The Manila Hotel ushered Christmas with tree lighting-cum-charitable event
This year’s Christmas festivities began early for The Manila Hotel with its tree lighting ceremony and charitable event. Themed “Ang Ating Tanging Yaman” (Our Treasured Heritage), “The Grand Dame” brings to forefront the beauty and hospitality that has made Filipino Christmas known the world over.
To be sure, the pièce de résistance of this celebration is the floor-to-ceiling Christmas tree of the hotel, placed beside the famous Amorsolo painting and designed by Rachy Cuna.
The world-renowned event stylist further complemented the already beautiful interiors of the iconic hotel with the use of local materials in burnished gold, warm gray and white.
A “Bahay na Bato” that welcomes guests into the ante lobby of Manila Hotel and additional tress around the main lobby complete the festive spirit.
“Bringing out the essence of a truly Filipino Christmas is to highlight the very best of local materials, talent and products that beautify many other homes and commercial establishments around the world. Why not bring this sense of Filipino-ness to the Manila Hotel and allow our guests to feel the treasures of our heritage through our most celebrated holiday of the year?”
No less than The Manila Hotel’s president Joey Lina and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, with special guest international beauty titlist April Love Jordan, led the lighting of the hotel’s Christmas tree on November 3.
Thereafter, the CEU Choir provided Yuletide medley while guests feast on traditional Filipino merienda.
Founded on ‘Hope’
At the heart of this traditional Christmas tree lighting is sharing, as The Manila Hotel had House of Refuge Foundation, Inc. the main beneficiary of this event.
The House of Refuge began when a group of fervent individuals encountered street children who had been abandoned, neglected or maltreated by their own families. Prodded by a heartfelt resolve, this auspicious event birthed a halfway house in September 21, 1986, which gave shelter and provided the basic needs for street children.
The halfway house was named Bahay Kanlungan in 1990. In the following year, it became a licensed child-caring institution, which adopted the name House of Refuge Foundation, Inc. (HORFI).
The HORFI has gone a long way from the first group of seven street children in 1986. Today, the foundation has helped more than 1000 children ages from four to 16.
It was the second time that HORFI became the beneficiary of the Grand Dame. Last year, they also received donations from the hotel.
“House of Refuge is a haven for children and children symbolize the coming of Christ who was born in a manger. What better way to give back the greatest gift that God has given us—Jesus Christ himself, whose birth is what we are celebrating—than to help the little ones?” Lina told The Manila Times on the sidelines of the tree lighting event.