THE CHRISTMAS windows at Rustan’s Makati were lit up on Oct. 24, the same way they were lit every year — even during the COVID-19 pandemic which effectively ended all parties in 2020 (when a Zoom launch was held). As a sign of the times, where perhaps the memories of 2020-22 could be banished as a bad memory, Rustan’s held a big bash to celebrate their Christmas offerings this year, partying like it was 2019 again.
“It’s been a while since we did something this big. The last time we did this was what, 2019? We had a small one last year,” said Michael Huang, of the Tantoco family that founded Rustan’s, serving as Senior Vice-President for Store Development. “Of course, as tradition, we always launch our Christmas windows.”
The celebrations may have caused a slight traffic jam down Ayala Ave., just as the past Christmas window launches have done before. This year, the theme is “Light Up This Christmas with Rustan’s.” “We went back with the whole Filipino heritage of using parols (star-shaped lanterns) — how the parol plays a big thing in Christmas for the Philippines. It’s a very big symbol for us.” During the opening, there were musical and dance performances by Ellipsis, Skydance Avenue, and Kammerchor Manila.
Not only are the windows decked out this year: they’re bringing back the Rustan’s Christmas Shop, with several floors displaying what one can do with their homes this Christmas with decor from the US and Europe. The themes include Chinoiserie, Santa’s Candy Land, the Nutcracker, Snowman, and Christmas Village.
The event also signaled the return of the classic Rustan’s Christmas Registry, giving everyone the opportunity to shop at ease for loved ones during the holiday season. “We just want to make sure (that) the people know we’re here for them. We’re here for the customers, we’re here for their Christmas needs. We really want to be part of your Christmas, and the holidays,” said Mr. Huang.
“We want to reintroduce Christmas as the busiest time of the year. We know what Christmas is in the Philippines, right?” He adds that although he has to double-check, he thinks one or two new brands might make it to the store in time for the holidays.
Because Christmas is also the time for giving, Rustan’s is also giving to charity. “We’ll be choosing a children’s charity,” said Mr. Huang. Customers can also join in the fun of giving with a Charity Registry in partnership with a local welfare program, allowing patrons to extend a generous hand to vulnerable children throughout the season.
Various brands are extending time-limited offers like Braun, Herschel, American Tourister, Samsonite, Adidas watches, Casio, Cross & Sheaffeur, and more. From Nov. 19 to 29, shoppers will receive a complimentary Montblanc Glacier Coaster for every purchase of a watch from the Montblanc 1858 collection. — Joseph L. Garcia