ACROSS THE CITY, yet another Christmas tradition has come to life as the Ortigas Center formally opened this year’s “Christmas on Display,” an animatronic presentation which includes elaborate sets, lights and sound.

The 14th edition of Ortigas and Co.’s “Christmas on Display” (COD) depicts a short story about a prince and a peasant girl overcoming their social statuses to become lifelong friends.

“This year’s [COD] also coincides with the company’s 85th year, hence the story being close to the Ortigas story — on how they thrive and what their goals are: that they want to cater to people from all walks of life,” Renee Bacani, Ortigas Malls VP and general manager, told BusinessWorld during the launch on Nov. 11 at the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan City.

“Christmas on Display” was first staged in 1957 at the COD department store branch in Avenida, Manila and was a brainchild of Alex Rosario, Berting Aguirre, and Vivencio Dioneda. The life-size dolls were then made from wood and papier mache.

It was in the 1980s when COD transferred to Cubao, Quezon City that the annual show — which featured everything from robots and rocket ships to rural Filipino scenes — became a Metro Manila Christmas tradition. The dawn of the 2000s saw COD close down, spelling the end of the beloved yearly show. But in 2002, Ortigas and Co. decided to resurrect it and has since held it at the large walkway canopy facing Ortigas Ave. of Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan City.

The Rosario family of Rosario Animated Displays — who worked on the COD store’s Christmas extravaganza — are also behind the Greenhills version.

“Christmas on Display” runs at the Greenhills Shopping Center from Nov. 11 to Jan. 1, with shows held every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. — ZBC