MANILA, Philippines — Araneta City kicked off the Yuletide season with its traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Friday, tagging Anne Curtis as the headliner for this year’s event.
During the event held at Times Square Park, Curtis hit the highest of notes with her rendition of “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen” as well as Aegis’ “Halik.”
Teen heartthrob Edward Barber was also in attendance, swooning his fans by singing “No One Else,” followed by a dance number.
Idol Philippines 2019 grand champion Zephanie Dimaranan sang her heart out with “Pangarap Ko, Pangarap Mo” and a cover of Mariah Carey’s holiday hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Meanwhile, Idol Philippines 2019 runner-up Lucas Garcia swooned everyone with covers of “Ikaw Lamang” and “Jingle Bell Rock.”
Former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemates Lou Yanong, Andre Brouillette, Yamyam Gucong and Fumiya Shankai, collective known as #TeamLayf, also wowed the audience with a song and dance performance.
Also, there was “Dance Kids” grand champion AC Bonifacio, who showcased her talents by dancing to BTS’ “Burning Up (Fire).”
Binibining Pilipinas founder Stella Marquez-Araneta, along with beauty queens Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2019 Gazini Ganados, Binibining Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2019 Emma Mary Tiglao, Binibining Pilipinas 1st Runner Up Andrea Abesamis and Binibining Pilipinas 2nd Runner Up Samantha Bernardo, officially lit up the giant Christmas tree adorned with diamond ornaments and over 1,500 Christmas balls.
It was also in the event that the Araneta Group, in partnership with the J. Amado Araneta Foundation, pledged its support to Unicef’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) for out of school youth in the country.
“Kung may isang bata sa sampu ang hindi makapasok sa eskwelahan, hindi tayo pwedeng manahimik doon kailangan tayong may gawin,” J. Amado Araneta executive director Diane Romero said during the event.
(If there is one child out of ten who is not able to attend school, we cannot keep quiet, we need to do something about it.)
“This partnership is a national direction for expand our reach with national level in pact. Through this endeavor, the foundation is hopeful that we can help create a thriving nation, one Filipino child at a time,” Romero added.
The ceremony has always been an annual tradition at Araneta City during the holiday season. Araneta City, previously called Araneta Center, first held its Christmas tree lighting back in 1981.
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