Manila Hotel lights up Christmas tree for the kids of House of Refuge Foundation

Nov 16, 2017 | Beautiful, Kids, Sing, Singer

The Centro Escolar University Chorale

MANILA, Philippines — If Christmas is for children, then it literally is just around the corner — of the Grand Dame.

It has been so for several years already when The Manila Hotel started sharing the spirit of love, joy and goodwill not only to the hotel guests’ children, but the street kids as well.

Just last week, The Manila Hotel held its annual tree-lighting ceremony at its main lobby with the kids of House of Refuge Foundation as special guests.

It’s Christmas in November for these street kids as they received early holiday presents from Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Manila Hotel president Jose Lina and Santa Claus himself.

Christmas Day in the Philippines is one of Pinoy kids’ most anticipated holidays. They are roused early, bathed, dressed and decked out with everything new, dear and precious. But for street kids, it’s a totally different story. With no family to care for them, they normally put on their best smile on Christmas Day hoping that motorists will be generous in giving alms.

“These children deserve nothing less. So why wait for Christmas to spread cheer to these little angels?” enthused Lina.
The House of Refuge Foundation Inc., a halfway house which gives shelter and provides the basic needs of street children since 1986, is this year’s beneficiary of The Manila Hotel’s Christmas Tree lighting event.

Since its inception, the House of Refuge has served more than 1,000 children. In 2016 alone, the house has cared for 38 children, ages four to 16 years old.

The House of Refuge goes beyond the provision of a home atmosphere and basic necessities. It believes that nourishment of the spirit, mind and body is vital in facilitating meaningful change in the kids.

There’s no stopping christmas at the Manila Hotel

With the theme, “Ang Ating Tanging Yaman,” The Manila Hotel’s Christmas festivities bring to the forefront the beauty and hospitality the Filipino Christmas is known for the world over.

Led by event stylist Rachy Cuna, the Christmas decor in burnished gold, warm gray and white enhance the interiors of the historic hotel.

The beautifully decorated giant Christmas tree, placed beside the famous Amorsolo painting, is decked out with red balls, gold ribbons and mini lanterns, oozing Pinoy pride and creativity.

“Bringing out the essence of a truly Filipino Christmas is to highlight the best of local materials, talent and products that beautify many other homes and commercial establishments around the world,” says floral architect Rachy Cuna, Manila Hotel style director.

There’s definitely no stopping Christmas at the Grand Dame. A giant ginger bread house — bahay na bato-style — greets guests at the lobby. Christmas ornaments in red and gold are found in every nook and cranny. Tabletop statements are all aglow — even the lamps are given a Pinoy Christmas look.

“Bringing a sense of Filipino-ness to the iconic heritage hotel by the Bay allows our foreign guests, returning overseas Filipinos and locals alike to feel the treasures of our heritage through our most celebrated holiday of the year!” adds Cuna.

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