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Metro Opinion

With a Bang

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

The New Year countdown at the heart of the central business district (CBD) of Makati was clearly a success with countless in attendance, not only condo dwellers but also people coming from nearby villagers, cities and municipalities.

It looks like Makati Mayor Abby Binay-Campos, including her supporters from Barangay Bel-air, is leaving no stones unturned to make the holiday celebration a lot more meaningful and one that the residents as well as non-residents will remember in the years to come.

Several days before Christmas, Barangay Bel-air local leaders sponsored a mini-concert at Velasquez Park, the site of the weekly Saturday organic market, of no less than Mr. Christmas, himself, Jose Mari Chan.


Joining Jose Mari were the Ateneo Grade School Choir, Presidential Communications Office Director for Broadcast Production Cris Villonco, the granddaughter of Aawitan Kita fame Armida Siguion-Reyna, who is the half-sister of chief presidential legal counsel former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile; and his children Lisa, Francisco Rafael, and Jose Antonio.

Heard from my view deck that these events are part of the brand strategy to make the people remember the local leader and forward preparations to run in Taguig, which has assumed supervision of 10 Makati barangays. Remember the political tussle between the local leaders of Makati and Taguig with the latter insisting these barangays are part of the Bonifacio Global City (BGC). 

Back to the countdown, the preparation was done in less than five days with a portion of Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue closed to traffic. This created a slight gridlock even during the unholy hours but there’s a little of a complaint as everyone looks forward to the event.

Walking around the entire stretch of Ayala Avenue on that night was akin but not quite to Times Square in New York, wherein huge LCDs were put up in strategically located areas.


Lacking, though, was the famous and iconic New Year’s Eve Ball that descends from a building, in New York it’s usually at One Times Square. That would have made the count down perfect and complete.

Revelers have to be contended with the manual “viva voce.” Led by Mayor Abby along with the performers of the night – Regine Velasquez and Pop-boy group SB19, the merrymakers collectively shouted on top of their voices the last ten seconds of 2023.

Millennials and GenZs responded positively to the performance of SB19. The letdown, from what I gathered around, was that the spiel of the hosts was “pa-ulit-ulit” that bothers some.

Not to be outdone was Taguig, Makati's fierce rival. While Makati has our very own local talent – SB19, performers at the countdown in the posh BGC were headed by no less than K-pop girl group Red Velvet.

SB19 and Red Velvet, though, have one thing in common – both trained by a Korean entertainment company. I wonder how much is Red Velvet’s talent fee and who settled the payment?

Oh well, 2023 ended with a bang. For this year, I am pretty sure the bang would be louder to drumbeat for the midterm election.

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