ABREEZA of the Ayala Malls turned into a Christmas wonderland with its charming Yuletide offering -- Pepe's Secret Christmas, a new ballet that is educational, entertaining and deeply rooted in Filipino Yuletide traditions.

It teaches children about respect for nature and animals, while giving them a peek into a world of traditional Filipino values, and our love for beauty and harmony.

Set in a Filipino Never-never Land where animals speak and dance, the story unfolded as soon as little Pepe fell asleep at mass on the last day of the Misa de Gallo. He was suddenly transported to an enchanted setting where the talking and dancing creatures of farm and forest came to pay homage to the Niño.

At the two well-attended performances at the Acitvity Center of Abreeza, the enchanting and heart-warming magical ballet spoke to children and those who longed for a time of innocence, and the very familiar tunes like the Visayan song, Usahay, and the Kadayawan Festival music, the original choreography was set to, surely connected with the audience.

Seen during the presentations were Doña Beatriz M. Zobel, Cristina Zobel de Ayala, and Francisco R. Elizalde showing their support to Steps Dance Project Managing Director Sofia Zobel Elizalde, award-winning Dabawenya choreographer Agnes Locsin, the members of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, the children affected by Typhoon Yolanda, and the other ballet enthusiasts in Davao.

Produced by Steps Dance Project and the Ayala Malls, the ballet directed by James Laforteza, written by Floy Quinto and choreographed by Jun Saagundo, Jeffrey Epejo and James Laforteza, featured the talented dancers from the Steps Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2007 that aims to give assistance to young and gifted Filipino dancers who want to pursue serious dance training in ballet, modern dance, or jazz dance in hopes of making dance a future profession.

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