A Christmas tradition comes alive again this Yuletide season and returns to the place it has called home since the mid-60s. The Christmas On Display (COD), formerly known as Manila C.O.D., will once again wow children and adults alike with a story of Christmas and coming home all told through animatronics display at the Times Square Food Park, Araneta Center.
The moving Christmas display has been attracting audiences of all ages since it became a fixture on the facade of the Manila C.O.D. Department Store in Araneta Center beginning 1966. This magical display of Christmas lights with life-sized moving mannequins would tell of heart-warming Christmas stories.
The brainchild of Mr. Alex Rosario, Sr., the return of the animated Christmas display to its original home is welcomed by many for sentimental reasons. According to his son Rey Rosario, the CEO and president of Rosario Animated Display, his deceased father would be really happy to know that the COD has finally been able to return to its original home after closing in 2002. As such, this year’s COD theme of “Christmas Comes Home” is truly appropriate.
“Masaya ako na naibalik na dito sa Araneta Center ang Christmas on Display. It’s a very nice feeling. It has always been home to us,” the younger Rosario said.
The COD will be launched this November 23 in its new area in Araneta Center known as the Times Square Food Park at the corner of Times Square and Gen. Roxas Avenues, a stone’s throw away from its original location. The food park, since 2017, has been the site of the iconic 100-foot giant Christmas tree that is at the center of yet another tradition within the bustling commercial district – the annual Giant Christmas Tree Lighting.
“Araneta Center is really a destination for people from all walks of life celebrating Christmas in this part of Metro Manila. We have lots of activities and surprises to thrill our customers, starting of course with our iconic giant Christmas tree,” Antonio T. Mardo, Araneta Center’s Senior Vice President for Operations, said.
The annual tree lighting this year set on November 16 will be graced by the country’s biggest celebrities.
Free to the public, the COD can now be watched within the safe enclosure of the food park, where families can also stay and have a meal. Slated to start each night at around 6:00 pm from November 23 until January 6, each show runs for about 20 minutes with 15-minute intervals. This year, the story revolves around a family who returns to the country to visit their loved ones. The family comes to revisit the Araneta Center and realizes that there is really no place like home.
Another centerpiece in Araneta Center’s Christmas celebration is the spectacular show “Magic on Ice.” Combining the thrills of magic and acrobatic tricks with the finesse of ice skating, Magic on Ice will run from December 25 until January 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tickets are now available at www.ticketnet.com.ph.