These 7 places in PH shine bright and beautiful every Christmas

Christmas usually comes not only with celebrations, gifts, and reunions, but also colorful lights and decorations. There are some places in the Philippines, though, that beautifully transform during this season as though under a fairy godmother’s spell, and cast their magic not only among locals but also among travelers who want to see and experience more holiday cheer. 

Below are some places in the country that shine bright and beautiful during Christmas. 

Tangub City, Misamis Occidental

How to get there: Take a flight to Naga, or a bus to Naga from Cubao, Pasay, or Alabang terminals. Travel time by bus is usually 9 hours.

Carmen, Davao del Norte

THREE KINGS. Here, particular elements of the belen like the Three Kings are depicted.

Photo by Glen Santillan

A little over an hour away from Davao City is the municipality of Carmen, which shines bright during Christmas on its Kahayag Festival. “Kahayag” literally means bright. 

During the month-long Kahayag Festival on December, schools, local government units, and other organizations participate in competitions making Christmas symbols, particularly the belen and Christmas tree. The life-sized displays beautifully brighten up Carmen’s plaza. 

SANTA AND SNOWMEN. Other Christmas symbols are also depicted, like Santa and the snowmen.

Photo by Glen Santillan

How to get there: Take a flight to Davao City. Ride a northbound bus going to Tagum, Butuan, Mati, or Surigao, and get off at Carmen Integrated Bus Terminal or in front of the municipal hall. Travel time from Davao City is around one hour and a half. 

Metro Manila

LIGHT SHOW. Ayala Triangleu2019s lights flash and dance in time to Christmas music.

Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

Yes, Metro Manila. Even amid traffic jams and the holiday rush, Metro Manila’s Christmas charm remains, with towering Christmas trees and amazing light displays and shows. Streets like Ayala Avenue have unique Christmas light installations every year. Government buildings like city halls and also private buildings are festooned – sometimes lavishly – with Christmas lights.

BUILDING LIGHTS. At Roxas Boulevard, buildings like Bangko Sentral become eye-catching during Christmas.

Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang


Choreographed light shows like the Ayala Triangle’s Festival of Lights and events like the Lantern Parade in the University of the Philippines in Diliman are anticipated by city dwellers every year.

STREET LIGHTS. This year, Ayala Avenueu2019s Christmas light installations are inspired by the countryu2019s old, historical churches.

Photo by Rhea Claire Madarang

There is much to see in Metro Manila if one would brave the holiday traffic jams.

Where will you be this Christmas? Share your stories with us in the comments below. –

Claire Madarang is a writer, traveler and seeker. Her wanderlust takes her on adventures like backpacking for 7 weeks straight. Her seeking leads her to different wellness practices like meditation and healthy (mostly vegetarian) eating. Follow her adventures, tips and epiphanies at her blog, Traveling Light.