Ayala Triangle Gardens’ Festival of Lights
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light. From now on, our troubles will be out of sight”, says the lyrics from the song ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’. This is one of the songs being played at the Festival of Lights 2022 at the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City.
It felt like a message of hope for all of us after being anxious and scared for two years due to the pandemic. This year somehow gives a little semblance of how Christmas truly feels like before we’ve known COVID-19, thanks to the significant decrease in number of cases and the vaccines that are now available.
Christmas season in Ayala Center holds a special place in my heart. Back when I was in elementary, high school and even in college, our family (my tatay, nanay and two sisters) would go to Manila a few days before Christmas. My sisters and I couldn’t sleep the night before and would be racing to the best seat in our owner-type jeep. Jose Mari Chan’s ‘Christmas in our Hearts’ would be blasting from the jeep stereo, replacing the usual ‘Solitaire’ of the Carpenters or Kenny Loggins’ ‘Whenever I Call you Friend’.
Our tatay would buy us new clothes, books or school supplies and always preferred Greenbelt, Glorietta and Landmark in the heart of Makati’s Central Business District among other malls.
Like any other traditional Catholic family, we would put on our newly bought clothes for the Misa de Gallo (mass during Christmas Eve) and the midnight mass during New Year’s Eve and enjoy our Noche Buena (Christmas Eve feast) and Media Noche (New Year’s Eve feast) after.
Growing up in the province, I couldn’t help but be amazed with the Christmas displays at the malls or the lights and parols (Christmas lanterns) hanging from the trees or posts along the major highways in Metro Manila. And so now that I am staying here in Manila, I always look forward to seeing the stretch of Ayala Avenue lit up. It was always grand with big installations adorning the center island. I guess the City of Makati dialed it down this year, perhaps in consideration of the past two year’s pandemic and the increasing inflation.
The Festival of Lights 2022
Now that the restrictions have eased up if not totally lifted, Roland, Hannah and I decided to watch the Festival of Lights at the Ayala Triangle Gardens one Saturday. We drove to Greenbelt 5 where we decided to park. There were a lot of people doing their shopping, dining out with friends or families and even those who also watched the Festival of Lights. Finding a parking spot was difficult, we were looking for at least 15 minutes before a spot was available.
We opted to have dinner first in Greenbelt, all that looking for a parking spot made us hungry. We ate a sumptuous dinner at Lorenzo’s Way, our go-to restaurant in Greenbelt 5.
From Greenbelt 5, we walked towards the underground walkway in Ayala Avenue to cross going to the Ayala Triangle Gardens.
The light show was already starting when we arrived, and a lot of people were raising their cellphones to get videos or photos. We walked around the garden to get videos and photos. And we were not disappointed, the light show offered a wonderful 360 view, so it does not matter where you stand.
The laser and Christmas lights hanging from the trees blink fast or slow depending on the beat of the music playing. Dancing elves were also projected at the Philippine Stock Exchange Building, adding another dynamic element to the light show. There was even mist at some parts of the show. Everything was truly spectacular and magical!
The light show lasted for more about 20 minutes and so you really have time to walk around while the show is ongoing. You are welcome to watch the Festival of Lights at the Ayala Triangle Gardens daily until January 8, 2023, and from 6:00 to 10:00 PM.
Kids and kids-at-heart can really enjoy what the Festival of Lights 2022 has to offer. You’ll go home with a warm heart and hopeful spirit wishing a merry little Christmas for your family, friends and the world!