10 Cheery Christmas Sights to See In and Around Manila (2018 Edition)

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(SPOT.ph) It’s Christmastime in the city! The sun is setting earlier and the nights are growing longer. There’s even a bit of chill in the air. Traffic is also getting worse, but cheery Christmas lights are also everywhere, making long drives and waiting around at malls and establishments a bit more tolerable.

But, some places are offering more than the token parol and Christmas wreath to get you into the holiday spirit. If you’re braving the traffic for some Christmas shopping or annual reunions with family and friends, take them to see the sights on our list. Admission to all is free.

Festival of Lights

PHOTO BY INSEL ISKRA CULLA

Wrap up your workday by taking a stroll along Ayala Triangle Gardens and enjoy the festive sight of a larger-than-life Mickey-shaped structure at the center of the courtyard. If you find yourself there at night, you can also enjoy a lights-and-music show! "Reimagine the Magic: A Festival of Lights,” which is this year’s special edition of Makati’s Christmas display, will have you enjoying bursts of laser lights and familiar Disney tunes. Rush hour in Makati isn’t so bad after all.

Reimagine the Magic: A Festival of Lights is at the Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati Avenue corner Ayala Avenue, Makati City. It runs daily until January 8, 2019, every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Prism of Lights

Speaking of festive and Instagram-worthy, SM Aura’s Prism of Lights display is one-of-a-kind and interactive, giving you not just Christmas cheer, but also the beauty and wonder of the night sky from different places. It features music and lights that changes, which makes it worth a repeat visit.

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Prism of Lights is at UG/F Atrium of SM Aura Premier, C5 Road corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City. It runs until January 7, 2019.

Sweet Illusion Chamber Rooms

PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Christmas meets optical illusions at Estancia Mall’s Sweet Illusion Chamber Rooms. You can check out four different rooms around the mall—Rainbow Prism Room, Laser Room, Shadow Light Room, and Dark Light Room—that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. From festive lights to candy-themed displays, they’re definitely fun for the whole family.

Sweet Illusion Chamber Rooms is at Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. It runs until January 6, 2019.

Christmas Street Light Musical Tunnel

For the second year in a row, Tiendesitas is offering a fun Christmas night show every 30 minutes with their starry festive tunnel attraction made with over 2,000 LED bulbs of different colors. Enjoy the sight and the music, or bring young ones along for a meet and greet with Santa himself. There will also be fireworks at 7 p.m. on Saturdays.

Christmas Street Light Musical Tunnel is at Tiendesitas, Ortigas Avenue corner E. Rodriguez Avenue, Pasig City. It runs daily until January 7, 2019, every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Kamalayag

Visual artist Toym Imao once again wows students, professors, and guests with a poignant Christmas display that follows the theme “Paglaot, Pagdaong.” The annual Pag-iilaw held on November 29 unveiled his “Kamalayag,” a giant lantern in the form of a kumpit (traditional boat) named after a portmanteau of the words malaya (free), kamalayan (awareness), alay (oblation/sacrifice), and layag (sail). “Every paglaot carries the promise to return either physically—those who have safely navigated its waters and brought home the day’s catch, or in spirit for those who are forever embraced by the sea, they come back as stories of inspiration and hope, “ Imao says about his creation.

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"Kamalayag" is at the Oblation Plaza, University of the Philippines – Diliman, Quezon City.

Pixar Playtown

PHOTO BY Insel Iskra Culla

Bonifacio Global City gives a nostalgic nod to Disney Pixar movies we've all loved (and even made us cry). Aptly named Pixar Playtown, the holiday displays feature a 50-foot Christmas tree surrounded by the ever dependable Sheriff Woody and his best friend Buzz Lightyear, a life-sized Lighting McQueen light-up installation, and sculptures of Sully and Mike Wazowski. Have fun spotting these all over the bustling neighborhood.

Pixar Playtown is in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. It runs until January 7, 2019.

Grand Festival of Lights

After a long day of shopping, what better way to unwind and feel the season by enjoying SM Mall of Asia’s Very Merry Winterland Christmas? There’s a 50-foot Christmas tree with over 500 ornaments, and of course the Grand Festival of Lights that’s now on its 10th year. The magical show features mascots dancing to Christmas carols, good ol' Santa and his elves, and a spectacular fireworks display.

Grand Festival of Lights is at SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. It runs every 5:30 p.m. on all Saturdays of December and on Christmas Day.

Christmas on Display

Missed the famous Christmas on Display at the Manila C.O.D. or Greenhills? You’ll be glad to know it’s making a comeback! This annual display that started in 1952 at the first Manila C.O.D in Avenida Rizal, then continued to its Cubao branch in 1966, is returning to Araneta Center this December with a fitting theme: “Christmas Comes Home." Enjoy a 15-minute show of handcrafted mannequins and animatronics dancing to Christmas tunes. Revisit old traditions or make new ones with your loved ones with this Christmas on Display attraction.

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Christmas on Display is at Times Square Food Park, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City. It runs until January 6, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Sunday to Thursday) and from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Friday and Sunday).

Enchanted Forest of Lights

Christmas decorations aren’t just made up of Christmas trees and nativity scenes. Eastwood’s Enchanted Forest of Lights has a different theme with replicas of cute animals, a forest-like setting, and even famous landmarks all made with 1.3 million LED lightbulbs. People of all ages will definitely have a merry and bright Christmas as they take in this amazing display.

Enchanted Forest of Lights is in Eastwood City, Bagumbayan, Quezon City. It runs until January 13.

Magical Field of Lights

Add Nuvali’s Magical Field of Lights to your itinerary to complete your enchanting Christmas getaway. Similar to last year’s edition, it features 5,000 tulip buds, 1,000 tube lights, and a 50-meter light tunnel perfect for the festive Instagram shot. Of course, Santa Rosa is also having its own huge Mickey-shaped structure in the middle of the field.

Magical Field of Lights is at The Fields, Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna. It runs daily until January 13, 2019, every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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