As one who resides near Cubao, Quezon City, I had fondest memories of Christmas as a kid at the Araneta Center. I can still remember the animated display of COD, the ever festive Fiesta Carnival, attending the mass at the Araneta Coliseum, etc. The shopping complex has changed through the years, but it has managed to still celebrate Christmas. Recently there was the giant Christmas Tree lighting event which I was not fortunate to attend. Then I learned about the Araneta Center Belen Lighting. I have been passing by this display every Christmas that I didn’t notice it’s been 20 years now since the Belen was put up. A traditional Filipino Christmas icon that depicts the birth of Jesus Christ, I prefer this over the other display because it depicts the true meaning of Christmas. I was at the Araneta Center Belen Lighting Ceremony, which signals that the Yuletide season is here, and there’s no stopping it.
This year’s Belen Lighting ceremony was held on November 16 at Farmers Market which started with a mass. Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, Quezon City 3rd District Congressman Jorge Banal, Barangay Socorro Barangay Chairman Joey de Guzman, Quezon City 3rd District Councilor Pinggoy Lagumbay, and Quezon City Market Department OIC Noel T. Soliven present to grace the occasion. But for me, the presence of my friends made it extra special. The event even became festive as the Christmas lights danced along the Parolan Bazaar. I actually visit this area for Puto Bumbong, Bibingka and Barbecue.
Spend the Yuletide season at the Araneta Center and I’m sure you and your loved ones will enjoy every moment, be it to shop, dine, and to be entertained. Get great bargains as during the Araneta Center Pre-Christmas Sale on November 23 to December 2. Be serenaded by the different chorale groups as they sing your favorite Christmas carols every weekend from November 17 to December 23 during the Chorale Competition; marvel at the fireworks display every Friday and Saturday all throughout the holidays; and get your kids to meet Santa at Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, and farmers Plaza every Friday to Sunday from December 1 to 25.
Of course, don’t miss the live performances at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as The British are coming to Manila, as well as your favorite Disney Princesses and Heroes, this December! Catch Sir Elton John and Sting as they stage back-to-back concerts at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on December 8 and 9. And on December 25 to January 3, see your favorite Disney princesses Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Tiana, and their equally dashing princes in Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes!
The Yuletide Season is here, and the Araneta Center Belen display reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.