THERE'S no other season which sheds that bright light of hope into an otherwise dreary existence than Christmas. As the wise men who sought the newborn King in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago were guided by a star, so too our world seeks a guiding light, most especially in the middle of the pandemic.
In the Queen City of the Philippines, the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu has done its part in sharing hope during the holidays for the last 15 years. Christmas is alive and well at the Marco Polo, where the global economic downturn has not stopped the hotel from paying it forward.
On Nov. 27, it kicked off the festivities with its annual Christmas Tree lighting, in partnership with GMA Regional TV, through an online event. Marco Polo’s “Tree of Hope” has become a local tradition. Hotel guests and visitors can donate to the Tree of Hope for only P200 per Christmas ball until Jan. 6, 2022. All proceeds will be forwarded to the GMA Kapuso Foundation.
“The last 15 years, we have celebrated our Tree Lighting every year as our way to signify the start of the Festive Season. This year we are keeping this tradition, despite the fact that we continued to battle against Covid-19. We will stay strong and resolved in celebrating this season with this year’s theme, ‘Christmas Together,’” said Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager Brian Connelly.
During the event, Connelly turned over donations amounting to P100,000 to Ann Marie Tan, assistant vice president and station manager of GMA Regional TV Central and Eastern Visayas, and Amabelle Russiana, GMA Kapuso Foundation regional coordinator. The Voice of Cebu Chorale also performed during the event.
Various projects of the GMA Kapuso Foundation include but are not limited to “Unang Hakbang sa Kinabukasan Project” and “Give-A-Gift Project.”
To truly kick the festivities up a notch, the hotel introduced its special holiday offers that invite Cebuanos in celebrating “Christmas Together.” This includes the “Christmas Together Room Package,” inclusive of a Deluxe Mountain View room accommodation and set breakfast for two guests.
Its flagship restaurant Café Marco is open until Jan. 2, 2022, and offers guests a full buffet of classic Festive Favorites: Christmas ham, USDA roast beef, roast turkey, chicken relleno and other well-loved Café Marco dishes. The buffet includes drink coolers. The Blu Bar & Grill is also open every weekend until Jan. 2, 2022, offering guests intimate dinners a thousand feet above sea level. There are limited seats available for both Cafe Marco and Blu Bar & Grill, so advanced booking and prepayment is highly recommended.
At the hotel lobby, festive sweets are available including the Hotel’s signature Christmas ensaimada, fruit cake, banana and walnut loaves, cinnamon bun, Christmas cookies, cupcakes bibingka and puto bumbong. Of course, the hotel’s Malicious Cookies and Mango Cheesecake—two SunStar Best of Cebu winners—can be enjoyed as well.
In all of this merry-marking, the health and safety of hotel guests and associates continue to be its top priority. Heightened sanitation and other responsible practices are in place.