December 11, 2021

15 ways to spend Christmas: Where to shop, staycation and travel

The world’s second pandemic Christmas is upon us—and what a difference a year makes. 2019 was the last normal Christmas we experienced, a time when disposable income was spent on gifts, flights for extended holidays, and family reunions. 2020 was the first new normal, when the traditional Midnight Mass was regulated through churches’ capacity and the government urging people to hold reunions virtually instead of in-person.
Two years since the first COVID-19 cases were first detected in Wuhan, China—we have a Christmas season that’s in between those two years. There’s revenge shopping for the luxury market, discount hunting for everyone, and people want to spend the holidays out of their homes. To be sure, there are more reasons to celebrate and be grateful for Christmas 2021.
Few restrictions remain in place in NCR and we can celebrate with physical reunions, malls are open for shoppers, and the country’s top destinations have removed the RT-PCR requirement for the fully vaccinated.
Here are 15 ways to celebrate the holidays and make merry:
Shopping
Ayala Malls
You just need to walk through Glorietta and Greenbelt in Makati and you will be swept away by the spirit of Christmas. With Rustan’s and SM leading the shopping options in the city, Christmas is an affair for the whole family.
As with last year, it’s a mix of online shopping and live events at Ayala Malls. Shopping, loyalty and rewards app Zing, ANA (Ayala Malls Neighborhood Assistant) and Pasyal guide shoppers through the holiday frenzy.

Glorietta
ANA can handle your purchases from restaurants, department stores and supermarkets and deliver them to your doorstep through Lalamove or you can pick them up at the malls’ DriveBuy stations.
SM Supermalls
Mall of Asia in Pasay has Night of Lights, the first ever Christmas Drive Thru Installation in the Philippines. It is open until Jan 2, 2022 at the Concert Grounds to lead off the celebrations. These include the Holiday Resto Week, SM Christmas Saya Village, and SM Bears of Joy.

SM Mall of Asia
There are ongoing Christmas markets, parks and villages, Santa appearances, character meet and greets, Christmas medleys, magical firework displays and drone shows, and other surprises. Simbang Gabi is still online this year and can be viewed on SM Supermalls’ official Facebook page.
Online shopping is via SM Malls Online. Food and shopping vouchers, and tech deals abound on its Facebook page, which you can use when ordering.

Venice Grand Canal Mall
Rockwell’s Power Plant Mall
Surrounded by the brightly-lit buildings of Rockwell Center and its own beautiful décor inside, Power Plant Mall in Makati is a favorite destination for the well-heeled. Apart from its retail partners offering discounts, the mall is raffling off a Defender Range Rover. The raffle is ongoing until Jan. 31, 2022. Shoppers can earn one raffle entry when they spend at least P1,000 in Rockwell Center Locator establishments (Edades, Joya, One Rockwell, and Manansala); P2,000 in Power Plant Mall stores and on shop.TheRockwellist.com.; P3,000 in The Marketplace and Power Plant Mall. Raffle draw is on Feb. 1, 2022.
Vista Malls
Vista Malls’ retail outlets AllHome, AllToys and AllDay Supermarket are offering holiday treats via discounts and bundles. AllHome is offering the best indoor plants for Christmas as gifts while The Coffee Project, the country’s most Instagrammable café, is now serving holiday blends. The Coffee Project’s 2022 Every You Planner is out, which you can send to a friend as a gift. Check out discount vouchers on Vista Malls’ Facebook page.
Megaworld Lifestyle Malls
Venice Grand Canal in McKinley Hill in Taguig features the country’s first and only floating Christmas Tree in its man made canal and the McKinley Hill Christmas Trail, which lights up the 54-hectare township. A fireworks show is held every Saturday of December while Christmas carols are sung live every Sunday. Sunset Market by Mercato, an outdoor food fair, is open from Thursdays to Sundays; StrEAT Market, an open-air food fair, is from Friday to Sunday.
Shangri-La Plaza

Shangri-La Plaza
The upscale mall along EDSA is holding a virtual chorale competition called Songs Around the Tree that’s open to all groups of friends, family, clubs, and organizations. The performance should be recorded via Zoom or Google Meet with a Christmas tree as your background and submitted via google drive, wetransfer to shangmarketingevent@gmail.com. The Christmas song can be in English, Filipino, or any native dialect. Shang is accepting entries until Dec. 18. First prize is P25,000, second is P10,000, and third is P5,000.
Staycations
Pen Days of Christmas
The Peninsula Manila in Makati is offering a holiday getaway with the special Pen Days of Christmas room package. For every confirmed stay, the hotel and Looking for Juan will donate an extra book to children from underprivileged communities. The package includes breakfast for two adults and two children ages six to 12 at The Lobby and starts at P6,500 for a Deluxe Room (inclusive of taxes).

Boracay Discovery Shores
It’s always grand at Grand Hyatt Manila

Grand Hyatt Manila
Grand Hyatt Manila in Taguig offers a holiday staycation package which features a two-night stay from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, 2022 with your third night free. The offer includes breakfast for two and access to the swimming pool, fitness center, and spa. The Grand Kitchen will have a special menu for Christmas lunch and dinner, for Noche Buena, and Media Noche (New Year’s Eve dinner). It’s priced at P14,934.
Read more: Property Report Ph