PASAY CITY – Allowing Filipinos and tourists here a brief respite from days of dreary weather, the rain paused for just enough time to let them enjoy a mascot parade and fireworks display in celebration of the New Year.
Attracting at least 400,000 in foot traffic on New Year's Day and with more than a hundred participating characters, this year's festive mascot parade at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) can rightfully be called the grandest and most magical, organizers said.
"We have over a hundred mascots already, not including human elements such as bands, dancers, and the like. In the past two years, we've coupled that with giant balloons, the type you will see in New York, in Thanksgiving. We’ve added that in the parade itself," said SM Mall of Asia Senior Assistant Vice President for Operations Perkin So.
Aside from mascots, inflatables were paraded through SM MOA on the first day of the year.
Among the inflatables were Cody the Clown Fish, Catie the Caterpillar, Cara the Cat, Billy the Bear, as well as colorful round LED balloons.
Additional inflatables were also displayed around mall grounds, such as the giant SM Santa Claus and reindeer, and others from mall tenants.
Their goal has been to create magic, as well as give Filipinos a taste of parades the like of which are staged abroad, So said. The best part of their festivities is that admittance is free and open to everybody.
"This year...we were able to fill up the whole veranda area of the SM Mall of Asia, as well as the park in front of us, SM By The Bay. We have the biggest crowd so far. We expect that to grow every year as more and more people get to know what we have here."
After the parade, children and their families were able to pose with mascots during a meet-and-greet.
The night was capped by a fireworks display which drew admiring gasps from mall-goers.
While this New Year's festivities are a tough act to follow, So said they are prepared to stage an even bigger parade next year.
"We will probably be arranging for even more giant balloons...We plan to find more and more. Mall of Asia is actually expanding. We're having even more tenants in the mall, then we can have even more tenant mascots to come and participate," he said.
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