Christmas beyond ordinary
Capturing the spirit of Christmas in a nation that celebrates it with palpable gusto, four months a year, no less, is not as simple as it sounds.
Just ask the decorators tasked with the daunting job of mounting these lavish holiday displays in establishments across the country each year—it’s definitely no small feat.
But the sheer breadth of the Filipino public’s appetite for all things Christmas makes what is already a difficult endeavor even more challenging.
Lester Almazan and Jacko Zialcita, veterans of Rockwell Land’s all-star design team, describe the precarious tightrope they must walk each year—yuletide decor needs to be exciting, but familiar; sensational, but intimate; and grand, but unique in its subtle details.
“We always make small details different every year. This way, when you put it all together, the impact is very significant,” Almazan said. “Christmas will always be about remembering the birth of Jesus, and celebrating it with nice and vibrant decor makes Rockwell special.”
This is something that families in Rockwell projects and regular Rockwell mall goers know all too well. Over the years, the developer has cultivated a distinct style of celebrating the holidays—and infused it into every corner of all of Rockwell’s developments, from 32 Sanson in Cebu to The Grove in Pasig City to East Bay Residences, the laid-back sanctuary in the South.
The Christmas flair, however, is not simply smoke and mirrors. Rockwell sees its custom-made holiday celebrations as integral to its entire mission as a company, a natural extension of its identity.
Rockwell Land Corp. AVP for marketing Tracey Castillo pointed out that Filipinos, big on tradition, usually choose to celebrate Christmas in the comfort of their homes—the typical site of the nationally beloved Noche Buena.
“It’s crucial for us that our residents feel like they would want to celebrate and have family over in their space, and the space around it. We do this by making sure Christmas can be felt all around Rockwell, apart from the units,” Castillo said. And “All around” means exactly that—even the escalators headed to the parking lots are adorned with festive ornaments.
“Since we are the home providers of our residents, it is but natural to play a big role in ensuring that they experience the best season in their immediate neighborhood,” she added.
Decorations that are easy on the eyes won’t cut it, though. A Rockwell Christmas is one that engages all five senses, something designers have put careful thought into, said Almazan.
It’s in the smell of the mall, which has to be “on point,” wherein visitors can get a whiff of the pine trees. The holiday cheer can even be felt by touch, thanks to specially designed “touch points,” which include animals, trees and poinsettias, the iconic red Christmas flower.
The trademark visual feast of the Rockwell Christmas is still there, of course. The centerpiece of Rockwell’s holiday decorations this year is its Christmas tree—four stories high and glorious in its coating of 50,000 light bulbs.
There are also understated details that may go by unnoticed, but contribute to establishing a Christmas that isn’t just flashy, but also warm.
The way gifts are arranged under the tree, Almazan said, is reminiscent of the way gifts are placed at home. Even the signature amber garden street lights, according to Zialcita, are meant to evoke not just the holidays, but a sense of home.
“We set up decorations and lights in every corner, not just to make everything look beautiful. It’s to give residents that warm feeling that creates that unique holiday cheer,” Castillo said.
Zialcita echoed that sentiment, saying that his ultimate pride as a designer was in creating a space that friends would compliment as really feeling “like Christmas.”
The Rockwell team was also quick to emphasize, however, that its trademark decorations and holiday set-ups were only one part of the overall Rockwell Christmas experience.
“Personally, Christmas decorations in Rockwell does not end with the decorations inside and outside the mall, it’s the experience that makes it a ‘Rockwell Christmas,’” Almazan said.
“From our service providers who work hard to give our guests a pleasant walk around the mall, to the security and safety officers which ensures our streets are safe and vehicular traffic is managed,” he said, adding that each person has a role to play in spreading the holiday cheer.
As Rockwell’s self-proclaimed biggest season of the year, the developer offers custom-made experiences for each brand to ensure a Christmas that is unique and personal.
“For example, The Grove has Adopt Colby and Cocoa the Corgis (which runs from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31, 2018), where they can bring home a limited-edition pillow pet if they dine in any of the retail establishments in The Grove. In 32 Sanson, we have a community Christmas party for the residents called Christmas Luau (on Dec. 11),” Castillo said.
“For the mall, we have several events that both residents and shoppers can enjoy: Christmas Village Pop-up at the Expansion Area (from Dec. 14 to 31); Santa’s Treats, and the Weekend Market at the One Rockwell Retail Row,” she added.
A Christmas Market at the Grove Retail Row, meanwhile, is a much-awaited holiday celebration that brings together over 30 merchants, who will be selling unique gift items that run the gamut from artisanal jewellery and crafts to homemade hot chocolate and bibingka.
These are in addition to the biggest annual activity—the Christmas Raffle—which is raising the bar this year by giving away three cars for the first time in its history, with an Elite Raffle giving our patrons greater chances of winning.
The ultimate goal of these efforts is to create a personalized Christmas that lasts the whole December, but will leave residents with the warm, fuzzy yuletide feelings that linger long into the new year.
Interested residents and mall goers can look forward to these Christmas activities at Power Plant Mall:
Christmas Raffle and Elite Raffle
(Nov. 16 to Jan. 31, 2018)
Spend P1,000 in Rockwell Center locators, P2,000 in Power Plant Mall stores, and P3,000 in Marketplace and get a chance to win one of two Mercedes Benz C180 cars.
Accumulate P500,000 worth of receipts during the promo period and be one of the very few Elite VIPs to get a chance to win a Mercedes Benz CLC250 AMG.
Santa’s Workshop at the South Court
(November to December 2017)
Share wonderful memories with the whole family, especially the little ones, at Santa’s Workshop. Meet the elves at Santa’s Wishing Station and tell them all your wishes this Christmas!
Other activities in the workshop: Santa’s Snowball Pit, Workshops by Aruga, Nespresso booth
Weekend Market at the One Rockwell Retail Row
(Nov. 25 to 26 and Dec. 2 to 3)
Mark your calendar and make sure to visit Rockwell’s Weekend Market, where you’ll find all things fresh, local and organic, at One Rockwell Retail Row located at Rockwell Drive, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Presente by ArteFino
(Dec. 1 to 31, 2017)
Celebrate the holidays with intention in ArteFino’s pop-up holiday store at the R2 Level (near Uniqlo). Support and promote the Filipino artisanal community by purchasing your holiday gifts in this artisanal crafts fair
Monthlong Baker’s Dozen
Your favorite pastries and baked goods will be at the concourse level this month. Get your sweet tooth fix all days of December.
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