Okay, settle down, everyone. This post is going to be a doozy.
With actual Christmas Day being just a few days away, I think we can officially end the Tree Lighting season at this point.
Don’t get me wrong—Christmas Tree Lighting events are always fun and festive especially since everyone now seems to know how to throw parties. It was great to spend time with friends, and… well, there’s really nothing to complain about free-flowing wine and champagne.
But it was also quite a busy month that left me a little overwhelmed with work to do and events to go to, which in turn left me little chance to sit down and breathe. That may or may not have to do with the weight gain after all the eating.
Still, there’s something special about the very moment a tree lights up and fills the room with holiday cheer, and I was fortunate to experience that several times within the past month. While that exact moment can’t be replicated, the Christmas Trees themselves are definitely worth checking out for photo opportunities—something, in fact, my family used to do from time to time.
Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu
NOVEMBER 4 — Although they didn’t officially have a Christmas tree lighting event, special mention goes out to one of my favorite resorts in Mactan Island for kicking off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving Party… and my first birthday cake for this year.
Mövenpick also launched their Christmas Charity Drive in partnership with Cebu-based fashion blogger and illustrator Jean Yu. Jean designed limited edition t-shirts that are currently sold at the Lobby until Christmas. Proceeds of the sales go to the Cordova Alternative Resource for Education (CARE) Center.
Radisson Blu Cebu
NOVEMBER 9 — This is one ‘Blu’ Christmas I don’t mind having! Tree lightings at the Radisson Blu Cebu are always classic and grand affairs, and it’s such a treat to see your friends all dressed up fancy for the occasion. This year, the hotel timed their event with their 9th anniversary.
PHOTOS: Radisson Blu Cebu
Quest Hotel & Conference Center – Cebu
NOVEMBER 13 — In lieu of the usual Christmas tree lighting, Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu does a unique bell-ringing ceremony to summon Santa Claus.
They’ve also put up the Wishing Tree, where you can hang a card for a minimum purchase of Php 1,000 on any of the pastries or Seed Studio toys at Hansel & Gretel’s Gingerbread House. Proceeds go to the Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADS).
Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
NOVEMBER 16 — A big birthday bash at a five-star hotel in Cebu. what more can a girl ask for? Marco Polo Plaza’s Christmas tree lighting coincided with my birthday for this year, so it was a great reason to have a big group of my friends under one roof. This year, the theme was Christmas Around the World, so their tree had little dolls all over for representation.
As always, Marco Polo has the Tree of Hope, where you can hang Christmas balls for a minimum donation of Php 200. Proceeds will go to the GMA Kapuso Foundation.
Seda Ayala Center Cebu
NOVEMBER 18 — Nothing says, “Best feelings in the world!” more than holiday cheer, which was felt even more with their tree lighting event. It was also a good excuse to feast on copious amounts of sinuglaw, and if you haven’t been to Seda to eat their sinuglaw yet then you’re missing out on a great thing.
(I will never not talk about Seda and not mention the sinuglaw.)
Seda has also partnered with Smile Train, a non-profit organization working to give children around the world better smiles. Donate to this good cause by purchasing a Christmas decor.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa
NOVEMBER 25 — Mactan Island isn’t behind on the festivities too! Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa went with an elegant blue-silver-gold theme for their cluster of Christmas trees, which feature a large-sized Nativity Scene on one side. You can add to the decor by purchasing a handcrafted ornament for a minimum donation of Php 300, the proceeds of which will go to the Children’s Haven Orphanage of Cordova.
Further down and nearer to the check-in areas, the resort has also set up a cozy faux fireplace that’s perfect for the ‘gram.
NOVEMBER 26 — This was a significant tree lighting for me, as it was actually my first time at Maayo Hotel. It was also their second anniversary celebration and thanksgiving.
With a name derived from one of the commonly-used Bisaya words, I expected no less and was not disappointed they highlighted local culture in their festivities, from the displays of hablon and tablea from Argao, and weaving from San Remigio, to the performances during the event, and even the local-inspired ornaments on the tree.
Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort
NOVEMBER 28 — Yet another first on my list was Dusit Thani, a resort I’ve been wanting to visit for the longest time especially with all the great feedback about their Thai restaurant and the gorgeous sunset views. Unfortunately, this visit wasn’t meant to be for those yet, though it was a memorable one anyway as it was the resort’s first-ever Christmas tree lighting.
For the season, Dusit Thani is offering sweet treats for Php 250. Proceeds will go to iLearners Inc, a non-profit organization working to promote literacy to children in Cebu.
Cebu Ocean Park
DECEMBER 11 — And just when we thought the Christmas tree lighting ceremonies were done, Cebu Ocean Park pulled through with one more in early December. In line with being the first marine waterpark in the Visayas and Mindanao, their very first Christmas tree was filled with a lot (and I mean A LOT) of Nemo stuffed toys.
Speaking of stuffed animals, Cebu Ocean Park will be donating a percentage of the sales of its Tribal Penguin toys to the Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc.
Guests of the Cebu Ocean Park this Christmas will also enjoy the added attractions of divers dressed as Santa’s Elves, Santa Claus himself, and fun carnival booths.
Enjoy the holidays, everyone! Happy Christmas!
Special thank you for all the photos, Rider’s Block.