While most hotels begin their meticulous installation of holiday lights and decors, a luxury hotel along Manila Bay opts to keep it simple to focus on the true essence of Christmas.
AG New World Manila Bay Hotel recently kicked off its holiday celebration with a traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony, spearheaded by their general manager, Mark Heywood.
The white Christmas tree at the hotel lobby was brightened by blueish holiday lights in the event dubbed "A White Christmas: Illuminating Lives."
It is not as flashy as one would expect from a luxury hotel, but Heywood assures it's all for a great cause.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Heywood said AG New World Manila Bay Hotel aims to stick to the real spirit of Christmas, the one that thrives on love, hope, and giving.
For over a decade now, AG New World Manila Bay Hotel has been actively supporting the advocacy of Kythe Foundation, a non-stock organization that specializes in providing psychosocial support for children with cancer and other chronic illnesses.
"We give all our customers and our guests an opportunity to give, donate, and share with the Kythe Foundation either by dropping a little something on our wishing well or buying one of our unique Christmas houses that we have available in the lobby. All the proceeds from that sale will go to the Kythe Foundation," Heywood said.
"We have to give them something special. Not everybody survives, you know. Cancer is one of the biggest killers in the world. If we can raise money to help fight cancer, then it's a good cause. Everybody will benefit when we help these children grow up and have a future," he added.
The event also featured performances from Symphony of Angels Children's Choir, a non-profit organization that provides children the opportunity to nurture a love for music, and joyfully share their special gifts and talent by inspiring communities.
Emil, a young violinist who was diagnosed with cancer when he was two, gave a tear-jerking performance, which reminded everyone that there is hope. With the help of Kythe Foundation and its supporters, Emil overcame his disease and has been cancer-free for 17 years now.
Heywood said every cancer-stricken child has a chance to be like Emil, to grow up, continue dreaming, and bring inspiration to the world.