All of the lights

Joanna Cuenco
MARCO Polo Plaza Cebu is beaming this season with special events that celebrate hope and happiness, which are often symbolized through light.Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated at the hotel

MARCO Polo Plaza Cebu is beaming this season with special events that celebrate hope and happiness, which are often symbolized through light.

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated at the hotel every year with “Khana: an Indian Culinary Journey.” The buffet of Indian food served for a limited time continues to be one of the hotel’s best loved Culinary Journeys at Café Marco, patronized by both local guests and members of Cebu’s Indian community.

Celebrating Diwali at Khana was the perfect occasion for me, Kat Toledo and Karlo Lim to don sarees, shoes and accessories that we had purchased on our separate trips to India. If we have Indian friends reading this page, please pardon my obvious lack of expertise in properly tying a saree! This was the best I could manage after a 20-minute struggle with six meters of fabric.

A few weeks later, we were back at the Marco Polo for the lighting of the Tree of Hope, the hotel’s towering Christmas tree. The tree lighting ceremony had the lobby teeming with guests, even up to the mezzanine level. The program for the evening included ballet and modern dance performances by students of the Cebu Centre for Dance and GMA Network talents. After the grandiose tree was all lit up, children were invited to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus to share their Christmas wishes.

Even grown-up guests can continue to make a wish for themselves for others by hanging a Christmas ball for P200 on the Christmas tree. The Tree of Hope has for years been making wishes come true as the donations benefit programs by the GMA Kapuso Foundation. Those who donate also get a chance to win a roundtrip ticket to Hong Kong courtesy of Cathay Pacific Airways.