One of my favorite places in Metro Manila is the Ayala Triangle Gardens, the quiet pocket of green right in the middle of the city. It’s tranquil for the most part except during the holidays, when it transforms into a lights and sound show featuring a million twinkling lights. I got the watch this year’s series of shows and felt the Christmas spirit!
The Ayala Triangle Gardens’ Festival of Lights is a much-awaited event during Christmas, captivating Filipinos for the past eight years. It’s not just Filipinos who love the show: Conde Nast has called it one of the most spectacular lights in the world.
It is quite the spectacle. More than 1.6 million LED lights are used in the show, so it feels like being surrounded by stars when you come close. Too bad it rained the night I watched so I was under the Makati Stock Exchange Center (see what it looks like up close here, when I watched in 2014).
This year’s show is divided into three themes: Pinoy Fiesta, Traditional Christmas, and Techno. Each one has a different mood, pace, and rhythm, and they will be played at 30-minute intervals. All three were excellent, but my favorite has to be the Traditional Christmas segment which has a choir singing carols that gave me goosebumps.
The light show is choreographed by award-winning director Voltaire de Jesus and Luther Gumia, with scoring by Roy del Valle, Von de Guzman, and Tris Sunguitan.
The holiday spirit extends well past the Ayala Triangle Gardens. In Ayala Avenue, Paseo de Roxas, and Makati Avenue, a million Christmas lights and ornaments patterned after native woven fabrics like the inabel and burdado of Luzon, banig tikog of the Visayas, and the t’boli, ukil, and yakan of Mindanao light up the streets.
The lights and sound show is also present across different Ayala Land estates: Vertis North, Nuvali, Bonifacio Global City, Centrio, and Ayala Center Cebu.
You can watch the Festival of Lights from November 9, 2017 to January 7, 2018 at the Ayala Triangle Gardens every 30 minutes from 6PM to 10PM.