BY Julie Mccarthy
Sleigh bells, snowy skies and a glowing fire evoke an idyllic Christmas. But the tropics can be just as festive as any wintry holiday this time of year.
The Philippines boasts the longest yuletide season in the world. September inaugurates the start of what is known as the “Ber” months (September, October, November and December) when parades, parties and concerts crowd the calendar of a season that is as visually resplendent as it is long.
Christmas parades boom through neighborhoods and villages of Manila. A wonderland of fairy lights lines the streets. Grand hotels glisten with extravagant decorations worthy of a czar’s winter palace. On Manila’s Policarpio Street, lavishly lit homes draw carolers and onlookers alike.