Philippines plays with colors to spread holiday cheer. Aside from the hanging Christmas lights around the campus and the giant Christmas tree, the trees are lit with various bright hues. You can't miss the Main Building. It has its own light show that displays different colors on its facade.
SM Aura Sky Deck houses contemporary Filipino artist Leeroy New’s psychedelic interactive sculpture installation, “Astreopora.” The whole installation is actually composed of tacky plastic household items sourced from Divisoria, which magically end up creating something beautiful. The show plays alternative and rock-and-roll Christmas songs directed by musician Diego Mapa, in sync with lights care of Katsch Catoy. The show runs until January 10, 2016.
Photos from the establishments; Paul Domalaon (UP Diliman); Justin Lim (Bonifacio High Street); and ABSCBNNews.com (Ayala Avenue)