[PHOTO -The main thoroughfares of the Ayala central business district are ablaze with over a million LED lights after the traditional ceremonial lighting in Makati City. Leading the opening of the Christmas season are (from left) Dave Balangue, MACEA president; Marjorie de Veyra, city administrator; Jaime Zobel de Ayala, chairman emeritus of Ayala Corp.; and Tony Aquino, president and CEO of Ayala Land.]

2012 (PHILSTAR) The countdown to the year’s most awaited season has begun as Makati leads the nation in the celebration of Christmas with excitement and jubilation.

[PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INQUIRER -Bursts of exploding firecrackers and colorful confetti bring drama to the night sky and excitement to spectators during the inaugural switch-on of lights decorating a giant Christmas tree at Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City. AUGUST DELA CRUZ]

Christmas has always been synonymous with Makati. The magic that the Christmas season brings is the same spirit that the city generates for the entire nation to experience through its various festivities. It is about making things happen for the community, bringing them together to enjoy the season.

And this year will be no exception. The city has committed itself to lead the nation in the joyous celebration of the season through its ceremonial switching on of streetlights.

Once again, Makati will be magically transformed into a Christmas wonderland, dynamic and vibrant, the same character that describes Makati as the foremost leader not only in business but also in lifestyle, entertainment, and culture.

This annual tradition has given Makati the opportunity to give Filipinos a breathtaking experience they will never forget.

As in previous years, posts and palm trees will be skillfully decorated with dazzling Christmas installations.

This year, however, the roughly 1.3 million lights will also include islands mounted with free standing sculptures. These sculptures, aptly called as heart trees, will be covered in white fairy lights, to further illuminate the city’s three main thoroughfares – Ayala Avenue, Makati Avenue, and Paseo de Roxas.

The streets will be adorned with well-loved Christmas characters and symbols, creating a virtual Christmas fantasy experience both the young and old will enjoy.

“The bright and dazzling display of lights will share with everybody the magical feeling brought by the Christmas celebration. It will also further highlight Makati’s leadership and ability to make great things happen,” says Mel Ignacio, Ayala Land’s assistant vice president for Strategic Landbank Management Group.

“For years, Makati has achieved many milestones serving as the Philippines’ premier economic hub, paving the way for the growth and development of the country’s business sector. And the city’s commitment to fulfill this vision will never wane but only continue to evolve with more developments set to happen in the city,” Ignacio ended.

In terms of lighting designs, designer Xenas Pineda shares, “I wanted to interpret the vibrant character and continuous growth and development of Makati.”

She adds that she wanted to utilize designs that relate to Makati’s leadership nature, breaking free from traditional expectations but maintaining its commitment to protect the environment.

The use of LED lights has likewise led to a significant decrease of power consumption with 70 percent less than standard light installations.

The ceremonial switching on of the streetlights is but the beginning of the magical celebration in Makati. Come and join the festivities at Ayala Triangle Gardens starting with the premiere of an enchanting lights and sound show on Nov. 16.

On Dec. 5, listen to the charming songs of cheer during the Young Voices Christmas Caroling competition among Makati high schools.

Be entertained by the whimsical musical performances of The Company at the Christmas Concierto on Dec. 14 and celebrate thanksgiving mass every 6 p.m. from Dec. 15 to 23.

Celebrate the splendor of the magical Christmas right in the center where it all happens: Makati.

For more information, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (Make it in Makati) or visit our website, makeitmakati.com to know about the many other reasons why you should come to the city.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved