NOW that Halloween and All Souls Day are over, it is time to turn to the upcoming festive holiday season, with Christmas tree lightings and official switching on of decorations being held all over the metropolis this week and next.
In Makati’s central business district, Ayala Land opened the annual display of Christmas street lights on Nov. 5.
“Christmas is always special for Filipinos because it’s about bonding with family and loved ones. We realize that for many Filipinos, experiencing Makati’s holiday displays have become part of their Christmas celebrations, alongside revered Filipino Christmas traditions such as the simbang gabi (dawn masses), family reunions, and noche buena (Christmas eve dinner),” Shiella Aguilar, Makati Project Development Head for Ayala Land, was quoted as saying in a press release. “This is why Ayala Land ensures that our Christmas celebrations in Makati are truly inspiring and memorable. We’d like to bring the community together and give them all the opportunities to create new and wonderful memories.”
Interior designer Zenas Pineda, who has been the creative force behind the Ayala Land street lights for seven years, focused on the Filipino Christmas traditions of simbang gabi and misa de gallo (Christmas Eve mass) for this year’s street lights.
The light-covered structures — made of metal rods, stainless steel screens painted in gold, and LED lights — were modeled after the retablos or altar pieces, those large, ornately carved wooden structures found as a backdrop to the altars in heritage churches from around the country.
“We wanted to represent Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in our choices,” Ms. Pineda said about how the she and the Ayala Land team decided on which churches to include. “The altar [piece] represents our spiritual preparations.”
The featured retablos are those of the San Sebastian Church in Manila; the Sanctuario de San Agustin in Makati; the San Miguel Archangel Parish in Cebu; Molo Church in Iloilo; and the Immaculate Conception Church of Jasaan in Misamis Oriental.
“We wanted to show that we are very conscious of our traditions and we want to keep on doing it,” Ms. Pineda added.
Alongside the retablos are “totem poles” made from metal sheets representing the objects mentioned in the traditional carol, “12 Days of Christmas,” such as ladies dancing, turtle doves, and French hens.
The streets lights along Ayala Avenue will be lit every night until Jan. 8.
Meanwhile, the annual Festival of Lights show at the Ayala Triangle Gardens will start on Nov. 9. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman