By:  – @inquirerdotnet  / 03:15 AM December 28, 2019

We’re all just trying to breeze through the holidays and enter the new year—the new decade—with the least strain and the most ease.
Organizing holiday parties, preparing a sumptuous spread and ensuring everyone’s safety will, however, all entail a huge effort.
Thankfully, there are now venues—from hotels and resorts to malls—that allow us to join the New Year revelries sans the hassle. Offering an array of indulgences and activities, these venues make the celebration all the more fun, exciting and meaningful for the whole family. And while nothing beats the comfort of your own home, you might still want to check out some of these options for a whole new experience.

Feast of yuletide treats at Marriott

Make your life easier by stopping by Marriott Manila. It offers gifts and goodies that will help you cut back on the distress this season.
If you’re not done with your holiday gift-giving, Marriott Manila has some brilliant ideas. Give your loved ones the gift of charity with toys knitted by Ifugao women at P750 (Jack, Tutti and Snooch) and P500 (Bella). Proceeds from the sale will raise funds for Save the Children. You can also delight them with prepackaged hampers (starting at P3,688++) available until Jan. 1. You can add a personal touch by creating your own hamper with items from Marriott Café Bakery.

For your media noche feast, surprise your family and friends with a Whole Roasted Turkey (P6,680) and Smoked Bone-In Ham (P5,700) from Marriott Manila. Order now because the spreads have to be prepared for a minimum of 48 hours, and are available only until Jan. 1.
Cap off your feast with Marriott Manila’s multiple decadent options. Combine the chocolatey and fruity with Lemon Hazelnut Praline and Mango Vanilla Gianduja (P900). Acknowledge the dark-chocolate madness with Chocolate Buche de Noel (P900) or that matcha love with Maracaibo Green Tea (P900). Health buffs can take a slice or two of the Carabao Cheesecake (P2,200), which uses locally-sourced carabao milk and seasonal local fruits.
If you are aiming for that stress-free gathering, Marriot Manila offers in-house feasts. Don’t waste your time cooking if you can get the kitchen to move for you and you can just show up for the fellowship. For P3,300, welcome the year 2020 with a New Year’s Eve Dinner from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Take your family or friends to the very first lunch (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.) or dinner (6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) of the decade for P3,300.
Marriott Manila can fill your New Year’s Eve itinerary. It hosts Mass on Dec. 31. After then, stick around for the most awaited Grand Countdown 2020 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, where guests can enjoy premium cocktails, five-star dining and spectacular performances. Younger partygoers will have their own Grand Countdown Kid’s Zone, where they can get busy doing crafts, watching movies, making s’mores, and more. Ticket for Gold is at P15,000, VIP at P18,000 and SVIP at P20,000.
With so many activities awaiting you, you might as well stay at Marriott. The Holiday Room Package starts at P18,888++ for a Premium Balcony Room and P21,888++ for an Executive Room. Both give guests an executive lounge access and P3,000 F&B credits per day of stay, among others, valid until Dec. 30. The New Year Room Package starts at P55,888++ for the Premium Balcony Room and P57,888++ for the Executive Room. Both packages include two VIP tickets to the countdown party, exclusive lounge access, and P3,000 F&B credits per day of stay, among others, valid on Dec. 31.
For inquiries, call (02) 8988 9999 or visit

Attractions for all ages at City of Dreams

City of Dreams Manila gives New Year revelers a barrage of options to usher in 2020 the right way: exceptional dining and entertainment experiences.
The luxury integrated casino resort will make itself a gigantic all-in-one venue for family and friends as it packs itself up with events: Omakase dinner menu at Nobu Manila; New Year’s Eve Countdown at The Garage and CenterPlay; DreamPlay parade at The Shoppes at the Boulevard; and Trolls Holla Day package at DreamPlay.
DreamPlay, the world’s first DreamWorks-inspired play space, has been staging a treat that has thrilled kids and even their parents: a grand holiday parade every 5 p.m. on all weekends of December, plus Dec. 24 to 25 and Jan. 1. The afternoon parade features some well-loved DreamWorks characters, spectacular Christmas-themed animations and the Electro Groovers, DreamPlay’s King Julien Dance Off Year 4 Grand Champion gold medalist at the World Supremacy Battle-Junior Division in Australia.
Another attraction that has drawn families is the Trolls Holla Day, a Trolls-themed activity, which runs until Jan. 1. It’s an awe for the young ones and nostalgia for the older set. For P1,499, guests can take the Trolls VIP Package inclusive of an all-day pass at DreamPlay’s attractions with express check-in and attraction entry; passes at Cooking with Gingy’s Holla Day activity and at DreamWorks’ Holla Day Movie; photo session with Poppy and Branch; and sweet treats such as special Christmas Trolls Tree cookies and a Trolls candy milkshake.
Until Jan. 3, DreamPlay will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Friday to Sunday, as well as on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
How about a fusion dinner at Nobu Manila? Nobu is one of the world’s most recognized Japanese restaurants. It has made a name for itself because of its innovative new-style cuisine, galvanizing a following among the hip crowd and even celebrities. In time for the New Year revelries, it offers a sumptuous Omakase dinner.
From Dec. 29 to Jan. 1, Nobu Manila serves a specially curated eight-course Omakase (P6,999++). The menu starts with zensai, a plate of Whitefish with Asian Pear, Yuzu Truffle and Dry Miso; followed by a selection of nigiri sushi; Seared Salmon in Honey Mustard; and Yellowtail Salad in Jalapeno Dressing. The meal continues with Squid Pasta with Seasonal Mushroom and Truffle Light Garlic Sauce; Seared Wagyu Beef with Green Tea Dumpling, Garlic Sake Mirin Reduction and Tofu Crema; and Somen Noodles in Soba Broth, served with Rock Shrimp, Shiitake Stars and Negi. The Omakase ends sweetly with a delightful dessert of Vanilla Ice Cream with Mulled Wine Jelly.
If you ever are in the area on Dec. 31, go to CenterPlay and The Garage for programs to welcome the New Year. 
Beginning at 3 p.m., CenterPlay will host a New Year’s Eve Countdown. Star bartenders will show off their flair as bands perform. In the lineup of musicians that will play until midnight are Higher Ground, MUB and Part 3. Reserve a seat or a table starting at P3,000. The price already includes a glass of Veuve Cliqout Rose and consumable snacks.
Until 2 a.m., The Garage will throw a retro-themed New Year’s Eve party: “Good Old Days,” featuring Ice Bucket band. Guests will get free-flowing drinks of any of the following: alcoholic package (P2,588), which comes with draft beer, soda, wine, champagne and other premium liquor; or the non-alcoholic package (P1,888), which provides soda, iced tea, a selection of chilled juices or a glass of sparkling mocktail. Both packages include a platter of jalapeno poppers, seasoned buffalo fries and fried crispy nori. For the younger set, a package worth P1,288 will include free-flowing iced tea, chilled juices, milk shake or a glass of sparkling mocktail, as well as a scrumptious platter of skin-on fries, mozzarella balls and corn dog.
For inquiries, call 8800-8080, e-mail or visit

Free shows for the season at Sta. Lucia Mall

Not to be outdone is Sta. Lucia Mall, which has scintillating Yuletide offers for residents of the East who are looking to make extraordinary memories.
For the sixth year in a row, the mall will mount what has been considered by many as the biggest event of Sta. Lucia Mall. This year’s edition is titled: “Can You Feel The Love This Christmas?” It is sure to make audiences sing along to great anthems.
Shows began on Dec. 6 and are slated on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays every week, plus Dec. 24-25, 28-29 and 30. On each day, there will be three runs: 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Free admission and open to people of all ages, catch the shows at the Fountain Area Basement Level, Building 3.
Another draw is yet another event that has become a hit among spectators over the years: the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display. Flock to Il Centro Driveway to catch the performances as early as 5 p.m. and for a good view of pyrotechnic display when the clock strikes 12.
Featured in pre-fireworks display concert are talented acts. Among the performers will be five-piece alternative rock band Mayonnaise, who sang hits “Jopay” and “Ipagpatawad Mo.” Hale, also in the same genre and fronted by Champ Lui Pio, might just make you sing your heart out with popular originals “The Day You Said Goodnight” or “Blue Sky.”
Join The Club, best known for hits “Nobela,” “Paano Sasabihin” and “Lunes,” will be onstage. Also on the lineup are girl group Suyo and the drag queens of Pink Mannequins. 
If you have young people you want to inspire with role models for the coming of the new decade, take them to the concert to see the Fil-Am duo Perkins Twins. Jesse and Christian are two good-looking youngsters who are vocal advocates against drugs, bullying, alcoholism, smoking and purity.
Because of their charm, talent and advocacies, they have a huge following on social media. They’ve also dabbled in acting, starring in international movie “Kaibigan,” alongside, Stephen Baldwin, Tirso Cruz III, Jean Garcia and more. They sang the hit song “Ikaw Na.” All these shows and fireworks display are open to all, free of charge.
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