From small barrios to crowded cities, as soon as the “-ber” months come, the Philippines enter a metamorphosis in anticipation of the Christmas season. Houses, buildings and streets blaze with dazzling lights; Mall sales happen every weekend and just about every open space is converted into a bazaar. Mandaluyong city is no exception. Welcome to Paskuhan sa Mandaluyong!
Mandaluyong city, having no expansive parks (none that I know of), doesn’t have a lights and sound show like that of Makati (Ayala Triangle Light Show). The city, however, made up for it by covering, literally covering, every building in the Mandaluyong City Hall Complex with lights
Several Christmas trees (made from recycled materials) from different schools, competing for the top prize, are on display in the complex.
The city hall complex gets really crowded from early evening and thins out around 11 pm to midnight. It is especially packed during weekends when free concerts are held. Unfortunately, as the crowd leaves, trash is left behind. Tsk! Kudos to the street sweepers working doubly hard.
Give your eyes a break from all the glittering lights and visit the peryahan within the complex. The usual peryahan games and rides are present, but what really caught my eye are (there are two of them) the death-defying, ferris wheel/roller coaster hybrid. Ahahaha!
And then there’s the bazaar. The entire outer ring of the Mandaluyong City Hall Complex is surrounded by shops. One lane of the rotunda is closed to accommodate shoppers.
Apart from the usual slew of clothes, shoes, bags and toys, there is one shop (close to the Dambana Ng Mga Alaala monument) selling pet accessories. Should you get hungry, there is a food section by the Bantayog ng Kabataan monument (F. Martinez Avenue) side of the complex.
I realize I don’t have any photos of the bazaar. Guess I was too busy window shopping. Both hands are also likely to be holding bibingka and puto bumbong to even bother with the camera. Haha!
If big crowds aren’t your thing, then you may not have the best experience at the Paskuhan sa Mandaluyong; but if you want to get acquainted with the quirky way we Filipinos celebrate our most beloved holiday, then please be our guest! You’re guaranteed to find something to engross your mind; ogle at the lights, do some shopping, food trip or just watch friends and families enjoying the season and having the best of times.
Paskuhan sa Mandaluyong will be open until January 6, 2013 (from a tarpaulin I saw).