‘The Great Christmas Show’at Festival Supermall
- From the Philippine Star’s YS () - November 27, 2002 - 12:00am
"It’s Christmas Time and time for the carols. Time to sing about the Little King..."

We all know the words and we hum their melodies, but do we know how some of the most popular Christmas carols became the season’s traditional tunes?

Jingle Bells
, for instance, written in 1857 by James Pierpont for a Thanksgiving program at his church in Boston was so well received that the children were asked to repeat it at Christmas. It has been a Christmas song ever since.

The French composer best known for his ballet Giselle, Adolphe Charles Adam, wrote Cantique de Noel or O Holy Night. At the time, it was frowned upon by church authorities for lack of musical taste and "total absence of the spirit of religion." We know what became of it now.

Christmas carols were common as early as the 15th century. The custom of singing carols from house to house and collecting gifts was called wassailing. Many carols such as God Rest You Merry Gentlemen and The First Noel date from the 16th century or earlier.

These and other well-loved carols brighten the Yuletide celebration at Festival Supermall in Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang dubbed "The Great Christmas Show."

Church, community or school-based choirs will serenade you when the mall and SKYCable present for its opening salvo the "Festival of Carols: A Chorale Competition" at the EXPO Trade and Music Hall, 4th Level, on Sunday, December 1, (elimination round) and Sunday, December 15, 2002 (grand finals) starting at 2p.m.

The all-male, all- female or mixed group choirs, all residents of Metro Manila, Cavite and Laguna, will render carols a cappella either in Filipino, English, or a medley using both languages.

The criteria for judging are voice quality (40 percent), originality (30 percent), costume (10 percent), stage presence (10 percent), and audience impact (10 percent). Winning choirs will take home cash prizes worth P30,000 (grand prize) and a trophy, P15,000 (first runner up) and P10,000 (second runner up).

Registration is ongoing until November 30 with a fee of P500 per group. For inquiries, please call SKYCable’s Bambi Encarnacion (0919-5214138), Osang Santos (0919-3447494) and Jaime Hontiveros (520-4051/808-2253), or Festival Supermall’s Stephen Ustare (850-3517/0917-8965813). You may also call SKYCable offices in Cavite at (046)572-2651 and Sta. Rosa at (049) 837-6772.

Aside from the choir competition, Festival Supermall has many other treats for shoppers.

On December 7, 1 to 6 p.m. children from 12 schools will interpret popular Christmas carols in "12 Names of Christmas" at the EXPO Trade and Music Hall. Organized by Residence Inn with P8RCH& Co, it will also feature an ensemble presentation from the Yamaha School of Music.

Starting December 8, weekends will be doubly fun for kids as a costumed storyteller relives timeless fairytales all Saturdays and Sundays with "Storytelling @Chef’s Avenue," 3rd Level.

Featured stories include "Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk," "Tin Soldier," "Little Mermaid, and Snow White." Kids will also receive freebies for every minimum food purchase of P500 (single bill) at any Chef’s Avenue bar and restaurant.

On December 9, Festival Supermall gives back its share to the community with its annual "Charity Day at Pixie Forest" for the disadvantaged children from Bantay Bata Foundation, Philippine Children’s Fund of America and Caritas Manila. A whole day of fun activities and free rides await the kids at the mall’s amusement center.

Starting December 12, the Carousel Court will be transformed into a Christmas dreamland for the kids where they can enjoy spectacular shows during the "Christmas Carnival" every weekend, 3 to 5 p.m.

Entertaining numbers will be provided by puppeteers, clowns, unicyclists, stiltwalkers, magicians, balloon twisters, face painters, jugglers, pet trainers, fire eaters and acrobats, among others. Crafting, painting, coloring and other interactive activities also await them at the mini-playground, while toys and gift shops complement the fun moments.

Three of the country’s leading alternative bands, including Mojofly and Moonstar 88, rock the cold night away on December 14, 6 to10 p.m. Promenade Parking 2. A dazzling fireworks display caps the musical program.

From December 19-22, mallgoers will be enthralled by the world-class talents of Ballet Philippines as they perform excerpts from the well-loved Cinderella.

"The Christmas Minstrels" from December 21-23 will feature some of the best choirs in the country, which will regale guests of the bars and restaurants at Chef’s Avenue, 3rd Level.

Kid and family-friendly Festival Supermall is the largest shopping, dining and entertainment complex in Southern Metro Manila with over 400 specialty stores and restaurants. For more information about the special events at the mall’s "The Great Christmas Show", please call Customer Service at 850-3514 or visit www.festival supermall.com.

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