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Arts and Culture

WATCH: French 'Higantes' visit Manila for Philippines-France 75th friendship anniversary

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Establishment of the French-Philippine Diplomatic Relations, the Embassy of France to the Philippines, in partnership with Ayala Land, Inc. and Taste of France, opened the "Marché de Nöel Christmas Market & Festival Lights" last Saturday in Ayala Triangle Gardens, Paseo De Roxas Street corner Makati and Ayala Avenues, Makati City.

With the concept of “Eat, Drink, and Shop," the first-ever French-Philippine Christmas market in Ayala Triangle features various gourmet food, wine, and artisanal gifts. It also showcases French and Filipino food and drinks with handmade or original crafted products.

The event's highlight was the performance of award-winning Les petits chanteurs à la croix de bois ("The Little Singers of Paris") and Les Grande Personnes - the French giants akin to the Philippine's very own "Higantes" or giant puppets of Angono, Rizal. 

Created in 1998, Les Grandes Personnes is a non-profit association based in Villa Mais d’Ici in Aubervilliers. Known for its street theater that brings together masquerade, theatrical performances and other visual arts in public spaces, Les Grandes Personnes believes that carnival-like parades composed of giants and marionettes are a universal language that spreads cheer and good vibes to anyone, anywhere. 

"This Christmas market is a French tradition that is enjoyed throughout the month of December before reuniting with family for the celebration of the nativity. Christmas is a magical season all over the world," H.E. Madame Michèle Boccoz, Ambassador of the French Republic to the Philippines and Non-Resident Ambassador-Designate to Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, said in a speech for the "Marché de Nöel" launch.

According to her, this time around, France glistens with the sight of a thousand garlands, with its air filled with the scent of mild wine and roasting chestnuts, capped with the warm chanting of Christmas carols.

"The French Christmas dated back to centuries and and serve as an antidote to the arrival of winter cold. We want to relive this shared joy in Manila by recreating our Christmas atmosphere here." — Photos and video by Deni Bernardo, video editing by Martin Ramos

RELATED: LIST: Must-visit Christmas 2022 destinations

AYALA TRIANGLE GARDENS

FRENCH EMBASSY

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