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Makati is well-known for being the Philippines’ main business district. Despite the serious atmosphere and concrete nature of Makati, you can find everything you’re looking for here–from rooftop parties, shopping centers, and cozy restaurants to relaxing spots where you can bond with your friends and family.
In the Philippines, the “Christmas spirit” is awakened as soon as September comes. Filipinos are especially known for going all-out in celebrating the Yuletide season. Christmas trees will soon be adorned with lights. Parols or Christmas lanterns will soon be displayed in every corner, and a belen will be set up in each home.
Celebrating Christmas in Makati is one of the most spectacular things you can do to enjoy the grandeur of the city. There are seven landmarks that everyone can visit in Makati especially during the Christmas season:
Ayala Triangle Gardens’ Festival of Lights
This is the perfect spot for kids and even the young-at-heart. Christmas in Makati is made more joyous by the Ayala Triangle Gardens’ Festival of Lights. In 2018, Ayala Land had a partnership with Walt Disney Philippines to feature a colorful display of bright lights and sounds to entertain spectators. There is a giant haze machine that comes with three 20-watt animation lasers, eventually transforming the entire garden into a magical haven. The glorious spectacle of lights and sounds in 2018 was accompanied by Disney theme songs and classic Filipino Christmas carols. The show runs in 30-minute intervals from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM daily during the Christmas season.
Celebrating Christmas in Makati is never complete without food. At Salcedo Market, you and your friends and family will enjoy everything from an array of unique products to sumptuous delicacies and cuisine. Established in 2005 under the Women of Bel-Air Foundation Inc., the Salcedo Market is a community that combines together the love for food, shopping, and nature. Rain or shine, the market is open every Saturday from seven in the morning to two in the afternoon at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village. Entrance fee is free and the market itself provides a variety of wet and dry food, both locally and internationally prepared to perfection.
Greenbelt Park is one of the spots to visit if you want to experience the vibe of Christmas in Makati. Employees from the Makati central business district normally stroll around Glorietta or any of the shopping centers of Makati. Greenbelt Park, which is considered the “Wall Street of the Philippines,” has corners exhibiting a Zen Garden, where a black and white design can be observed forming that of the Yin-Yang symbol. The grassy area features a courtyard inserted near a well-lit fountain, where events such as the Philharmonic Orchestra performances, Christmas concerts, promotional parties and cocktail parties are normally hosted. Feel cosmopolitan as you stride down the park’s moss-covered premises to a chain of sophisticated shops and restaurants.
Nuestra Senora de Gracia Church
What’s Christmas in Makati without Simbang Gabi and Misa de Gallo? You’ll be surprised that there is a four-hundred-year-old, baroque style Catholic Church in the outskirts of the modern city. Nuestra Senora de Gracia Church, formerly known as Guadalupe Church, is something that church-goers must visit especially during simbang gabi to know more about the century-old heritage of Makati. The church itself is a popular option for engaged couples searching for a potential wedding venue. This church is regarded as the oldest in the city and has also been well-recognized in Makati’s seal.
Christmas in Makati is not complete without the afternoon tea during get-togethers with friends and family in Fairmont Lounge. A Sunday afternoon can also be spent with bear-themed treats and stuffed bears while listening to the sweet serenade of carolers and meeting Santa Claus. Some may go for a glass of champagne instead of tea.
Children can participate in the Teddy Bear Afternoon Tea as well.
Experience a magical Christmas in Makati through Makati Shangri-La’s themed decorations greeting you upon entering the lobby. Expect grand Christmas decorations like 2015’s magical forest covered with artificial frost and pixies, and snow maidens meeting the guests. Santa Claus and his reindeers also perform near the hotel’s Grand Christmas Tree every 24th of December. Some of the food offered during the holiday season include complimentary turkey served on the table at Circles Event Café, along with festive coffee blends at the lounge and Christmas cocktails at the Pool Bar.
Christmas is not without the sumptuous dishes greeting every Filipino on December 24 and on Christmas Day. Makati residents who don’t want to cook at home can visit The Peninsula Manila. It has four restaurants where you can celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, namely, Escolta, The Lobby, Old Manila, and Spices. These restaurants serve gastronomic buffet or Christmas lunch and dinner.