‘TIS the season for Christmas tree lighting rites in the local hotel circuit, and one of the first to light up their symbolic tree of hope is Diamond Hotel Philippines.
Led by Diamond Hotel general manager Vanessa Ledesma Suatengco, the formal Christmas tree lighting ceremony took place in the company of special guests, valued clients and friends from media. At the center of all attention that evening was the Modern Filipiniana Christmas Tree, which conformed to the overall Modern Filipiniana theme of the hotel decorations for the holidays. The colors of gold, mocha and white brought this theme to life, with décor and interiors created by event stylist FJ Sionson, who used native-inspired ornaments, traditional parols and other décor to showcase local artistry and excellent Filipino craftsmanship.
With Modern Filipiniana as theme, even Santa Claus, who was one of the special guests, had to come in a traditional Filipino attire and, no, not in his sleigh but in a kalesa.
Special guests who lit the tree were (from left): Santa Claus; Acting Deputy Undersecretary Hans Mohaimin Siriban, Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs; Atty. Jemimah Nissi M. Tiambeng, Corporate Secretary of the Tourism Promotions Board; Vanessa Ledesma Suatengco, General Manager of Diamond Hotel; Sharlene Zabala-Batin, Regional Director of the Department of Tourism-NCR Regional Office; and Assistant Secretary for the Office of American Affairs Jose Victor V. Chan-Gonzaga of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Also graced by the children from Malate Catholic School, the Christmas tree lighting rites showcased performances by the Bayanihan, the National Folk Dance Company of the Philippines, and the Summer Wind Choir. Together, their performances lent a more festive atmosphere to the event.
Aside from the elegant decorations, sumptuous savories, and indulgent sweets, Diamond Hotel will spread the spirit of Christmas and give back to the community by spreading holiday cheers to its chosen charity beneficiaries Better World Tondo and Kanlungan ni Maria. Guests are encouraged to take part by donating Php300 for the privilege of hanging a Christmas ornament with their name at the Charity Tree located at the lobby.
(Diamond Hotel Philippines is located at Roxas Blvd. corner Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila; with telephone number (632) 8528-3000.)