PH one of world's 'most Christmassy' places

Posted at 12/18/12 2:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The news channel CNN has included the Philippines in its list of the ten destinations in which to spend Christmas around the world, along with traditional picks like Lapland and New York City.

The list was released just days after CNN lauded the Christmas celebration in the Philippines, which is dubbed as the longest in the world. Filpinos celebrate Christmas, observed on December 24 and 25 in most countries, as early as September 1.

“Though spending Christmas on a beach may sound like bliss, sipping an endless supply of cocktails in the sand may soon feel like it's lacking in holiday spirit. A trip to the Philippines lets you have it all,” writer Roseann Lake said in the article “Welcome to the most Christmassy places on the planet,” which appears on the CNN website.

“Known as the country with ‘the longest Christmas season in the world,’ Filipinos get the Christmas festivities rolling in September, and extend them well through January,” she added. “As the only Asian country with a predominantly Christian population, its cities and islands are festooned with nativities, lantern parades, and Christmas bazaars.”

The article even advised its readers to “soak up your share of sugar plum fairies, gingerbread clocks and weekend performances of  "The Nutcracker" by Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde at the Manila Hotel, which has adopted the classic Christmas story as its theme for this year.

CNN’s list is topped by Lapland in Finland where “children can make gingerbread cookies with Mrs. Claus, enroll in Elf School, or take a calligraphy class and learn to compose their Christmas wish-lists with a traditional quill.”

The news website also zeroed in Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, New York on its list. “The proudly and predominantly Italian-American residents from roughly 11th to 13th Avenue and from 83rd to 86th Street have an unspoken agreement to one-up each other with holiday decorations which, much to the mirth of passersby, often results in two-story Santas, armies of 30-foot wooden soldiers, over-sized animatronic toys, motorized carousels, and enough nutcrackers to make Tchaikovsky twinkle with delight,” the article said.

The other places that made the Christmas list are: Strasbourg, France; Quebec, Canada; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Lalibela, Ethiopia; Barcelona, Spain; and Queenstown, New Zealand.