Many of us look forward to Christmas because it means we get to spend more time with family, celebrating the spirit of giving. It’s also the best time to reconnect with those who matter by sharing our blessings and enjoying moments that will be remembered all throughout the year. The challenge though for most families these days has to do with keeping up with basic financial obligations. Oftentimes, spending for vacations is the last priority. However, Christmas activities with the family do not need to break the bank. Because the season is widely celebrated all over the country, there are lots of events and places you can turn to even when you’re on a tight budget. Here are some of the things to do and places to go in and around Metro Manila this Christmas.
1. Marvel at the Festival of Lights of the Ayala Triangle Light Show in Makati City
Hailed as one of the most anticipated events during the season, the Ayala Triangle Festival of Lights kicked off last November 9.
Showcasing 1.6 million LED lights strategically placed all over the garden, the 30-minute light show is accompanied by three musical medleys of OPM Christmas songs, which bring out the celebratory mood of the season. This year, the lights extend to major roads near Ayala Triangle such as Paseo de Roxas, Makati Avenue, and Ayala Avenue, providing motorists with some cheer.
The spectacular light and sound show can be seen until January 7, 2018, at 30 minute intervals from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. And with many dining options to choose from in Makati, you can always grab a bite after the show.
Location: Ayala Triangle Gardens, Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas; Price: Free
2. Experience an Arctic Village at Trinoma in Quezon City
Ayala Malls Trinoma in Quezon City has a different kind of experience in store for shoppers and mall-goers this year. With its Holiday Arctic Wonderland located at the cinema lobby, visitors can have an Augmented Reality Experience at Santa’s Christmas Village. They can also interact with the different characters and creatures there. With a minimum purchase requirement of P500 in qualified Trinoma establishments, shoppers can claim one (1) ticket for one interaction session. Details are available on the mall’s Facebook page.
Aside from this one-of-a-kind augmented reality experience, the family can also enjoy world-class music as they watch the Yuletide Rhythms Park Music Series with fireworks on December 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30.
Location: Trinoma Mall, EDSA corner North Avenue; Price: With purchase requirement of P500 for one ticket; free for music series and fireworks display
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3. Let the Magical Field of Lights in NUVALI Enchant You
Ayala Land’s NUVALI in Laguna is lighting up the open field right next to the commercial complex once again. Now on its second run, the Magical Field of Lights started on November 11. Like last year’s display, Christmas trees, dandelions, and a 50-meter tunnel will all be decked with LED lights. This time around, families can truly feel it’s Christmas as they watch the lights twinkle to the tunes of “Kumukutikutitap,” “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit,” and “Joy To The World.”
Enjoy the light show from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily until January 7, 2018. Since the lights are located in an open field, kids and kids-at-heart will be thrilled to walk among the lights as they sparkle and shine.
Location: The Fields, Nuvali, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Sta. Rosa, Laguna; Price: Free
4. See a ‘Christmas Street’ in Policarpio Street, Mandaluyong City
A number of houses along Policarpio Street in Mandaluyong City take Christmas very seriously. They get decked out with colorful LED lights, a gigantic belen, and some life-sized Santas.
Policarpio has even earned the name of Christmas Street, but don’t expect all the houses to be in on the fun. The families that do partake in it, have been doing it since 1995 and make it their yearly pledge to bring Yuletide joy to others.
As soon as the sun sets, usually at 6 p.m., the houses light up their displays, until 10 or 10:30 p.m.
Location: Policarpio Street, Brgy. New Zuniga, Mandaluyong; Price: Free
5. See Filipino Creativity at its Best at The University of the Philippines Lantern Parade
Every year, visitors come and see the traditional University of the Philippines Lantern Parade which happens sometime mid-December. This year, it is scheduled for December 15, Friday. As with every parade, all colleges and schools in the university make their own lanterns based on a specific theme. Each college usually features a main lantern, which is constructed on a small vehicle, as well as smaller handheld lanterns.
The parade is a spectacle of Filipino creativity and ingenuity which families can enjoy for free. It usually kicks off at 5 p.m. but it is best to watch the lanterns light up as soon as the sun sets.
Location: University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City; Price: Free
Don’t let your limited resources dampen your Christmas spirit. With these free shows and events, plan that family Christmas outing now and have a joy-filled holiday with your loved ones!
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