The Scene
Gingerbread and Carols: Festive Hotel Countdowns to Christmas
Make gingerbread houses, attend a Christmas concert, or shop for treats at a Christmas market right in Manila.
IMAGE Courtesy Sofitel Philippines Plaza

1. Decorate gingerbread houses.
The sweet smell of gingerbread always fills the home with wonderful memories. And oh, even more delightful is building and decorating your own gingerbread houses. At The Peninsula Manila, children can assemble their own to take home. At the same Santa's workshop, La Pomme Living also hosts a toy-making activity where children can create and personalize their own stuffed toys. Part of the proceeds from this Peninsula event will benefit the Verlanie Foundation that reaches out to street children.

December 4, Garcia Villa and Balagtas Room, Peninsula Manila, Corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, Makati City, 887.2888.

2. Take a stroll at a Christmas market.
While there aren’t any Christmas markets quite like the ones in Germany or Austria, Sofitel brings one closer to you. The hotel creates its own festive strip called Le Marché de Noël that champions the European tradition of Christmas markets. The stretch along the hotel lobby offers sensory treats with aromatic mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, local pastries, crepes, and Christmas candies, among others. Expect to see old Saint Nick hanging around the lobby along with the Virlanie Choir, Sisters of Mary Boystown Choir, and Our Lady of Sorrows Grand Choir singing favorite Christmas carols.

Open until January 6, 2017, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, 551.5555.

3. Be serenaded at a Christmas concert.
Keeping up with its yearly tradition, the Peninsula Manila brings back the sounds of Christmas featuring the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of guest conductor Maestro Ruggero Barbierie. The beloved hotel lobby will be transformed with a cathedral-like ambience as the orchestra’s symphony takes over. The concert will also feature special acts by theater star Bituin Escalante, soprano Stephanie Aguilar, mezzo soprano Krissan Manikan and tenor Lemuel dela Cruz.

December 10, Peninsula Manila Lobby, Corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, Makati City, 887.2888.

4. Customize your stocking stuffers.
Or better yet, Christmas hampers. Pick out your favorites from The Bakeshop at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. Fill an adorable hamper with your choice of fruit pudding, breads, assorted Christmas cookies, chocolates, and fruit mince pies and it's yours to take home.

The Bakeshop, EDSA Shangri-La, 1 Garden Way, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, 633.8888.

5. Put your feet up and have a Happy Spaliday.
Now here's something to literally feel the season's spirit, which we all need in light of the crazy holiday traffic and stresses of Christmas preps. A bevy of holiday-inspired treatments is available at the Spa at Kerry Sports Manila for you to experience or to give away. Treatments are given fun names that sound as deliciously indulgent as they are relaxing. The Cinnameal Surprise foot scrub and deep muscle massage, the Merry & Skinbright signature treatment with a cinnamon scrub and paraffin treatment, and the Mrs. Clause’s Day Out are all superb treatments that sprinkle elements of the season into your regular spa day.


Spa at Kerry Sports Manila, Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, 820.0888.

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Hannah Lazatin
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