It’s the time of the year when Christmas trees are popping up here, there and everywhere! Tree lighting ceremonies in hotels and malls are the events of the season.
“Unwrap the Magic of Christmas” was how Radisson Blu worded the invites for its traditional evening of music, highlighted by the lighting up of its legendary Christmas tree.
Festive as festive can be was the look of the hotel’s porte cochere with its canopy of lights blazing all the way to the grand lobby where its centerpiece, the majestic Radisson Christmas tree, sparkled in colors of gold, silver and blue.
Guest of honor was Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Garcia who was warmly welcomed by SM Hotel & Convention Centers president Elizabeth Sy, Radisson Blu general manager Marko Janssen and senior director for operations Deborah Haines of the Radisson Hotel Group, Asia Pacific.
It was truly a magical evening of classical music and Christmas melodies under the direction of Nestor Jardin, former president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. On centerstage were the well known classical singers baritone Byeong-In Park and soprano Rachelle Gerodias together with the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra and the Jose R. Gullas Visayas Chorale.
Very much part of the celebration was the sumptuous spread prepared by the Radisson chefs. By the way, Radisson will open its Christmas Market display at the lobby on Dec. 1, 2023 with the kids of the SOS Children’s Village as special guests.
For its tree lighting affair, Seda Central Bloc chose the theme “Candyland Christmas.” Yes, it was “sugar and spice and everything nice” during the celebration hosted by general manager Ron Manalang and his team. Songs and dances from the Dreamcatchers garbed in colorful attire opened the pre-holiday merrymaking.
The festivities continued at the Sinamay Room where Christmas music filled the air, courtesy of the Sisters of Mary Boystown Handbell Ringers. It was fascinating watching them perform with their bells while enjoying dinner (everything was yummy but the Seda ham was my favorite). Seda has an array of goodies (Christmas Hampers, Cookies, Grazing Boxes etc.) available for Christmas gifts, announced director of sales and marketing Thrina Dela Calzada.
In his talk, GM Ron M declared that it was a night of thanksgiving as well as a time to look forward to a better year ahead. Seda Central Bloc has an advocacy to support worthy causes thru its Integrated Community Outreach Program. It has also given help to the Sisters of Mercy Boystown and Smile Train.
Over at the South Road Properties (SRP), Il Corso dubbed its tree lighting event as “Christmas at Filinvest Malls.” The celebration was held at the mall lobby with Filinvest Malls executives in attendance - 1st VP & Retails business head Mitch Dumlao; VP central & strategic lease Azl Narvaez; Sr. assist. VP Denise Lagayan; and GM Visayas cluster Judith Sanchez.
The evening’s program included entertainment numbers from the Angelicus Choir, Cebu Salsa Club, the Dreamcatchers and singer/composer Kurt Fick. However the most important part of the affair was the turning over of Filinvest’s donation to Everlasting Hope, its partner NGO in helping the underprivileged.