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Christmas at Rustan’s is about happiness, nostalgia and family

Generations raised on values of quality and excellence, respect for tradition with an eye for modernity: (top row) Donnie Tantoco, Nena Tantoco, Bea Tantoco with Bodhi Reyes, Dina Tantoco, Marilen Tantoco, Zenaida Tantoco, Michael Huang, and Paolo Tantoco (bottom row) Taty and Nicola Lopez, Bella Tantoco, Zachary Tantoco, Alana Tantoco, Kalden Reyes, Mio and Dre Lopez

There’s something about shopping at Rustan’s that makes me feel sentimental and nostalgic. Looking at the many Christmas trees to choose from, I remember my childhood Christmases. And I feel a yearning for people I’ve lost. And things that are no longer the same. Do I still have that sense of wonder and innocence I had with every Santa Claus I see and every gift I open?

Perhaps that’s why shopping for Christmas decorations and gifts provides me with some sort of escape from my jaded adult existence. And today, as I attend Rustan’s traditional October launch of the Christmas shopping season, I feel good.

Rustan’s chairman Nedy Tantoco reminds us that after the truffle pasta and turkey, there’s bibingka and puto bumbong. Immediately, the aroma of these Filipino comfort foods makes us rush to the dessert table. The sound of carols being sung by a young choir, and the sight of Santa Claus waiting for children to sit on his lap make the feel-good picture complete.

Marilen Tantoco joins us, the sound of her happy voice sparkling with pride over the store’s home wares and decorations she has curated for the holidays. She wears a bright neckpiece of red-orange beads done by Silnag, which traces its artistic origins to the Ifugao region.

Donnie Tantoco presides over the early dinner table with a speech coming from the heart. “As a member of the third generation, I feel pride for what the Rustan’s team has done under the leadership of Ms. Nedy Tantoco and Ms. Marilen Tantoco to make Christmas at Rustan’s more inspiring and more beautiful than last year. We feel pride for what my grandparents, Benny and Glecy Tantoco, and my elders  including my mom (Nena Tantoco) and several generations of  Rustan’s employees have done over the last 65 years to make Rustan’s connected with the spirit, the emotion, the beauty, the most cherished moments of Christmas for Filipino families.

“We also feel a deep sense of gratitude that Rustan’s has become the strong brand that it is today. A name that beyond Christmas also stands for wonderful virtues like trust, like quality, like personalized and caring service, beauty, style, sophistication, and Filipino and global excellence.”

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Decades ago, there was Glecy Tantoco presiding over gatherings such as this one. Now the event is lorded over by the merry laughter of the fourth and fifth generations. There is little Zachary Tantoco, distributing sacks of goodies for each of us, each sack identified with our names.

And so I know here in this store, Christmas is about family.

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Follow the author on Instagram and Facebook@milletmartinezmananquil. Email her at mmmananquil@philstarmedia.com.

Rustan’s, the leader in luxury retail, ushers in a memorable holiday season with a Blue Christmas filled with everything that the heart desires. To commemorate the 65th Christmas of the Rustan Group of Companies (RGOC), Rustan’s Christmas has got the best offerings and promos this year.

Rustan’s presents the ultimate gift to loyal patrons with the Rustan’s Extraordinary Christmas Promo. From Oct. 21 to Dec. 24, 2017, shop till you drop to earn electronic raffle entries for the chance to win big.

Up for grabs are 165 luxurious picks and gifts, from fragrances to jewels, luggage and pampering treatments from across the RGOC stores. Expect awesome gifts from Samsonite, Ascot Chang, Swarovski, Bvlgari, Hermès Fragrances, Bergamo, Sentry Safe, Jewelmer, Tumi, Lego, Dooney& Bourke, Rayban and Kipling. Not to forget are gift sets from Rustan’s the Beauty Source, La Prairie, Estee Lauder, Burt’s Bees, Rustan’s Home, Rustan’s Children and Royal Duty Free, and vouchers from Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Rustan’s Flower Shop, Sta. Elena Properties and Starbucks Coffee.

Grocery partners such as Rustan’s Supermarket and Shopwise are also giving away shopping sprees. For the top prizes, look forward to becoming one of five winners of P65,000 shopping sprees from Rustan’s Department Store, while one winner will be credited P65,000 on his/her HSBC Credit Card.

And finally, for the grand prize, one big winner will be chosen to receive round-trip business class tickets for two to London via Philippine Airlines.

For the first time ever, Rustan’s features an online/electronic system for customers to enter raffle entries for the whole RGOC group. Rustan’s Extraordinary Christmas promo is open to all customers shopping at any of the participating RGOC stores.

Joining the raffle is simple. Earn e-raffle codes and enter the raffle entries online through www.rustanspromo.com.One e-raffle code is given for every P3,000 single-receipt purchase from Rustan’s Department Stores, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Adora and participating brands from Stores Specialists, Inc., while one e-raffle code is given for every P1,000 single-receipt purchase from Rustan’s Supermarket, Marketplace by Rustan’s, TWG, Oliviers & Co., SaladStop!, Royal Duty Free Subic, and Rustan’s Flower Shop. To triple chances of winning, use an HSBC Credit Card to earn x3 raffle codes.

Shop until Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and upload the codes until Dec. 31, 2017, end of day at 12MN. Winners will be drawn via electronic raffle draw on Jan. 10, 2018, and will be notified via registered mail.

For more information, visit www.rustans.com.ph or follow @RustansPHon Instagram and /RustansPH on Facebook.

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