The spirit of Christmas

THE real reason for the celebration is the birth of Jesus Christ but Christmas has taken on more than its original significance. It has become an entire season of merrymaking and gift-giving. From the main icon which is the Belen (the tableau depicting the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger), the symbols of Christmas have expanded to include Santa Claus, Christmas trees and villages, Gingerbread houses, Snowmen, Tin Soldiers and more.

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Nowadays, the most popular symbol is the Christmas tree. There’s a giant tree at the Fuente circle, a yearly undertaking of the M. Lhuillier group of companies. It is the biggest and the brightest among all the Christmas trees in the entire province.

A favorite centerpiece for hotel lobbies during the season is of course the Christmas tree and the official tree-lighting is always a big do.

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The Cebu City Marriott Hotel timed its tree-lighting on the night it hosted its Global Customer Appreciation Night Awards. Man of the hour was none other than general manager Patrick Carroll with the assistance of director of operations Joe Fijardo, director of sales and events Frances Dominique Alfafara and public relations officer Nico Velasquez.

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It was a two-in-one affair over at Radisson Blu Cebu when the lighting up ceremony of its 32-foot blue and white tree was made to coincide with its seventh anniversary. The beautiful evening of music featured tenor Aman Ferrer, songbird Ana Fegi Brown, the UV Chorale and the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra. Frontliners were SM Hotels and Convention Corp. president Elizabeth Sy and hotel general manager Laurent Boisdron.

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This year’s Christmas tree at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel is unique because it incorporates a structure guarded by two Tin Soldiers plus a couple of Snowmen on the roof top. General manager Anders Hallden and his team played hosts during the ceremonial tree-lighting.

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“Share Happiness, Give Love, Spread Joy”... so read the invite of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu for the lighting up of its Tree of Hope. The festivities included performances of GMA’s Migo Adecer, Cebu Centre for Dance, Children’s Paradise Montessori School Choir and Dream Catchers. Hotel general manager Brian Connelly presided over the joyous event.

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“Sharing the Magic of Giving”... this is what the Christmas Village of Hope at SM City Cebu is all about. The funds raised from the fabulous display owned by Clayton and Joji Tugonon will benefit the children with cancer under the care of the Kythe Foundation Inc.

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Real estate giant Mandani Bay had a beautiful tree-lighting affair at its show gallery in Mandaue City, Cebu with the Mandaue Children’s Choir rendering well-loved Christmas songs. Fireworks capped the evening affair.
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