This year’s Festival of Lights at Ayala Triangle Gardens is a spectacular, immersive experience

The free light and music show every night leading to Christmas is back, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of Makati.

Ayala Triangle Gardens is lit up once more for the holidays. This year’s edition is bigger and grander as part of Ayala Land’s 35th anniversary celebrations.

With the theme  “Christmas Nights with Countless Lights,” the Festival of Lights illuminates more parts of the park with the classic light show and interactive attractions. Even the floors feature projected images while a wishing pond projects your written wishes on a wall (naughty wishes at your own peril).

Chrissy Roa, Group Marketing and Communications Head for Ayala Land Estates, said at a recent media briefing, “Last year we had five Christmas events; this year we have six. This is the first time after the pandemic that we can really celebrate without restrictions.”

The Festival of Lights at Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Avenue decor by Ayala Land and Makati City uses recycled and upcycled ornaments by designer Zenas Pineda.

Ayala Land and Makati kicked off the holidays with the lighting of Ayala Avenue’s Christmas décor designed by Zenas Pineda. Roa said that this is the fourth year they’re reusing, upcycling and adding to the décor since sustainability is a big pillar of Ayala Land.

Makati CBD’s décor is an homage to Filipino traditions, “symbolizing hope and optimism for the future. Local heritage takes centerstage with ornaments commonly found in Filipino homes during the holiday season, such as parols, stars, and capiz-adorned lights. In alignment with Ayala Land’s commitment to sustainability, a significant portion of these decorations is recycled from previous years, including the giant parols.”

A concert at The Circuit and the Noel Bazaar will also be held in December, and a street party and sky show (in lieu of fireworks) will usher in 2024 on New Year’s Eve.  

“The last big street party on Ayala Avenue was the Millennium New Year’s Eve party in 1999,” Roa said. “After 24 years, we’re bringing it back and it’s going to be even better.”

15 years of lights, music

This year’s theme is “Christmas Nights with Countless Lights.”

Festival of Lights started as a simple light show for the holidays in 2008. Through the years it has become the most anticipated free show for those who want a respite from the hustle and bustle of Makati, and be surrounded by greenery.

This year, the festival has three main attractions. The first is the traditional light show “Kaleidoscope of Sight, Sound, and Light,” directed by Ohm David and featuring a new lighting technology called “mappable LED lights.” It also has floor illusions of light and color with interactive images like playful butterflies flitting across the courtyard, animated by Kroma (formerly Globe Studios).

Ayala Land executives led by Robert Lao, Beltran Padilla, Alejandro Zobel Padilla, Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala, Margarita Zobel de Ayala; Makati Mayor Abby Binay, Rep. Luis Campos; Mariana Zobel de Ayala, Sofia Zobel Elizalde; and Makati Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo
Ayala Land’s Shiella Aguilar and Chrissy Roa

The first medley is “Paskong Pinoy,” which tells the story of “Simbang Gabi” through colorful lights and popular Filipino Christmas carols with musical arrangement by Arvy Dimaculangan and songs by maestro Ryan Cayabyab.

The second medley is “Cosmic K-Pop Christmas,” which takes visitors to a trendy K-Pop concert in the middle of the gardens. The music is an original composition by Jazz Nicolas and Mikey Amistoso. The third medley is “Big Band Holiday” where viewers enjoy the Art Deco-inspired lights and projections while listening to tunes that epitomize the golden age of music.

Festival of lights and wishes

Leeroy New’s installation lit by Liter of Light

Festival of Lights also features an inspiring collaboration with Arte House, Leeroy New, and Illac Diaz. “Liter of Light” is an art installation featuring “Elemento” by Leeroy New.

Liter of Light is the inspiring story of how recycled plastic bottles, water, and bleach can bring 55 watts of light to classrooms that don’t have electricity. The installation is lit up using these “solar-powered, recycled water bottles,” and will be lit up on Dec. 2. There is also the revolving Elemento Art Gallery and shop at the Shops at Ayala Triangle 

“Wish Upon a Light” is at the northern portion of the gardens where visitors can write their wishes on an interactive screen which are in turn flashed on a green wall for all to see.

Visit Ayala Land’s website and its social media pages (@ayalaland) and Make It Makati (@makeitmakati) on Facebook and Instagram.

The new lifestyle.