Makati City—Thursday evening turned out to be gloom with rain and heavy winds but it didn’t dampen the mood at the opening of this year’s Festival of Lights at Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City.
Makati residents, some of whom came from their offices and others with their families, waited patiently at the sidelines to watch the the festival’s first show for the season.
Considered as one of the most anticipated attractions in the metro during the holiday season, this year’s Festival of Lights features three musical medleys that vary in mood, pace, and rhythm: “Pinoy Fiesta” by Roy del Valle, “Traditional Christmas” by Von de Guzman, and “Techno” by Tris Sunguitan.
About 1.6 million LED lights dazzled in festive colors of red, green, blue, silver, and gold—leaving the crowd mesmerized and in the mood for a merry Christmas.
Bobby Dy, Ayala Land President and Meann Dy, SVP of Ayala Land; Makati City mayor Abigail Binay; Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo; and 2nd district congressman Luis Jose Campos; and Makati City Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo led the opening of the Festival of Lights at the Ayala Triangle Gardens. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.
Award-winning director Voltaire de Jesus and Luther Gumia choreographed this year’s lights and sound show.
De Jesus told InterAksyon, “This is our ninth year. Every start of the year, around February, we start brainstorming for the theme, the music, and the elements that we will be using for the light show.
“In our past shows, we have noticed that if there’s a Pinoy theme, the crowd’s reception is different. Then we have the traditional Christmas. Now, we are introducing something new: techno music for the millennials.”
The festival, which runs from November 9 to January 7, 2018 every half an hour from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., is expected to draw a thick crowd every night.
One of those who go every year is Vien Palanog from Parañaque City. While she makes sure not to miss a show, this year’ show is especially meaningful.
“I actually work here in the area so I don’t miss the show every year. Today is the birthday of my nephew that’s why we also went here to watch especially that it’s the opening night. I invited my parents, my siblings, and my cousin to witness the festival. It’s exciting that you’re one of the first to see it.
“It’s a good bonding activity not just for family but also for friends. I invite themn too, to come over and go with them to watch because seeing the lights make me happy and we can really feel the spirit of Christmas.”
Palanog is just one of the many who would make time to see the annual festival.
Sharon Vital, marketing manager for Ayala Land, “We notice that people who are just passing by the garden or maybe catching a ride home would stop and then watch. That’s been our experience every year. We get millions of people each year in terms of foot traffic.”
Last year, the foot traffic was about 1.2 million, and they expect the same for this year.
“It’s really a stress reliever for them,” Vital said.
The Festival of Lights has been cited as one of Conde Nast Traveller’s Seven Most Spectacular Lights in the World together with Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark, Champ-Elysees in Paris, and Japan’s Kobe Luminarie.
The attraction extends beyond the Ayala Triangle Gardens to major Makati thoroughfares such as Ayala Avenue, Paseo de Roxas, and Makati Avenue where over a million Christmas lights recreating the exquisite patterns of native woven fabrics such as the inabel and burdado of Luzon; banig tikog of Visayas; and T’boli, ukil, and Yakan of Mindanao adorn the streets.