Ayala’s Christ­mas light show gets Dis­ney­fied

Business World - - Hotthisweekend -

IT’S TIME once again to brave the heavy traf­fic of the Metro and watch the an­nual Fes­ti­val of Lights at the Ayala Tri­an­gle Gar­dens, now on its 10th year. This year’s lights show will be ac­com­pa­nied by the mu­sic from the Walt Dis­ney Co. in a show ti­tled Reimag­ine The Magic: A Fes­ti­val of Lights.

Ex­pect to hear hits such as “Let it Go” from Frozen (2013), “When You Wish Upon A Star” from Pinoc­chio (1940) and the tit­u­lar “Beauty and the Beast” from the 1991 film among other clas­sics from the Mickey Mouse mu­sic vault such as the “Mickey Mouse Club March” from the epony­mous TV show from the 1950s and even the theme from Mickey Mouse’s first fea­ture, Steam­boat Wil­lie in 1928.

The mu­sic was ar­ranged by the for­mer mu­si­cal direc­tor of Hong Kong Dis­ney­land, Rony For­tich, while the lights are han­dled by Voltaire de Je­sus, who has ar­ranged the light­ing for the event since its launch in 2008.

“Right be­fore I ar­range the lights for the fes­ti­val, I usu­ally go to Hong Kong Dis­ney­land to get in­spi­ra­tion,” Mr. De Je­sus said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Oct. 30 at the Hol­i­day Inn and Suites in Makati City.

He added that he dreamt of “hav­ing to light up mu­sic from Dis­ney.” In much the same way, Mr. For­tich said that when­ever he comes home to the Philip­pines dur­ing Christ­mas, he and his fam­ily al­ways make time to watch the lights and mu­sic show and he sim­i­larly ad­mired Mr. De Je­sus’ work.

This year’s fes­ti­val, which starts on Nov. 9, will have three Dis­ney med­leys and a nod to­wards clas­sic Filipino Christ­mas songs such as “Pasko Na Na­man.”

Aside from the songs, the Ayala Tri­an­gle Gar­dens will also be ac­cented by a large Mickey Mouse statue, just in case the au­di­ence for­gets this year’s theme.

Other Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) prop­er­ties will also mount their own lights and mu­sic shows in­clud­ing Nu­vali in Sta. Rosa, La­guna, Cen­trio in Ca­gayan de Oro, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Ayala Cebu, and Ver­tis North in Que­zon City. All the prop­er­ties will also have their own Mickey Mouse stat­ues.

Each med­ley will be roughly six min­utes long and will play ev­ery 30 min­utes start­ing 6 p.m. and end­ing at 10 p.m.

“I think what’s best about the show is that its growth is re­ally or­ganic — if you look at so­cial me­dia, we don’t even in­vest in it a lot be­cause peo­ple [on their own vo­li­tion] go,” Cathy Beng­zon, ALI’s head of mar­ket­ing for cor­po­rate brand and strate­gic land­bank man­age­ment group, who or­ga­nizes the show told Busi­nessWorld shortly af­ter the pro­gram.

“I think col­lec­tively, last year we [had about] five mil­lion [peo­ple vis­it­ing] across all the es­tates,” she said be­fore not­ing that Nu­vali alone wel­comed two mil­lion peo­ple while Makati had about 1.2 mil­lion.

“This is al­ready a Christ­mas tra­di­tion,” Ms. Beng­zon said. Reimag­ine the Magic: A Fes­ti­val of Lights starts on Nov. 9 at Makati and Cen­trio, Nov. 10 at Ayala Cebu, Nov. 15 at Bonifacio Global City, Nov. 24 at Nu­vali, and Nov. 29 at Ver­tis North.

The light show in Makati will be on view un­til Jan. 8, 2019. — Zsar­lene B. Chua

A MICKEY MOUSE statue stands in front of Ayala Tri­an­gle’s light-be­decked trees as part of this year’s Reimag­ine The Magic: A Fes­ti­val of Lights which opens tonight.

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