For about six years now, Ayala Land has brought the city of Makati the Festival of Lights. Centered in the hub of Manila’s business and cultural center, this annual event is long awaited for. It is talked about across circles; it is one of the highlights of the ‘ber’ months.
Last year when we came for our scoping trip, I met a local in the playroom of our hotel. He was waiting for his wife to finish working, playing with his little daughter. I was hanging with the kids to pass time, and as our children threw balls at each other we were chatting about things to do here. He told me about these lights. I mentioned it to SB who told me someone at his work had also mentioned it. So one night, in ignorant bliss about how to navigate life here, we jumped in a taxi during peak hour, during a supposed typhoon (there had been a little bit of rain), to venture out for this exciting sounding affair. It took over an hour and a half in the traffic, and the kids were hungry and sleepy. Then we arrived and of course, at the risk of a typhoon the whole city goes into crisis mode so the light show was cancelled that night.
Saturday just gone was the day. I had planned an afternoon venture into Makati to first check out a bazaar and then we would hang out in this lovely park waiting for the lights. The show starts at 6pm and is repeated every
half an hour. We would get pizza from Amici and sit on the grass enjoying the vibe. That is exactly what we did.
Six o’clock came and the show started. We stood in the square surrounded by the trees that were the stage for this magic. It was magic. I have never been ‘in’ a light show like this before. The music boomed and the lights flashed in a multitude of colour in beat with the sound. The smoke machines puffed and the audience ‘wowed’ and sighed and cheered. I turned around in a circle taking it in, trying to take every bit of it in. We were surrounded by hundreds of lights. BB was tired and the noise of the music became too much for his sensitive ears. We had tears for a while until we found a smoke machine away from the main speakers. A place he could find balance with his surrounds and enjoy the smoke. I felt like I was in a magical land for those few minutes of the show. I felt like a child again and tears welled because I am a sooky-lala when I feel emotional. It was just so beautiful. Soon the show was over and we stayed so we could see it again. I held FB in my arms and we danced to the music under the lights. Spinning her around, her little head thrown back, a giant smile across her face and the reflection of colourful lights in her eyes and soft giggles filling my space. When the show ended again, we slowly walked back through the park as John Lennon’s ‘So this is Christmas’ played. The whole evening was enchanting.