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Okada Manila ushers in the Yuletide season with grand Christmas tree lighting  

By Johanna Añes-de la Cruz, The Philippine STAR Published Nov 20, 2023 12:00 pm

It’s that time of the year again when places are brighter, people are more cheerful, and temperatures are a tad cooler. It’s the time of giving, sharing, and of getting together and strengthening the bonds we hold dearest in our hearts.

It’s no wonder then why Christmas is and will always be the Filipinos’ favorite time of the year, celebrated as early as when the ‘Ber months start rolling in.

Okada Manila, fondly called “Manila’s Grand Icon,” joins in on the Christmas fun with the lighting of its majestic Christmas tree last Friday, Nov. 10, a most welcome treat for visitors young and old alike and a most fitting welcome for a beloved season.

A medley of performances

The Fountain Foyer and Crystal Corridor were more packed than usual with eager visitors—families, friends, couples—who were more than excited to witness the Okada Christmas tree lit up for the first time this Yuletide season.

Making the event more memorable was a lineup of performances headlined by singer, actress, and host Julie Anne San Jose, who indulged spectators with an impeccable choice of songs.

The talented Okada Manila Entertainment Group served as the opening salvo, treating the audience with cheerful songs accompanied by impressive interpretative dance sequences. The Malabon Concert Singers added to the festive vibe with their repertoire of holiday classics.

Leading the official Christmas tree lighting ceremony were Okada Manila’s top executives, headed by Wendy Ni, vice president for Strategic Marketing, who also gave the welcome remarks.

Guests were given a flute of champagne which they sipped after the countdown that served as the signal for the tree to be lit up in all its blazing glory.

This year’s 30-foot Christmas tree is decked in gigantic confectionery-inspired ornaments such as oversized candy canes, ice cream, and cupcakes—truly a delightful sight for the young ones and the young once!

The Fountain Foyer and Crystal Corridor are also draped in colorful lights and holiday accentuations, perfect backdrops for Instagram-worthy shots.

The unforgettable event marked the launch of the festivities across Okada Manila, setting the stage for a most joyous holiday season.

“Home of Wonder”

“Tonight, we also showcase Okada Manila’s Christmas Village, a Christmas wonderland where families and friends can immerse themselves in an enchanting world of festive decorations and amazing light shows presented for the very first time with our partner Noel Bazaar,” Ni said in her welcome remarks.

Dubbed as a “Home of Wonder” and situated at the Crystal Pavilion, the ribbon cutting ceremony marking its opening was spearheaded by Department of Tourism Regional Director-NCR, Sharlene Batin. 

The Christmas Village dazzled visitors with a Lights Show and an Interactive Fairy Baubles. The village also showcases various holiday-themed installations, from the whimsical North Pole Suite to the delightful Chocolate PLAY House, among others.

Festive shopping and offers

For a most wonderful Christmas shopping spree, Okada Manila features the much loved Noel Bazaar at the Crystal Pavilion from Nov. 10 to Dec. 17, where guests can expect an endless array of unique holiday gifts and delectable treats.

Guests can also look forward to the weekly events, including performances by Kapuso celebrities, the highly anticipated “Celebrity Ukay-Ukay,” and new merchants joining the festivities every week.

In the spirit of the holiday season, Okada Manila also has seasonal retail, hotel, and restaurant offerings and staycation packages.

For a staycation to remember, Okada Manila offers its Festive Family Getaway package, a relaxing overnight staycation which includes foot massages for the parents and PLAY vouchers for the kids. 

For bigger get-togethers, the Bespoke Celebrations by the Bay package is recommended, where a suite or villa experience awaits and comes with a sumptuous family-style dinner for 10 to as much as 30 people.

For decadent treats, the Lobby Lounge offers seasonal goodies like the Gingerbread House and Merry Journey cakes, and Christmas-themed milk chocolate reindeer and snowman. Kiapo also has its Festive Platters and classic holiday favorites such as the Simbang Gabi duo of puto bumbong and bibingka.

For more information including bookings and event updates, visit or follow Okada Manila on its social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram .