The Araneta Center has pulled out all the stops for a grand homecoming this Christmas.
Last week, celebrated phenoms as TV host-actress Maine Mendoza, child star Baeby Baste, and Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray welcomed the returning Christmas on Display at the Times Square Food Park along with other VIP guests and officials of the Araneta Center.
After 16 years, the animated Christmas on Display returned to its true home in Araneta Center. It is expected to draw crowds to the Times Square Food Park, which is just a stone’s throw away from its original location.
Created by businessman Alex Rosario Sr. in 1957, Christmas on Display transferred to Araneta Center in 1966 and has since become a prominent attraction in the country’s premier lifestyle hub during Christmas until the Manila C.O.D. Department Store ceased operations in 2002.
Now helmed by Rey Rosario, the COD will continue to amaze with its imposing design and touching stories. With a touch of something old and something new, the animated display still harkens back to its glory days of simple pleasures in life, but is now set in a backdrop that is as Instagram-worthy as many attractions in the metropolis these days.
With bright lights, music, and the help of more than 40 moving mannequins, it will touch on Araneta Center’s theme “Christmas is Home,” a topic all too familiar for countless of Filipinos who travel great lengths just to be with the ones they love this holiday season.
The Christmas On Display will have 15-minute shows from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sundays to Thursdays, and from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays to Saturdays until Jan. 6.
Also joining Mendoza, Baeby Baste, and Gray is the awarded Mandaluyong Children’s Choir, which has earned international accolades from choral competitions in China, Canada, and Korea.
Aside from Gray who hosted the ceremony, Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Eva Patalinjug, Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Karen Gallman, Miss Globe top 15 finalist Michele Gumabao, and Miss International first runner-up Ma. Ahtisa Manalo were all there.
The festive launch came just a week after Araneta Center lit up its iconic giant Christmas tree also at the Times Square Food Park. The star-studded event, which was headlined by Sarah Geronimo and Vice Ganda, was witnessed by more than 20,000 people. (All photos by Lester Ramos)