Christmas Guide: Places to Visit around the Metro

Brighten up your holidays by checking out these fun places to visit in Metro Manila.

By Mathew S. Chan
December 01, 2015

There are only a few weeks left until Christmas. Although a lot of people will spend the holidays out of town, a significant amount of people will stay in the metro. If you happen to be one of those people or are coming to the city for the holidays, make sure to add these places to your list of things to see during the Christmas season.

Festival of Lights Show at Ayala Triangle Gardens
During the holidays, we often go for the extravagant and grand, but the simplest things in life can be the best and the most underrated. The lights and sounds show at Ayala Triangle Gardens proves that simple LED lights can be stunning and mesmerizing. Catch the show (this year’s theme is "Beats and Hues") from November 9 to January 3, every 30 minutes from 6pm-10pm.

The Giant Christmas Tree at Araneta Cubao
One of the ultimate symbols of Christmas is the Christmas tree: a pine tree of any size decorated with ornaments and lights where gifts are usually placed under to be opened on Christmas Day. If you want your kids to have a new appreciation for the Christmas tree, drop by Araneta Center in Cubao and check out the Giant Christmas Tree beside Gateway Mall. Take pictures with your family at night when the view of the tree and its lights is the best. You can go watch a movie or eat out afterwards.

Christmas on Display (COD) at Greenhills Shopping Center
The Christmas on Display was a thing of traditions before. Families and friends would gather and watch the moving mannequin display like watching a movie that’s not on screen. The show used to be held in the now-defunct COD Department Store in Cubao and was revived in Greenhills. This year’s theme is “A Hometown Christmas,” and you can catch from November 14 to January 3, every 30 minutes from 6:30pm-11:30pm. While waiting for the show, you can go on last-minute shopping trips and get some great bargains in the area.

UP Diliman Lantern Parade
One truly unique symbol of Christmas in the Philippines is the Christmas lantern or parol, which also signifies light and hope. A Filipino home is not complete on Christmas without having a parol in some form, whether it’s hanging on a door or by a window. UP Diliman has a yearly Lantern Parade where some of the best and most beautiful lanterns are showcased. Take your family and enjoy a night of color and wonder on December 14. For a great view, make sure to head there early so that you can select prime spots.

Snow World at Star City
One thing that eludes the Philippines during the holidays is snow. This is understandable because of our tropical climate and location near the equator. But that doesn’t mean people in the metro can’t experience a little bit of winter. If you’re itching to see snow, head to Snow World in Star City and experience a winter wonderland perfect for families and friends. Be sure to cover up and wear heavy clothing.

Policarpio Street at Mandaluyong City
If you are looking for something festive to do during the holidays that’s also inexpensive, consider visiting Policarpio Street in Mandaluyong City, which presents itself as a beautiful Christmas Village. You can see houses upon houses meticulously decorated in various Christmas motifs, from Nativity scenes to Santa Clause’s village. Houses are also decorated with bright lights and it’s a simple joy just to stroll around the area to give you a little Christmas cheer.