The Cultural Center of the Philippines spreads the message of Christmas and brings holiday cheers to every Filipino through its amazing Christmas display, featuring the interplay between lights and shadow, which will be shown every night until January 6, 2019.
A series of illuminated images, using stencils that are painstakingly made by creative hands from the Production and Exhibition Department, relives the biblical story of how the Messiah was born.
The “Christmas Story” begins with the Annunciation, or Mary’s journey of obedience that marks her role in giving birth to the Messiah. The light and shadow play continues with the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem after Emperor Augustus ordered people to return to the town where their families originally came from. It has been a Filipino Christmas tradition to re-enact the difficult search of Joseph and Mary for shelter in Bethlehem; this is locally known as Panunuluyan.
Accompanied by beautiful carols, the Christmas Story continues to unfold with projected images of the Three Wise Men, with the shepherds, who were guided by the star to find the manger where Christ was born, and finally culminating in a tableaux of the Belen.
The light and sound play will also feature other story boards – the “Paskong Pinoy Traditions” and “The Promise of a New Year” – which will be alternately shown throughout the holiday season.
The “Paskong Pinoy Traditions” showcases the different Filipino traditions, including Misa de Gallo, Aguinaldo, and pagmamano, among others, showcasing the positive values and strong faith that the Filipino people exemplify.
“The Promise of A New Year,” featuring the different New Year traditions such as paputok, bumbong (bamboo cannon) and Media Noche, enables people to reflect on all the good things from the past year and delivers a message of hope for a new beginning that the coming year will bring.
The booming sounds of the bamboo cannon and firecrackers, made more festive with the kaleidoscope of colors created by pyrotechnics in the night sky, blows away the bad luck and ill spirits. New Year, after all, welcomes the new, and out with the old.
“My team brainstormed on what could differently adorn the CCP Facade; this time, reflecting on the meaningfulness of the Season against the backdrop of sheer fanfare or auspicious display of lights and decorations. It was going back to basics and displaying our expertise in theater; the manipulation of light and a play on shadows, in particular,” said CCP Production and Exhibition Department manager Ariel Yonzon, who is also the project director for the CCP Christmas Decor.
The production team is composed of: assistant project director and designer Eric G. Cruz; production manager Nice Hervas; set supervisor Dexter Hernandez, with set assistant Amado Bonifacio III; GOBO artists Louie Mark Mendiola, Gee Pelaria, Camille Balistoy, Allan Fami, TJ Calma, Jacob Cezar and Claire Navarra; light designer Allan Fami, light consultants Danilo Villanueva and Louie Alcoran; and music designer Marvin Fabular.
Fifty Stars of David, designed and made by the magpaparols from Las Piñas, give an added element to the CCP holiday decorations. The CCP has been showcasing the craftsmanship and ingenuity in creating the traditional Philippine Christmas lantern for the past years. This year, the CCP collaborates with the Samahang Magpaparol ng Las Piñas, through the support of the Office of Senator Cynthia A. Villar and the non-profit organization Villar Sipag for its Annual Christmas Lantern Lighting.
The light and sound show will be shown every night, at 6pm, 7:30pm, and 9pm intervals, at the CCP facade. The time schedule might change, or the show would be cancelled, in case of inclement weather.