It’s the most wonderful time of the year, indeed! And Pinoys like to celebrate Christmas for as long as it’s possible. Radio stations, shopping malls and commercial establishments play Christmas songs and carols that bring a merry mood. Moreover, Christmas is a celebration everyone is looking forward to celebrate. Though the formal Yuletide festivities start on December 16, expect a multitude of Christmas decors everywhere much earlier than that!
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Venice Grand Canal
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Ayala Triangle Gardens
From the time when the month of September starts, we Filipinos, whether we admit or not, are already planning our Christmas revelry preparations. Philippines’ Christmas would not be complete without the traditional decorations and the thousands of radiant, sparkling lights that wonderfully adorn the tallest buildings and the humblest of home. Of course, Western traditions have made it to the heart of every Pinoy, thus Christmas trees, Santa Klaus, Christmas wreaths and stockings are never absent in holiday décor. And what completes the list of Christmas decors? Of course the parol! This five-pointed star represents the Star of Bethlehem. From the traditional materials of bamboo sticks and rice paper, to the modern, more elaborate materials such as plastic and stained glass, these colorful stars lend their positive appeal in every nook and cranny where they are hung for two months or more. Santa Claus and wreaths are to Westerners while parols are to Pinoys – an iconic and anticipated Christmas symbol that completes our holiday festivities.
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And these brightly-lit parols, jutting out of the branches of the trees lining up the streets of Manila, are constant accessories to Manila’s Christmas sights. The big, old trees along Roxas Boulevard seems to stand gracefully with the lovely parols and Christmas lights milled around them. The buildings similarly join the completion as they vie for your attention as if they’re silently screaming “I’m Instagram-worthy!”
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“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful”, quoted Norman Vincent Peale. I think we all would agree that Christmas is the best time of the year to be in Manila.
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