Neri: Emerald Christmas at Il Corso

DREAMCATCHERS. “One Short Day,” “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” were the songs in the medley that many musical theatre fans couldn’t help but sing along to.
DREAMCATCHERS. “One Short Day,” “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” were the songs in the medley that many musical theatre fans couldn’t help but sing along to.

‘Tis the season of Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, and with all these events happening left and right, it can be difficult to stand out. How one leaves an impression is different for each person—some choose to focus on decorations while others focus on the food. I, in particular, am the type to fixate on the program and, I have to hand it to Il Corso — its program was one for the books.

GIVING. Filinvest Malls honors its beneficiary, Everlasting Hope (EH), a non-profit organization that supports children with cancer and their families.
GIVING. Filinvest Malls honors its beneficiary, Everlasting Hope (EH), a non-profit organization that supports children with cancer and their families.

In my personal opinion, it was the lineup of performers for the tree-lighting ceremony that deserved two thumbs up — definitely a great mix of local talents that contributed (in their own way) to the overall ceremony.

DANCING. The Cebu Salsa Club invited people from the audience to dance the salsa and batchata with them. In the photo, lawyer Joy Pesquera joins the festivities.
DANCING. The Cebu Salsa Club invited people from the audience to dance the salsa and batchata with them. In the photo, lawyer Joy Pesquera joins the festivities.

The evening started with a serenade of Christmas carols done by the Angelicus Choir while guests sat and enjoyed some refreshments — slowly enticing us with Christmas spirit. After that, we were greeted by a very warm and somewhat familiar voice — none other than one of Cebu’s most well-loved event hosts and voice talents, Claire Codilla (Claire on Air), welcoming everyone to Il Corso’s fifth Christmas Illumination Ceremony.

CLAIRE ON AIR. If you’re looking for Cebu’s Disney Princess in both voice and demeanor, there’s none other than Claire Codilla.
CLAIRE ON AIR. If you’re looking for Cebu’s Disney Princess in both voice and demeanor, there’s none other than Claire Codilla.

Il Corso Filinvest Malls’ general manager, Gigi Sanchez, and the senior assistant vice president for corporate marketing, Denise Lagayan, graced us with their cheerful welcome remarks while a heartwarming Christmas message was relayed by the first vice president and retail head of Filinvest Malls, Mitch Dumlao.

KURT FICK. The night ended with a performance by Cebuano singing icon, Kurt Fick, and his band.
KURT FICK. The night ended with a performance by Cebuano singing icon, Kurt Fick, and his band.

Because this year’s color theme for the tree was emerald green, we were treated to an enchanting performance done by the Dreamcatchers as they sang a medley of songs from the hit Broadway musical, “Wicked.” Another crowd favorite was the interactive dance presentation of the Cebu Salsa Club.

LIGHT IT UP. Up in front during the lighting of the tree were members of the Everlasting Hope Foundation, (from left) Il Corso Filinvest Malls’ general manager Gigi Sanchez, senior assistant vice president for corporate marketing Denise Lagayan, lawyer Joy Pesquera and retail head of Filinvest Malls, Mitch Dumlao.
LIGHT IT UP. Up in front during the lighting of the tree were members of the Everlasting Hope Foundation, (from left) Il Corso Filinvest Malls’ general manager Gigi Sanchez, senior assistant vice president for corporate marketing Denise Lagayan, lawyer Joy Pesquera and retail head of Filinvest Malls, Mitch Dumlao.

True to the real reason for the season, Filinvest Malls gave special honor to its beneficiary, Everlasting Hope (EH), a non-profit organization that supports children with cancer and their families. Together, the EH kids and Filinvest executives led the lighting of the tree. After the countdown, the tree was transformed into a wonderland of lights dancing on evergreen branches while confetti floated all around.

Christmas Tree lighting events may be similar, but no one event is exactly the same and, for some of them, you just had to be there to truly experience the magic.

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