Bright Lights At Marriott Hotel Manila's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Let the Christmas lighting begin!

Marriott Hotel Manila recently celebrated their fantastic Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. As the most awaited (and my most favorite ever) holiday is almost near, Marriott Hotel never failed to celebrate the season not only by sharing the spirit of the season to their guests, but also by looking at it as a great opportunity to encourage people to share the spirit of giving especially to the community. 

I was glad to get the chance to be part of this event, and extremely thankful that my Uber ride that passed by Skyway going to Newport from my office Makati was so fast, it took me less than 30 minutes to finally reach Marriott Hotel!

Just in time, because I can see that a lot of people were already settling at the lobby area at the hotel. All aboard Marriot Hotel Manila's gingerbread train of goodies!

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The train was a sight to behold, and it was filled with treats of all sorts, which you will get to see more of later. These are available for selling, so it's perfect if you are staying at the hotel and would like to buy something for your special someone before you leave. 

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Aside from the breads and cookies displayed inside the train, there are also some parts of it that can be used for taking photos and even playing around! The catch is, you have to be a kid just to be eligible to play inside (sorry guys, hahaha).

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And aside from the train, the star of the show would be this! This massive Christmas Tree is situated just as soon as you enter Marriott Hotel, and we can't wait for it to be turned on!

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In the meantime, I settled down the cocktail area while we wait for special guests Richard Guttierez, along with Sarah Lahbati and their baby Zion. The Guttierez family is set to light up the Christmas Tree that night.

While waiting, we were all enjoying the various Christmas Carols as performed by the talented members of the Himig Roseña Chorale from Colegio de Santa Rosa in Makati.

I was lighting up the mood by myself with some yummy eats while I roam around the lobby to observe. As I spent the wonderful night with power blogger couple Richie and Rina with baby Rain, whom I just met for the first time ever (so cute!); and the man behind Berto in Brogues, Joaquin, who was also their with his lovey Agee, I feasted on these savory and sweet goodies.

Spicy Cheese and Parma Ham Sticks are not your usual chili cheese sticks because of the slightly salty parma ham that's evident with each warm bite. Served with tartar sauce, I've had a couple of these crispy cheese and ham bombs.

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Spicy Cheese and Parma Ham Stick
I did not get some Spiced Japanese Chicken, basically because I'm allergic to it, but my temptation was rising with every second that I stood in front of this basket, so I decided to slowly step away...

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Spiced Japanese Chicken
...and instead, I stood by the opposite area of the buffet, where I had a few pieces of bruschetta with arugula and either topped with prosciutto, goat cheese and roasted organic tomatoes. Of course, you would know who got the missing piece. 

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Bruschetta topped with Arugula, Prosciutto, Goat Cheese and Roasted Organic Tomatoes
Beside the bruschetta station, ravioli-like pieces of Shrimp Maultaschen are being prepped by the chefs. It is after all like ravioli, but this one, rather, originated in Germany.

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Shrimp Maultaschen
With three chefs working on it (one in charge of cooking the pieces, another one searing it slightly until a bit golden brown, and another one assembling the dish), it took me a few minutes before I got my serving of the Maultaschen. It was dressed with a cream sauce underneath and topped with a tangy mix of veggies, thanks to a mild vinaigrette dressing that's mixed with it. It's something very unusual for me but oh so good. I think I may have finished a few more plates before I moved on to dessert.

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Shrimp Maultaschen
Before the event was almost over, I also popped a piece of this bacon wrapped sausage with some sauce that tasted like tomato catsup.

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Sausage wrapped in Bacon
Even from when the event started, I just realized that there was never an exact time to tell when dessert time is. The cakes and cookies display at Marriott Hotel Manila was like a magical thing that lures you in to grab some sweet treats (and a gingerbread house, if you are lucky!)

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Cakes and Cookies Display
Here are some unconventional Christmas Fruit Cake slices, topped with fondant pieces which are shaped like gift boxes.

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Christmas Fruit Cake
The Yule Log Cake says that Santa Claus is indeed a real thing.

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Yule Log Cake
White Berry Cheesecake pieces are presented in a very interesting way. And they tasted really nice as well!

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Winter Berry Cheesecake
Maybe you would like to give a Christmas Tree for your loved one this Christmas? No problem at all. You can get these super cute ones made with Almond Slivers and Chocolate. Yummers!

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Almond Sliver Tree
However, the most interesting station of all is the S'mores station, which is like having an improvised camping fire inside the hotel. This is really good and I keep telling myself that this station is something I can do at home.

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In the meantime, I enjoyed my time making just one S'more, and even had a quick S'more101 lesson from The Pickiest Eater, Daddy Richie: "Burn..just let it burn!" And there I was, after assembling my graham cookie and placing a good proportion of chocolate chips on top of the biscuit, I toasted two marshmallows with both hands and waited for them to burn out where they had their own little fire. I quickly pat the burnt mallows on the biscuit and pressed it down with another cracker. 

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And then I just had to take a photo of it just to make sure you would be convinced that I made my s'more almost perfect, because somehow I pressed onto the biscuit too hard that it broke into two.

But my heart was whole as soon as I sinked my teeth into the soft warm mallow and chocolate oozing into my mouth. After devouring on it, my hands and even the side of my lips was all sticky and messy. You know that feeling when you had a bad hair day but you still feel beautiful? It was exactly like that moment.

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And just when I finished cleaning up, everyone gathered near the Christmas Tree, including the Gutierrez family who was with Bruce Winton, the General Manager of Marriott Hotel Manila. 

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Baby Zion did the honors of turning on the lights, and in less than a minute, the lights were shining bright! And the thing on why I got more surprised?

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In the absence of a chimney, Santa started coming down from the stairs!

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After seeing Baby Zion clapping as he was able to turn on the lights of the majestic tree, I've heard almost everyone crying 'Aaawww' as soon as he saw Santa in the flesh. He was shocked, and a bit scared, really, but he was so cute still! 

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Baby Rain had her own moment with Santa as well, and she is so brave (I realized this because when I was a child I was afraid of Santa, and clowns!) Here she is with the big guy in a red suit!

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Visit Marriott Hotel Manila today and get a load of their sinful Christmas treats! Prices are as follows:

Chocolate St. Nicholas (P300), Big Belly Chocolate Santa (P310), Chocolate Santa in Sleigh (P340), Chocolate Angel (P320), Gingerbread Cookie Man (P120), Gingerbread Sweet Nutcracker (P300), Marriott Gingerbread House (P600), White Chocolate Disc with Dried Fruits and Nuts (P380), Milk Chocolate Disc with Dried Fruits and Nuts (P380), Chocolate Coated Pretzel Sticks (P500), German Coconut Macaroons (P500), Almond Sliver Christmas Tree (P480), Traditional Dark Fruit Cake (P550), Lemon and Pistachio Christmas Cake (P650), Dresden Stollen Bread with Marzipan (P530), and Holiday Cookie Box (P610).

Aside from welcoming the most favorite time of the year, Marriott also launched the ‘One Hour Drive’ Spirit to Serve activity where guests can sign up for 60-minute classes including Zumba (P200 registration fee), DIY’s and Crafts (P300 registration fee), and kids baking lessons (P500 inclusive of apron and certificates).


Marriott Manila’s Christmas tree and gingerbread train will be displayed until December 26, 2014. For more information on One Hour Drive Classes and Christmas offerings, please call 899-9999 or follow @marriottmanila on Twitter and Facebook.

To see Richie's related post about Marriott Hotel's Tree Lighting Ceremony, please visit this page. Enjoy! http://nblo.gs/11iYMN

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*Special thanks to Richie Zamora and Aimee of Marriott Hotel Manila

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