Monday, December 22, 2014

Philippines Travel Guide for the Holidays

Nothing beats the Christmas spirit of the Filipinos. From the simbang gabi tradition, the Christmas carols down to the Noche Buena or the Christmas Eve’s dinner. But nothing tops the effort and creativity of the Filipinos when it comes to their Christmas decorations. Hundreds of Christmas lights to illuminate the Christmas spirit, enormous Christmas trees and who can ever forget the Nativity scene or known as Belen.

During the holidays, different cities have their way of celebrating the Christmas traditions. Here are some holiday-themed places to visit during the Christmas break. Bring the family or the barkada, we’re sure that these places will not fail your holiday spirit.
Photo by: Marc Gerard Del Rosario of Flickr

1. Ayala Triangle Gardens, “The Festival of Lights” For the fifth year, the City of Makati once again decorates the Ayala Triangle with thousands of LED lights to be the center of attraction at the Makati Central Business district this Christmas Season. This year’s Rio de Janeiro Carnivale- themed inspired show features dancing lights in the music of Christmas carols. Watch the lights come to life in every 30 minutes from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Admission is free.

2. Belenismo Festival- The city of Tarlac or known as The Belen Capital of the Philippines has just recently opened their seventh year exhibition of life sized Belens. Started in 2007, the Tarlaquenos sparks the bayanihan spirit and creates life size Belens to showcase the creativity and craftsmanship of the different towns by using only recycled materials. This yearly tradition illuminates the Christmas spirit in the whole town. This year’s theme for the Belnismo Festival is inspired by the Disney movie Frozen. The Belenismo Festival exhibit is located at the Town’s Plaza.

3. Giant Lantern Parade- Every Saturday before Christmas Eve, the city of San Fernando Pampanga held its Giant Lantern Festival. The festival features giant lantern competitions among its barangays. Each lantern was made by the residents of the barangays. Because of the popularity of the festival, the city has been called the "Christmas Capital of the Philippines”.

4. Policarpio Street, Mandaluyong City- This Street may seem to be oddly normal during the first 10 months of the year. But when the holidays are just around the corner this Street transforms into a Christmas attraction. Nativity scenes, Christmas lights, Santas in all shapes and sizes are found everywhere. This Street became famous because of their houses covered with thousands (or even maybe millions) of Christmas lights. Yes, covered, not just decorated. The most famous house in Policarpio Street would be the House of Santa Claus. It showcased thousands of Santa Claus in all shapes and forms. Policarpio Street is open to public from 6 – 10 PM.

5. Casa Santa- Located at Antipolo Rizal, Casa Santa is an exhibit that shows the different forms of Santa in every imaginable shape, sizes and configurations. Over 3,000 Santa Claus figurines from around the world are showcased in this exhibit. Ranging from life size, singing, talking and even Winnie the Pooh Santa can be found in this exhibit. Owned by collector, Jardin De Miramar, Casa Santa started as a small collection until it grew in size that the Santa Claus’ needs their own home. Casa Santa can e visited by appointment from 2- 4 PM. Admission is P180 for a minimum of 5 person, children ages 3 years old and below are free and a 20% discount is given for the senior citizens.

Note: This article is a guest post contributed by Gilbert Bermudez. Additionally, the attached photo was submitted for reference. Please check below information about the author.

About the author:
Gilbert Bermudez is a blogger for CashCashPinoy, one of the Philippines’ best online deal site for getting the service vouchers and discounted items for travel packages. During his past time, he also read books and online trends about travel especially in the Philippines.You can check out his updates on his Facebook.

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