Christmas Destinations: Manila, Philippines

There's more to Christmas than carols, eggnog, and ugly sweaters. Broaden your horizons with a visit to one of these five holiday-friendly destinations.

The Manilla skyline.     Photo: Sarah Clark/Flickr

As one of the few largely Christian cities in Asia, Manila knows how to put on Christmas with style, mixing faith with festiveness—and lots and lots of colored lights. The people who live here take full advantage of the holiday season, which they call Paskong Pinoy, with decorations going up as early as September. People in the city begin religious observations of Christmas on December 16, by attending pre-dawn mass, and don’t stop until January. Take a ride down Policarpio Street, lined with light-festooned mansions. Check out the creepy but amazing moving Christmas Show mannequins at the mammoth Greenhills Shopping Center. And walk through the living Nutcracker display at the Manila Hotel

SIDE ADVENTURE: Visit the Dampa Sa Farmer's Market in Cubao and pig out on fresh seafood, cooked to order. The market stays open until 11 p.m..

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