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Celebrating the Holidays at Marco Polo

It’s Christmas at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu! General Manager Hans Hauri recently announced the holiday events of the property.

Christmas Bazaar

The Cebu International School Christmas Bazaar kicked-off the hotel’s holiday activities last November 28 to 30 at the Grand Ballroom.

The event was organized by the parents-teachers association (PTA) of CIS, and featured more than 80 exhibitors selling items “from homemade cookies to cakes, to goodies and Christmas decorations.”

Train of hope

Last November 28, the Train of Hope started its voyage at the Christmas Village in the hotel’s lobby.

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The miniature display is owned by Clayton and Joji Tugonon and features an entire village that radiates the warmth and joyous atmosphere of Christmas. The lights of the little houses, together with the Tree of Hope, will be lighted and the train will begin its journey on this day.

“We hope that the railway will not just have the glowing lights in the houses, but it will bring the glow into the eyes of children, of adults. (The display) will make dreams come true as much as the collections will make dreams come true for those less fortunate,” GM Hauri said.

He revealed that the little village is not just for display, but a fundraiser to benefit cancer-stricken children of Cebu through Kythe Foundation and GMA Kapuso Foundation. Guests are encouraged to adopt either a train cart (P20,000), a little house (P5,000), or a Christmas ball (P100) to be hanged on the tree.

“We are not experts at railways, nor cancer research, but we are compelled to help where help is needed: To preserve life,” he said in a press statement.

The fundraiser is dubbed A Season of Hope and will run until January 6, 2010.

Isabella for the Champagne series

On December 4, pop and jazz singer Isabella Gonzalez will grace the Lobby Lounge for the Champagne Series.

Isabella is the daughter of pop diva Kuh Ledesma, but her affair and love for music has earned her a much-deserved reputation separate from her famous mother.

She studied musical theater and acting at Central School of Speech and Drama in London and Len Lerner Studios in Los Angeles, California. She also took voice training at Cecille Azarcon School of Music in San Francisco, California and with Nelson Carruncho of New Voice Company. Now, she looks up to Yolanda de Jesus as her personal voice and performance coach.

A special Christmas dinner

And, of course, Christmas would not be complete without the traditional Noche Buena.

At Marco Polo Plaza, the traditional Christmas feast can be enjoyed in all its outlets – Café Marco, Lobby Lounge, BLU Bar & Grill, and at the El Viento Restaurant & Pool Bar.

A Christmas Eve Mass will be held at the Garden Terrace at 10 p.m., after which, Mr. and Mrs. Santa will do their rounds in all outlets of the hotel, spreading Christmas cheers.

“What makes it so pleasant to come up here on Christmas Eve is because here, everything is at your doorstep. You come in, have cocktail, wish each other the best for the evening, exchange those wishes, have a wonderful family dinner – some international food and some Cebuano food,” GM Hauri said.

A Nativity play will also be held after the mass to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas.

Bidding farewell to 2009

To end 2009 on a memorable note, Marco Polo will be holding a countdown to be capped by what GM Hauri would describe as the grandest fireworks display in the city.

Jay Cayuca, a highly acclaimed violinist, will be on hand to serenade the merrymakers.

“What really (will) bring the house down are the grand countdown and the super fireworks. Arguably the largest fireworks in Cebu; can be seen by the whole community,” GM Hauri said.

“With this, I cannot do anything else other than say, a very good year, 2009, despite the ups and downs. In the typical Cebuano fashion, we are resistant to those ups and downs… because here in the Philippines we just keep on working in making tomorrow a better day than it was today,” he said.

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