AS the holiday season reached its peak, our tropical eyes looked to the glistening skyline and whimsical lights and displays that weave into our urban jungle to visually confirm that it is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year.
When it comes to the visual extravaganzas of city-wide Yuletide merriment, it comes down to each district’s urban planners to come up with installations that create a buzz of excitement that tends to bring people together and represents the city’s aesthetic.
Every major urban district is known to dot its streets with various fixtures and themed light displays throughout the whole of December (and even sooner) to really capture the essence of the holidays. This is all part of the Filipino Christmas culture, making every setting look as if it belonged on the set of “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
Just pass through Ayala Center, Bonifacio Global City, or Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang, Muntinlupa, and the reflection of gold, silver, blue and red bouncing off of the chrome on speeding cars shine by the crook of your eyes, ultimately achieving the very goal why city builders utilized them in the first place: to build, nurture and strengthen the sense of community within their respective districts.
While developers continue to build prime structures and promote land value and property restoration, community building remains an important component that keeps a city’s assets up and running. This is from mere traction, buzz and interest generation that help build a city’s unique identity and distinct presence in the residential, commercial, or leisure fields.
From this, cities essentially enjoy the edge of luring more entities and enticing them to be part of their distinct community experience. As these communities grow, people are able to enjoy the various elements and fixtures provided for them while the necessary commercial growth and traction is generated sustainably.
Lights, décor and shows galore
Aside from simply littering the city with various decorations and stringing up trees in rain lights and blinking lights, what really garners attention are the big displays and installations that have been part of a lot of Filipinos’ Christmas tradition.
Take a look at Greenhills’s “Christmas on Display” show, crafting a complete display of animatronics and a full-fledged set every year with a diverse holiday setup. In Quezon City the QC Memorial shines like a beacon of the holiday in the middle of the main circle; while in Davao del Norte, Tagum City erected the country’s largest holiday installation with its towering 172.5-foot Giant Holiday Tree.
Tangub City breathes life into the Misamis Occidental air with its plaza display of brightly shining recreations of landmarks across the globe and intricately laced lights decorating every bridge and neighborhood arch in the city. Not to be left behind, Ayala’s annual “Festival of Lights” sits right in the heart of what’s, perhaps, the most successful central business district in the country, combining music and an array of bulbs and electronic wiring to create a luminescent, choreographed lights and sound show reminiscent of a classic ballet.
Among the cities’ attractions come the malls, and their participation has not faltered year after year. Ayala Malls throughout the country have been decked out with major installations hanging from the ceiling or settled in their activity centers as part of their “Lov’Em Lit Holidays” initiative. See Quezon City’s TriNoma and be met with a miniature town display of houses garbed in snowy merriment at the top floor while the epicenter of the mall greets you with giant gift boxes that spell out the season of giving.
Even Rustan’s comes through with much-awaited holiday concepts every single year, decking out its diverse and captivating window display with various scenes that pop out like perfectly encapsulated tableaus of holiday cheer. Even smaller towns and subdivisions, like Taguig’s PAOville and Mandaluyong’s Policarpio Street, come together and create dazzling feats of craftsmanship that beam with stunning and colorful excess, inevitably attracting the attention of passersby and tourists alike.
A bustling community
As communities come together to proudly celebrate the holidays and create stand-out creations worthy of acclaim across the board, cities become bustling epitomes of thriving urbanization.
As Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon said at the unveiling of his city’s gargantuan holiday tree, the unified creation of these installments represents a “symbol of unity and hope for all of us, regardless of our religion,” revitalizing the local scene and starting a greater force in coming together to move forward with each community.