Makati presents six ways to enjoy the holidays this year


This is the best gift anyone can give at any time, but most especially this season in these oft-chaotic, transformative times.

Chrissy Roa, group marketing and communications head for Ayala Land Estates, tells DAILY TRIBUNE that this could not be a more opportune time to celebrate as it seems we have come to a time when we all feel we have come out of the pandemic.

For Ayala Land, there are two good reasons to share the cheer: first is its 35th Anniversary, which they celebrated last September; and second is the fact that this is our “recovery year,” Roa said.

“The year 2023 is our recovery year because now we can comfortably sit together without the fear of getting infected. This is the first year where we can say people will be celebrating Christmas the way we used to,” she said.

For this, Makati will offer six Christmas initiatives that will undoubtedly make people go out and spend memorable moments together, in different parts of the city has sparked Christmas firsts.

And this year, Makati is “bringing more experiences to more parts of the city than ever before,” Roa adds. “Last year, we had five — this time we have six!”

Here is a rundown, as provided by Ayala Land:

1. The Ceremonial Lighting of Christmas Decors at Ayala Avenue is the event that truly heralds the arrival of the holiday season in Makati, transforming the cityscape into a vibrant tapestry of lights and colors. Last year’s giant parols were given new life and carefully refurbished. An exciting new element was added — the illuminated wreath. Symbolizing unity and growth, these wreaths will add an extra layer of sparkle to the avenue and create an even more festive atmosphere. The decorations were lit up on 7 November and will be on display until 14 January 2024.

2. The “Festival of Lights at Ayala Triangle Gardens” promises a mesmerizing spectacle unlike any other. Evolving from its beginnings as a simple light show, this well-loved Filipino Christmas tradition now offers an immersive experience that displays never-ending lights that span more areas of the gardens than ever before. From 14 November to 14 January, witness how countless twinkling lights illuminate the night, transforming the gardens into a happy and colorful wonderland.

Embark on an enchanting journey of illumination where you can experience a trio of breathtaking light installations, each one a shimmering spectacle of color and brilliance, just waiting to be discovered, start your journey with the Christmas lights and sound show at the courtyard entitled “The Kaleidoscope of Lights” — a show composed of three Christmas medleys.

The first musical medley features festive Filipino Christmas tunes, the second medley is an original K-Pop inspired composition, and the last medley uses big band instrumentation inspired by music of Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams. A new addition to the Christmas light show is a series of larger-than-life projections that transform the floor into an illusion of lights enhanced with a smoke machine that will transport the crowd into a world of vivid colorful images. 

There will also be an interactive play on moving lights and images that kids and adults alike can chase after (e.g. a butterfly that moves from one end of the courtyard that kids can chase after).

The next feature situated at the northern side of Ayala Triangle is “Wish Upon a Light” — a magical wishing pond. Inspired by the wishing stone, the visitors can write their own wishes or dreams onto the magical pond. The pond is made from an interactive LED screen that magically lights up when one writes wishes or dreams which can be shared with everyone as these are simultaneously flashed on a wall.

The final part of the journey is “Liter of Light” — a display of liters turned into lights to power up a Christmas art installation by Leeroy New, in collaboration with Arte House and Illac Diaz. An inspiring story that began from a plastic bottle (which they filled with water and bleach to let light through).

3. Marche de Noel, a Christmas bazaar in collaboration with the Embassy of France, will be back this year. This time, it will be located at the Makati Street Meet at Paseo de Roxas. Enjoy a unique shopping experience featuring a variety of international and local artisanal products. Merchants include Paris Delice, Truffle Ph, Araro Gelato and many more.

4. Experience the harmonious sounds of the season as we bring back the annual Choral Competition at Circuit Makati on December 9. This tradition fills Circuit Makati with festive carols. This is done in collaboration with the local government and will showcase the incredible talent of students from various schools in Makati. These young voices will come together to create a captivating musical performance.

5. “Come Home to Christmas: A Holiday Concert” will run on its second year. Join us at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater on 16 December as we bring together renowned artists for a night of music, celebration, and togetherness. 900 tickets will be given for free for those who purchase from establishments at Ayala Malls Circuit. Artist line-up includes the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, Bituin Escalante, Arman Ferrer, Soprano Lara Maigue, and Sofia Zobel Elizalde’s Steps Dance Project and their Nutcracker company.

6. It’s been 24 years since the epic turn-of-the-millennium NYE celebration at Ayala Avenue. On 31 December, we will ring in 2024 as we celebrate the milestones and historic moments that happened in Makati in the past 24 years and welcome the new year with a spectacular show. Performances from the country’s biggest names in the entertainment industry. Best of the best merchants in Makati. A spectacular light show will be the main highlight as we do the New Year’s Eve countdown.