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Festival of lights returns to Ayala after two years

by Jericho Zafra

GO to Ayala, and treat yourself to a festival of Christmas lights, one visual experience like no other. Take your kids, and treat them to a place you would probably never see in any other place in the country.

The busy commerce district of Makati was transformed into a magical Christmas village with three-dimensional, dancing lights, gigantic parols, and festive lights wrapped around the Ayala greenery  after a two-year hiatus brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

AyalaLand’s Festival of Lights is considered a Christmas tradition in Makati City, though it was held remotely the previous two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director Ohm David and Lighting Designer Sueyen Austero created this year’s presentation as a LIVE 360-degree experience.

The Ayala Triangle Gardens is a green oasis for leisure and relaxation in the heart of the frenetic Makati commercial sector. It links three significant roads in the country’s premier commercial district and rendezvouz: Ayala Avenue, Makati Avenue, and Paseo de Roxas. 

“This is an annual well-loved tradition that has enabled us to connect to the community,” said Bobby Dy, chairman of Ayala Property Management Corp. 

“It is a platform to showcase Filipino talent,” Dy said.

The event highlights local Christmas customs by including decorations frequently found in typical Filipino houses, such as parols, stars, and capiz lights.

‘Sigh of relief’

For cousins Mica Villasis and Marvin Flores, who went to the festival of lights right after work, seeing the festive lights again was a “sigh of relief.”

“Masaya po kasi may ganito na ulit so talagang ramdam na ‘yung Christmas, after work ganito ‘yung makikita mo nakaka-relief,” said Villasis.

“May pang-relieve ng stress after work, may mapupuntahan ka para mapag-libangan hindi ‘yung puro work lang,” Flores said.

Bright lights, less vibrancy

Christa Francisco, 76, mentioned that despite the contemporary presentation of colorful lights, lasers, and festive music, locals have observed that this year’s exhibition lacks joyous music and dancing lights which were present in the previous shows before the pandemic.

“Naco-compare ko lang mas maganda noong before pandemic kesa ngayon. Hindi kasing-dami nung before pandemic ‘yung lights,” Francisco said.

More events await

However, according to the management, there are more events in store for locals and tourists alike for the two-month-long celebration.

On December 2-31, AyalaLand and the French embassy collaborated to open the Christmas Market at Ayala Triangle Gardens. This will showcase a mix of French and Filipino foods and other products.

What’s a Filipino Christmas without simbang gabi? From December 15-23, Ayala Land will host masses for devout visitors. On the other hand, from December 20 to 22, there will be a Christmas Holiday Concert at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater in Circuit Makati.



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