‘AWIT AT LARO’ Reintroducing Christmas childhood traditions

OPM icon Gary Valenciano is co-creator of ‘Awit at Laro.’


The spirit of giving and merry-making, abundant and alive throughout the year, becomes even more exciting when the holidays come around. Christmas carols accompany gift shopping, lanterns and décor light up the streets, and a palpable optimism fills the air. It may not be white, but Christmas in the Philippines is surely merry and bright.

This in mind, Ayala Malls calls on Filipinos to rediscover the true wonder of the yuletide season as they take the local Christmas spirit to amazing heights with annual festivities in the coming months.

(From left) Chief Executive Officer and President of Ayala Land, Inc. Bobby Dy, founder and Managing Director of STEPS Dance Studio Sofia Zobel-Elizalde, Head of Ayala Malls Group YengTupaz, Gary Valenciano, Chairman Emeritus of Ayala Corp. Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Bambi Mañosa-Tanjutco and Ayala Malls Deputy Head Mariana Zobel de Ayala during the project launch.

“As a nation, we have always looked forward to Christmas. At the heart of the Filipino Christmas is love for family, embracing traditions and celebrating togetherness. We are excited to refresh it up for thousands of families who spend the season with us,” JennylleTupaz, head of Ayala Malls Group shared with The Manila Times in a an official message.

Festive harmony
Headlining the exciting lineup of activities is a special project that combines holiday songs – a must in Filipino Christmas celebration – and old school kids play that is sure to bring back memories created before the digital age.

In the spirit of reigniting the tradition of song and playfulness, Ayala Malls hosts “Awit at Laro,” a project that celebrates music and culture by reintroducing traditional Filipino games to a new generation of youth through music and the arts.

The brainchild of Gary Valenciano and Bambi Mañosa, the project aims to raise funds for Unicef, the Tukod Foundation and the Shining Light Foundation.

The “Awit at Laro” album features 10 reimagined traditional songs and 10 brand new songs about Filipino games that Filipinos have loved and perhaps lost in childhood.

“This Christmas will be the time to experience them again and share them with the younger ones through the uplifting tunes in collaboration with top Filipino composers and singers,” Valenciano noted.

The launch also saw a ‘Door Charity Sale’ featuring works of local revered artists, such as (from left) Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Daniel de la Cruz and Bobby Mañosa.

There will also be an “Awit at Laro” concert, which will tour 21 malls throughout the country during Christmas season, spreading the joy of music across the Philippines.

Directed by Paolo Valenciano, it will feature “Mr. Pure Energey” Gary Valenciano, Steps Dance Studio and artists from the album, including Kiana Valenciano, Jona, Gab V, Katrina Velarde, Darren Espanto, Lara Maigue, YengConstantino, Joey Ayala, RJ Dela Fuente, AC Bonifacio, Daryll Ong and Janella Salvador.

The shows will run until Dec. 22 at Ayala Malls across the country.

Amazing acts of generosity, time-honored traditions
More than about receiving presents, Christmas is about giving. Making more kids happy this holiday season, the mall launches “Laruang Aguinaldo.” On going until December 16, participating department stores and toy stores will be selling toys that customers can purchase and donate to Unicef and Kids 4 Kids.

Meanwhile, Ayala Malls will be offering community shows, cantatas and concerts throughout the holiday season, and, on top of their traditional fireworks and light shows, awaken amazing lights of wonder thru “A Night of Lights” at the Ayala Malls.

A 3D projection mapping in partnership with Panasonic,A Night of Lightsis happening every weekend from November 16 to December 23 in Glorietta, Greenbelt, Alabang Town Center, UP Town Center, Ayala Malls Fairview, and Ayala Malls Solenad.

Finally, guests are invited to end the night with Simbang Gabi and feast on classic delicacies such as bibingka and putobungbong at the Town Plazas.

With these offerings, Filipino Christmas traditions will surely carry-on from generations to generations.