23 February 2024

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Tree Lighting at the Manila Hotel

3 min read

As I entered the lobby of The Manila Hotel yesterday, it was impossible for me not to notice the large Christmas tree decorated in ribbons, bows, and balls in gold and red. Interspersed within its branches are twinkly lights that are unlit. But then, that is what I was there for … to see the tree when the Christmas lights are turned on. For The Manila Hotel, this will officially signal the start of the Christmas season.

The event begins with some Christmas carols sung by the Chorale of the Office of the President. As a choir member myself, I highly appreciate the effort they put in and I also couldn’t help but wince whenever I heard someone go out of tune. That being said, I think they gave a joyful performance!

I would have appreciated it more if not for the group of older women who somehow chose to stand around me when the event started and were chatting loudly amongst themselves. Sigh. How disrespectful! However, I was raised to show respect to my elders, no matter how rude THEY were, and just bit my tongue and tried to sidle away slowly and closer to the choir so that I can hear them more, and the chatty biddies less.

I looked over at them just to get a good look and since we were all wearing the same badges I couldn’t help but surmise that they, too, were members of the press. If I had to guess, they were probably from trad media and bosses (or bosses’ wives) as they gave off that kind of air. It doesn’t excuse the rudeness, though. Sigh again.

To be honest, that was the only blemish on an otherwise wonderful afternoon.

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuña
Manila Mayor Honey Lacuña
The Manila Hotel President, Atty. Joey Lina
The Manila Hotel President, Atty. Joey Lina

Welcome messages were given by Atty. Joey Lina, President of the Manila Hotel, and Manila Mayor Honey Lacuña.

As far as I know, The Manila Hotel was the first hotel to light up their tree for 2023. Unlit the tree was already beautiful but after several dignitaries were called in front each one stood in front of a podium that had a big red button.

After a countdown, each one pressed their red button simultaneously and the big, beautiful, gold-bedecked tree lit up!

Christmas truly comes early in the Philippines!

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