Christmas remains as the most celebrated festival, if not the most important holiday, in the world without much of the cultural, regional, and religious barriers to date. No wonder, all roads lead home at Christmas.
To herald the yuletide just around the corner, we should put some Christmas adornments particularly colorful lights on our trees, buildings, and homes. Besides, Christmas is also known as the “feast of lights”. This compelled me to reminisce the times I and my family partake in this kind of handiwork this time of the year, and, of course, share the story I have for the now most anticipated annual lights show in the Philippines: the Ayala Symphony of Lights. I was able to witness the show at the Ayala Triangle Garden in the Philippines’ finest business district, Makati City, last 18 December 2011.
The show starts at 6:00 PM but I can vividly remember setting foot on the place as early as 5:15 PM. There were just a few people roaming around. Nevertheless, when the digital countdown timer appeared on the ceiling of the Philippine Stock Exchange‘s arched walkway a few minutes before 6:00 PM, people were already flocking around the esplanade adjacent to the garden where these special trees are standing. The trees give form to more than 800,000 colored LED bulbs that are connected to 45,000 meters of cabling and with almost 500,000 digital channels synchronically moving to Christmas medleys, which are composed to orchestral and native tunes.
Let there be light!
At exactly 6:00 PM, the Ayala Triangle Garden transmogrified. The motley of lights dancing in unison took over. The lights always have this exquisite beauty that provides a festive illumination after dark. The inspiring and colorful sight they emit is just amazing. Like flaming stars they bustle in the murky night, sparkling brightly–giving such a spectacle for sightseers. Each person turned aphonic–in awe of such. The night looked so alive with these thousands of scintillating, diminutive lights. No one who has witnessed this scene in the triangle garden will ever forget it.
Using Christmas lights (a.k.a. holiday lights, ferry lights, or twinkle lights) to decorate trees, homes, and buildings during the holidays has already become generic. This tradition did arise out of a variety of winter traditions; therefore, making use of Christmas lights to celebrate the winter holidays is no longer about a particular religion.
The Ayala Symphony of Lights is now on its fourth year and it still baits applauses from the public. As we celebrate the holiday season, let’s set down that Christmas lights are not only for drawing the public into a festive celebration nor a show. They give a deeper meaning. They remind us about the good tidings that Christmas brings. They provide spirit-lifting light and opportunity for gathering and socialization in our rustic and citified communities. Above all, they remind us that Christmas is a perfect occasion for gift giving, that we really have all the reasons to be joyful, kind, and forgiving, and the best time to spend quality time with people close to our hearts.
So now I say, “Let there be lights! Christmas lights. Because at Christmas, all roads lead home.”
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