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Ayala’s Christmas light show gets Disneyfied

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A MICKEY MOUSE statue stands in front of Ayala Triangle’s light-bedecked trees as part of this year’s Reimagine The Magic: A Festival of Lights which opens tonight.

IT’S TIME once again to brave the heavy traffic of the Metro and watch the annual Festival of Lights at the Ayala Triangle Gardens, now on its 10th year. This year’s lights show will be accompanied by the music from the Walt Disney Co. in a show titled Reimagine The Magic: A Festival of Lights.

Expect to hear hits such as “Let it Go” from Frozen (2013), “When You Wish Upon A Star” from Pinocchio (1940) and the titular “Beauty and the Beast” from the 1991 film among other classics from the Mickey Mouse music vault such as the “Mickey Mouse Club March” from the eponymous TV show from the 1950s and even the theme from Mickey Mouse’s first feature, Steamboat Willie in 1928.

The music was arranged by the former musical director of Hong Kong Disneyland, Rony Fortich, while the lights are handled by Voltaire de Jesus, who has arranged the lighting for the event since its launch in 2008.

“Right before I arrange the lights for the festival, I usually go to Hong Kong Disneyland to get inspiration,” Mr. De Jesus said during a press conference on Oct. 30 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Makati City.

He added that he dreamt of “having to light up music from Disney.” In much the same way, Mr. Fortich said that whenever he comes home to the Philippines during Christmas, he and his family always make time to watch the lights and music show and he similarly admired Mr. De Jesus’ work.

This year’s festival, which starts on Nov. 9, will have three Disney medleys and a nod towards classic Filipino Christmas songs such as “Pasko Na Naman.”




Aside from the songs, the Ayala Triangle Gardens will also be accented by a large Mickey Mouse statue, just in case the audience forgets this year’s theme.

Other Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) properties will also mount their own lights and music shows including Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Centrio in Cagayan de Oro, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Ayala Cebu, and Vertis North in Quezon City. All the properties will also have their own Mickey Mouse statues.

Each medley will be roughly six minutes long and will play every 30 minutes starting 6 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m.

“I think what’s best about the show is that its growth is really organic — if you look at social media, we don’t even invest in it a lot because people [on their own volition] go,” Cathy Bengzon, ALI’s head of marketing for corporate brand and strategic landbank management group, who organizes the show told BusinessWorld shortly after the program.

“I think collectively, last year we [had about] five million [people visiting] across all the estates,” she said before noting that Nuvali alone welcomed two million people while Makati had about 1.2 million.

“This is already a Christmas tradition,” Ms. Bengzon said.

Reimagine the Magic: A Festival of Lights starts on Nov. 9 at Makati and Centrio, Nov. 10 at Ayala Cebu, Nov. 15 at Bonifacio Global City, Nov. 24 at Nuvali, and Nov. 29 at Vertis North.

The light show in Makati will be on view until Jan. 8, 2019. — Zsarlene B. Chua

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