Although Manila Marriott Hotel holds the ceremony every year, the lighting of its Christmas tree never seems to lose its magic. This year was no exception.
After a breathtaking countdown led by the evening’s host, DJ Chico Garcia of Monster RX 93.1, a switch was turned on and the gigantic tree in the lobby, already resplendent to begin with, began to twinkle like a tower of colored diamonds.
Forget the little Christmas tree in the old song. This one could bring peace on earth.
And, probably, so could Himig Roseña, Colegio de Santa Rosa’s choral group, whose members’ angelic voices filled the air with renditions of contemporary Christmas carols.
And what is a Christmas celebration without Santa Claus? As in years past, Santa glided down the winding staircase in dramatic fashion, laughing ho-ho-ho as he carried a sack full of gifts. Then he led the crowd to Santa’s workshop, where glittering lights and stars hung from the ceiling and Christmas toys sat alongside chocolate treats.
And speaking of treats, Manila Marriott executive chef Meik Brammer prepared a sumptuous spread of pasta with two sauces, a roasted maple glazed bone-in ham, sweet corn and carrot hash, potato wedges and a humongous vat of spicy chicken sisig.
Desserts included fudgy brownies, chocolate buche de noël, dark fruitcake, strawberry cheesecake, a gingerbread house with frosted gingerbread reindeer and flavored marshmallows tucked into chocolate sleds.
Amid the merriment, Manila Marriott general manager Bruce Winton updated the crowd on the hotel’s advocacies.
Among others: Manila Marriott management has been working with Envirotech to recycle and reuse what would otherwise be wasted products. Hotel staff turns over its plastic products (they have stopped using plastic straws) to Envirotech which then remakes them into sturdy, colorful school chairs.
This year, Manila Marriott donated 50 of these school chairs to Pasay’s public schools and 50 chairs to the Philippine School for the Deaf.
Manila Marriott also supports the School for the Deaf by training some of their students and giving them work opportunities.
Aside from wine and iced tea, one of the beverages served during the festivities was a fruit juice poured into glasses rimmed with salt.
Usually served with margaritas and other alcoholic cocktails, salt-rimmed glasses give cocktails added sophistication.
But you can also serve fruit juices in a similar way. It makes the drinks look more festive and appealing. Just follow this simple recipe for making salt-rimmed glasses.
8-10 beverage glasses
1 fresh lemon (see tips)
2-3 c coarse salt (see tips)
Chill the glasses in the refrigerator until frosty (this may take a few hours).
Slice the lemon into wedges (remove the seeds). Run a wedge of lemon around the rims of the frosty glasses until the rims are completely moistened.
Spread the salt into a wide plate or saucer. Tip the glasses upside down, then carefully dip the rims of the glasses into the salt (make sure no salt gets inside the glass). The salt will stick to the rims of the glasses. You can twist the glasses while dipping them into the salt, so the rims get a thicker coating of salt.
Pour desired beverage into the glasses. Suggested drinks: Four Seasons fruit juice, iced tea, fruit punch, pineapple juice and carrot orange juice.
Aside from lemon, you can also use orange or lime to moisten the rims of the glasses.
You can use ordinary sea salt or specialty salts like Maldon salt or Himalayan pink salt.