9 Christmas Attractions around Metro Manila You Shouldn’t Miss this Yuletide Season
Being one of the predominantly Christian countries in Asia, Christmas is one of the biggest holidays in the country. In fact, Filipinos are known for its longest and grandest celebration of Christmas in the whole world. It starts unofficially on the advent of “ber” months – Septem”ber” each year as TV Networks and Radio Stations start making a countdown to Christmas Day while playing Christmas medleys; and ends on the first Sunday of January or the “Feast of the Three Kings”
With only few weeks left before Christmas, different establishments are now adorned with Christmas decorations and lights to visually entice everyone. You can now see Christmas trees beaming with lights, Big Fat Santa Clauses in every corners, spectacular Parols (Christmas Lanterns), and amazing Belens* set up within their premises. But where do you find the luxurious and prominent ones? Here’s our round up of the Top Christmas Destinations in Metro to guide you.
Ayala Triangle Lights & Sounds Show – Trending last Wednesday night. Ayala Garden’s dazzling Christmas lights display choreographed in Christmas medleys is probably one of the sites that should be on top of your lists. It’s an annual tradition in the heart of Makati Central Business District which has gain popularity due to its grandiose presentation. The show runs from Nov. 12 – Dec 31, 2014. You can watch the lights come to life every 30 minutes from 6:00 to 9:00 PM for free. Aside from the show, you can dine to a wide array of restaurants alongside the garden
Location: Ayala Triangel Gardes, Makati City
Greenhills Christmas on Display (COD) – Mechanical mannequins fictionalizing the birth of Christ in a stunning demonstration. Placed on top of one of the mall’s covered walkways, the moving life-sized figure could be seen even from afar. Watch the 15-minute presentation of “Birth of Jesus” every day from Nov. 14 – Jan 4, 2015, 6:00 to 11:00pm with 30 minutes intermission; free of charge. Located beside the shopping mall, you can also visit different Tiangges & Food Shops alongside the area.
Location: Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
Photo Courtesy of Rosario Animated Display
Star City’s – Snow World – Feel the Christmas chill and bring yourself, friends and family to a next level of sub zero climate. See tons of ice sculptures and dozens of Christmas Tree covered with ice. Or glide your way to one of their frosted slides and take selfie with Mr. Snowman. All for an additional fee of P150 on top of the park’s entrance fee. Park Schedule is from Mon – Thu (4 – 11pm) and Fri – Sun (2 – 11pm).
Location: Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex, Pasay City
SM Mall of Asia – After getting your Christmas shopping spree, head straight to the bayside area for the fantastic 5-minute firework display at 7:00 pm every Fridays and Saturdays. There’s a mini amusement park which offers different outdoor rides like the MOA Eye, the zip line or even dine at one of the largest buffets in town. This shopping mall is not called as the “Mall of Asia” for nothing. The 3rd largest mall in the country houses some of a enormous collection of both local and international shops and keeps an intricate Christmas displays for your eyes to feast.
Location: SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Policarpio Street – Tucked in Brgy. New Zaniga, Mandaluyong City, Policarpio Street gained prominence with its lavishly decorated houses of astonishing Christmas decors. The ordinary street by day turns into a Christmas wonderland at night with lines of houses glowing in thousands of Christmas lights. Although the participating homes have lessened, some homeowners continued the tradition and opened their doors to spectators in observance of the Christmas Season. You can also check out different footstalls and Tiangges on every side of the street to complete your Policarpio Street Christmas experience. Homeowners usually opens their Christmas lights at 6:00pm until midnight.
Location: Policarpio St., Mandaluyong CIty
Araneta Center Cubao – Houses one of the giant Christmas trees in town. The Christmas tree is built in the heart of Araneta Center and adorned with thousands shimmering Christmas ornaments. Towering a height of almost 100 feet, the lighting of Christmas tree has become a yearly tradition which started in 1981 and is attended by many Filipino Celebrities and aficionados. Food shops mostly Filipino street foods are available around the gigantic Christmas tree.
Location: Cubao, Quezon City
Roxas Boulevard – Rows of establishments in Roxas Boulevard decorated with eye catching Christmas decors create a dainty yuletide feel. From the CCP Bldg., to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and other nearby establishments on the stretch, spectators can expect a wonderful scene which make it part of our Top Christmas Destinations in the Metro Manila
Location: Roxa Boulevard, Manila.
UP Lantern Parade – A yearly Christmas event held in University of the Philippines (UP) which marks the institution’s Christmas break. Individual colleges as well as groups within U.P.D. create Christmas lanterns and floats and parade around the Academic Oval, the parade is ended with a massive fireworks display. The event is held on the last day of classes. This year’s lantern parade is scheduled on December 15, 2014.
Location: UP Diliman, Quezon City
Meralco Liwanag Park – Housed in Meralco’s main office in Ortigas, Meralco Liwanag Park is one of the most anticipated attractions in the metropolis during Yuletide Season. As the principal electricity provider in the country, you can’t help but expect much from them. You can enjoy some more 100,000 Christmas lights and lanterns illuminating the night sky. The park also includes a Christmas Village wherein children can play around and have a tour via an electric-powered train in the middle for free.
Other Christmas Attractions near Metro Manila
Tagaytay Sky Ranch – If you’re after for an authentic winter feels but not willing to shed some cash for a plane ticket to Northern America. Why not visit Tagaytay? The Sky Ranch which claims the highest Ferris wheel in the Philippines is also an ideal place to experience the Christmas spirit along with its chill. In the morning, you get a nice view of the Smallest Volcano in the World – Taal Volcano while in the evening you get to experience the night life on the mountain hill. It’s a two hour drive though from Manila and expect heavy traffic.
Giant Lantern Festival – Held in San Fernando City, Pampanga. This yearly event is a crowd drawer not only in Pampanga but from the neighboring provinces and Metro Manila. The event showcases some of the most humongous lanterns intricately designed and beaming in psychedelic rhythm. It is usually held the Saturday before the Christmas Eve. While there is an entrance fee for a seat during the presentation you can actually see it from a far because of its size. The exhibit starts on Dec 13, 2014 and ends on 4th of January next year.