The holiday season is fast approaching and we now find ourselves counting down the weeks until Christmas. As the most wonderful time of the year dawns upon us, this year’s Christmas celebrations are about to get more special as Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo lights up the holidays during a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony last Nov. 16 at Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo, SM City Iloilo Complex, Mandurriao in Iloilo City.
Opened to the public last April, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo ushers in the festive season with a memorable milestone — its first-ever Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. Adorning the lobby of the hotel is a 12-foot Christmas tree that is decorated with Christmas balls wrapped in hablon (hand-woven textile) cloth, hablon angels, rattan balls and capiz stars. The fabrics were woven in Miag-Ao, Iloilo by mothers and sewers and crafters of Sooc Social Ventures, Inc. Iloilo. Meanwhile, the rattan (sig-iId) balls where crafted by local artisans from Cebu, Iloilo and Negros. The capiz stars were made by the craftsmen and women from Capiz Parol in Novaliches, Quezon City.
Hablon-inspired tree signals Christmas kick off
In his welcome remarks, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo general manager Sonny Alvaro shares significance of kicking off this year’s holiday season. “This tree lighting ceremony is very important, even more so for us, having opened our doors April of this year and now we are having our first-ever Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. This is a very important occasion for us, as we are very excited to open in Iloilo. This event is not just for us, but we share this moment with our partners. It’s a chance to say thank you to companies who have been supporting us, particularly to the business community. This is also a chance to showcase Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo’s facilities and services. The positive feedback that we have been receiving is a testament to what we can deliver,” Alvaro shares.
For her Christmas message, Iloilo Rep. Jam Baronda expresses her desire for a festive holiday season. “Christmas is a time for loving friends and family. It is also a time to hope for the best year ahead, not just for the Filipino nation as a whole, but for us Ilongos. With the support of every Ilonggo and the business sector, all of our dreams and aspirations will be realized. As we continue to wish for a greater Iloilo, we would like to thank SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. and Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo for choosing this city. Rest assured that you will have the support of the local government,” says Rep. Baronda.
Festive lights and cheers filled the lobby as SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. EVP Peggy Angeles, GM Alvaro and Rep. Baronda officially pushed the button to light up the Christmas tree at the hotel lobby. To make the event more meaningful, University of San Agustin (USA) Choir and Troubadours who serenaded the crowd with the songs When You Believe, Let it Be, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Ambahanon Sang Paskwa while recording artist Vien King belted out the hits Somewhere, Let it Be and The Sound of Life.
Paskwa sa Panai
Inspired by the theme “Paskwa sa Panai,” Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo aims to bring a unique vibe and flavor to the Yuletide season celebrations of Western Visayas region. The concept focuses on Iloilo City’s naturally colorful and festive holiday customs and traditions while simultaneously promoting the talents of the local weavers and craftsmen inside and outside Iloilo City.
This year, the hotel’s Christmas décors centered around the Hablon, a hand-woven textile named after the local word habol which means to weave in Hiligaynon. Hablon fabric is used for clothes and tablecloths. It is traditionally made with local fibers such as piña, abaca and cotton in Miag-ao, an Iloilo town known as the epicenter of the hablon industry.
To enliven the spirit of Ilonggo tradition and incorporate it during the Christmas season, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo partnered with creators Cham Lopez, Balai Hablon and Atelier de Hablon. This handpicked group crafted the contemporary yet classy and culture-based Christmas designs at the hotel and its premises, showcasing the value of local hand-woven textiles while providing sustainable livelihood for communities.
“We wanted to have a more traditional feel that respects the local culture. If you look at the Christmas tree, there are touches of hablon and other local products made here in the region. It has a festive feel to it, it has modern touches, but overall, what is important is we have something that is very unique to Panay. We worked with local designers in putting up the tree, as well as the other hotel decorations. We used a lot of natural products and sustainable elements like fabric, paper and pallets. This was the idea — to combine elements of tradition, local culture and sustainability,” Alvaro discusses.
True to the spirit of giving and sharing, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo also spearheaded a gift giving activity for kids from SOS Children’s Village Iloilo, a shelter that provides family-like care for children and young adults in need.
Park Inn by Radisson ILOILO: urban gem in Visayas
Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo is a testament to the vision of SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. to make a important contribution to the growth of the tourism industry as a prime mover and operator of the country’s top hotels, country clubs and convention centers.
With 199 rooms available in Standard, Superior and Junior Suite offerings, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo offers a relaxing in-city retreat near the Iloilo Convention Center and the SM City Iloilo mall complex. To ensure that every guest stay is fun, comfortable and hassle-free, the hotel facilities come complete with leisure and recreation features like an adult and kiddie pool, and a fitness center.
An emerging player in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) market, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo enlivens the business community with perfect offerings: a 291 sqm pillar-less event space (that can be subdivided into three separate rooms) for meetings and functions complete with audio visual equipment, an outdoor poolside venue, informal pockets of meetings areas, various ready-made and customized banquet and meeting packages and an experienced events team.
For dining options, guests can opt for Ani, an all-day dining restaurant with local and global fare; and Dash, a 24-hour self service “grab and go” counter of pre-packed food and beverage.
This property in Visayas adds another gem to SMHCC’s roster of premier hotels and convention centers: Park Inn by Radisson Clark, Park Inn by Radisson North EDSA, Park Inn by Radisson Davao, Radisson Blu Cebu, Conrad Manila, Taal Vista Hotel, Pico Sands Hotel, Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club, and the SMX Convention Centers and Trade Halls.