Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Lights in Madrid 2014 and in the Philippines

Christmas is the perfect time to share and enjoy Madrid.  Unlike other European cities, Madrid has a mild winter, with temperature rarely reaching zero degree, normally with clear skies and little rain. Temperatures in Madrid in December, are between 35ºF and 54ºF.  The good weather favors activity on the streets, including concerts, markets and food stalls.

Madrid Christmas Lights

Madrid authorities organize an annual display of lights and decorations that turn the city into a feast for the senses.

Decorating the city is a tradition and honor is awarded to prominent figures in art, design and decoration. This year, the Italian architect Teresa Sapey designed the festive street lighting with glittering circles of LED.  Teresa Sapey designed the Christmas lights for Calle Serrano, an upmarket shopping street and the Red San Luís, both  in the Spanish capital.

Ron and myself had the patience of queuing for almost two hours for  the  tour of the Christmas street lights on a special bus called "Navibus".  It was cold seated on the top of the double decker bus as it took its route. But the inconvenience did not take away the unique experience of seeing the colorful Christmas lights at a very short distance.  While waiting, Ron took some pictures of the surrounding area.





And then we finally got on the Navibus.  The lights were amazing and they are created by famous designers like Adolfo Dominguez, Victorio & Lucchino, Hannibal Laguna, etc...









Photos of the above by Ron.


Source of photos: Luces de Navidad en tu Ciudad and Chic

Unfortunately, there were other areas that were not covered by the route of the Navibus such as what are pictured as follows:

Calle Mayor by Hannibal Laguna and Puerta del Sol by Asociación de Loterías


Calle Hortaleza and Calle Príncipe


Plaza de Chueca by Sergio Sebastián and Plaza Mayor by Purificación García


Plaza Mercado Fuencarral by Sergio Sebastián and  Calle San Jerónimo by Ben Busche


Source of photos: Luces de Navidad en tu Ciudad and Chic

The lights were turned on last November 27, 2014 and will be turned off on January 7 with a total of 41 days (200 hrs) in 90 streets all over Madrid that  cost the City Council  1,700,000 Euros a 7.2% increase over 2013 expenditures.

That is the value of holiday cheers for an effort to jump start consumer consumption and to make people, specially children, to smile more.

On the other hand,  in our very own Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City, it has just recently been recognized by lifestyle travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler as a spectacular Christmas display found at the Philippines' center of business. And the 1M lights are provided with sound too.


And we have a Christmas village in Malinao, Albay

And giant parols (lanterns) in Tangub, Misamis Occidental.

Only in the Philippines!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Nativity Scenes Around the World

Distinctive nativity scenes and traditions have been created around the world and are displayed during the Christmas season in churches, homes, shopping malls, and other venues, and occasionally on public lands and in public buildings.  Here are some cute miniature Nativity scenes familiarly called Belenes in Spain. I saw them in the Cultural Center of the Army in Madrid, Gran Vía, 13. They are private collections of Fernando Pardo de Santayana .  They represent 174 countries.  I have selected some of those  that I like most as included below.













Having seen the miniature Nativity Scenes,  it is quite amazing to see the belens of Tarlac, the Belen capital of the Philippines --- life-size belens, at that!.

"To promote Tarlac's cottage industry, it showcases the craftmanship of the various towns through the use of recycled materials in putting up the iconic Christmas display." Source:  Choose the Philippines
Here is a captivating life-size Belen from the Philippines made up with recycled materials.

Well, all the above is just my way of saying:

Merry Christmas!