“This is the owner’s way of giving thanks and joy to the people.” — Harlen Anthony Vega, Mana Davao’s in-house designer
By MARILOU AGUIRRE-TUBURAN
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The tradition continues.
Mana Davao, a store here that sells antiques and collectors’ items, will once again set up Christmas decorations in their store along J. P. Laurel Avenue — with a whopping 2.5-million peso budget.
Harlen Anthony Vega, Mana Davao’s in-house designer, showed their decoration plan on Wednesday’s Club 888 at the Marco Polo Hotel.
Giant Christmas trees will be set up adorned with big tribal mascara (mask) which, according to Vega, “is inspired from Kadayawan.”
Every August, the city celebrates the Kadayawan Festival as thanksgiving for bountiful harvests. It mainly features the 10 indigenous tribes in Davao.
The theme this year, according to Vega, is Sonata where “10 Disney mascots will dance with the music.” He added, there will be laser lights and they will be using three million “imported and brand new” light bulbs.
Mana Davao started its expensive Christmas decorations in 1999. Last year, the company spent about three million pesos. For more than a decade, it has attracted local residents and visitors alike to visit the site for photo opportunities.
“This is the owner’s way of giving thanks and joy to the people,” Vega said.
Henry Babiera is Mana Davao’s owner. He has branches in Pasig and Paranaque in Luzon. Davao is his biggest branch.
Vega shared to davaotoday.com that every year, as early as the month of August, he and Babiera start conceptualizing the theme for Christmas decoration. “He basically provides the concept while I do the design,” he said.
This year, the company hired three electricians, two painters and 20 other workers to set up the decorations.
Mana Davao is set to hold the grand lighting of their trees on December 16 and it will run until January 3 next year from 6 PM to 2 AM. (Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan/davaotoday.com)