Filipinos just love Christmas.
Despite the monstrous traffic that goes with the season and the endless round of celebrations, Pinoys take the time to immerse in the sights and sounds of Christmas – be it listening to carols, or catching a glimpse of ever-elaborate decorations and the thousands of gleaming Christmas lights around the metro.
In this spirit, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) – the country’s premiere electric distribution company – pulled out all stops with its offering of staggering visuals this season.
Once again, Meralco welcomes visitors to its annual Liwanag Park located at the company’s headquarters at Ortigas Center in Pasig City. It is a unique concept designed for families under the company’s Maliwanag ang Pasko (MAP) project.
The MAP is Meralco’s annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) program which began in 2006 through its One Meralco Foundation. The MAP in 2011 evolved into the Liwanag Park with different themes each year, but all focused on one goal – to reach out and help the underprivileged and needy.
Under the MAP, the foundation is partnering with various non-government organizations in supporting their advocacies each year.
The Liwanag Park – which boasts 1.2 million LED bulbs that sets this corner of the metropolis effortlessly aglow – stands out with its intricate, dazzling façade of the main building with a Smart City theme as a bright exterior covered with colored lights sync with music in a show that plays every 30 minutes.
Other features include sculptures depicting workers and Christmas icons, such as a giant belen (Nativity scene), a church mockup and a bahay kubo (nipa hut) made of recycled copper wire.
Visitors can get on an actual electric train, which runs on an oval track. They can also walk through a maze, just one of the many Instagram-friendly draws on hand. During weekends, a bazaar and food stands are set up at the side of the main building.
The Liwanag Park is free and open to the public from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends, and 6 p.m. to midnight on public holidays. The park runs until 6 January 2019.
The park is comprised of different areas that showcase the different aspects of Christmas and its celebration. If the dazzling park is not enough, one can also admire the lights decorating the Meralco building itself, especially the dancing lights.
And being an electric firm, it should be enough excuse for the company to go all out in lighting its place up during the season, a feat that can only be rivaled by a few.