Rustan's: A place to love, hug, and come home to this Christmas
LIFE & STYLE - Millet M. Mananquil () - November 16, 2008 - 12:00am

Eight years ago, I found my universe in the little city of Rothenburg in Germany.

It is Christmas all year round in this charming place wrapped in genteel magic. There, just across the cobbled square near the church, was a humongous Christmas Shop — better to call it a Christmas Village — where Christmas trees of all imaginable sizes and splendor sparkled with trimmings I had never seen before. I became a child once more as I sighed in wondrous silence at the endless showcases of fascinating decor details, lovable dolls and marvelous playthings.

I left Rothenburg thinking, wishing: The magic of Christmas should always fill the empty places in our hearts.

Recently, I discovered the magic of Christmas once more when I went to Rustan’s Makati.I couldn’t believe how the whole department store was transformed into a holiday wonderland with all kinds of Christmas trees — classic, art deco, modern, wintry, romantic, whimsical, even deliciously dripping with candy.

When I saw the snow-covered Christmas pine trees, I sighed: Let it snow! Let there be coolness to blow away dreary news in the world right now. And then polar bears came marching into sight, those snow-white creatures that look like they had just bathed in my favorite Acca Kappa cologne after dashing in from the North Pole.

Why polar bears? Rustan’s president Nedy Tantoco explains: “This holiday season, we want to raise the consciousness of Filipinos about the plight of polar bears, an animal we associate with Christmas. Just like our own tarsier and dugong, the polar bear is slowly disappearing from the earth. Polar bears live on the sea ice, which is slowly melting because of global warming.”

 And may I add that the polar bear is lovable and huggable enough to be one of Rustan’s mascots this Christmas. Yes, Christmas is a time for loving and hugging.

 Nedy, who has magically transformed Rustan’s into a holiday wonderland, says: “Christmas is the most wonderful season of the year. It brings families and friends together, and bestows on each other mementos that express how they feel about each other.”

 An arbiter of fine taste, Nedy aims to bring the best of the world to the Philippines. This is the vision she inherited from Rustan’s’ iconic founder Glecy Tantoco, who with the support of Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco, made Rustan’s the country’s top luxe store.

 Rustan’s is the store that Filipinos would love to come home to this Christmas, whether they are coming from foreign shores, or simply looking for the best in their own backyard. For Rustan’s shoppers these past 52 years, Rustan’s is the toyland of their childhood, the hip fashion haven of their teenage years, and the place of elegance for their modern lifestyle.

 Rustan’s puts the coolness in my universe.

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