9 must-do Christmas and New Year's Eve 2016 parties in Metro Manila

We've rounded up some of the must-do parties for the holidays, from a glamorous black-tie gala ball, a "Midnight in Paris" NYE, and all-night dancing, drinks and fireworks up on a rooftop

By Monica De Leon

1 Christmas Eve dinner at Spiral
Spiral's holiday long table

If you'd like to try traditional Philippine Christmas fare, from roast pig to chicken rellenohalo-halo to puto bumbong rice cake, then Spiral restaurant at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on Christmas eve is the place to go. For those inclined for a more traditional Christmas, the buffet table has turkey, Christmas ham, and caviar. Dining is livened up by the Manila String Machine performing live and Santa Claus roaming the halls. At the hotel's Sunset Bar, Christmas eve dinner is also on offer, with the menu consisting of traditional Christmas ham, roast pork, seafood, and free flowing iced tea and local beer. Singer Anne Ramsey and a live band are performing. At 7:30pm there's a shadow theater performance for kids.
Christmas Eve Dinner at Spiral is P5,300 (US$106) per person. Christmas Eve Dinner at Sunset Bar is P3,250++ per person.  Tel +632 832 6988, email [email protected]

2 Christmas Eve dinner at Old Manila
Writer Monica De Leon fine dining at Old Manila. Photo by Daniel Soriano

What about a romantic Christmas eve dinner at Old Manila at the Peninsula Hotel, Makati's grand old dame? The art deco-inspired restaurant, known for its modern European cuisine, was refurbished a couple of years ago, and displays artworks by contemporary Filipino artists. Chef Bertrand Charles has prepared a five-course special Christmas eve dinner.
P6,200, including a glass of champagne, per person. Tel +632 887 2888, visit Old Manila.

3 Christmas Eve dinner at Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant 

If Japanese food floats your boat, then head to Diamond Hotel's Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant in Pasay City. Yurakuen offers a set menu of beef and vegetable roll in sesame oil dressing, tuna, salmon, sashimi, sushi, tempura, and desserts from egg custard to Christmas mini cake. 
P2,280 per person, Tel +632 528 3000 local 1121, visit Diamond Hotel.

4 “Midnight in Paris” New Year’s Eve at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
One of the party highlights of Sofitel Philippine Plaza's Midnight in Paris-themed New Year's party is the grand raffle - an all-expense paid trip for two to Paris

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila which has one of the most enviable Manila Bay views in the bay area in Metro Manila is throwing its last grand party of the year, "Midnight in Paris" at the hotel's grand ballroom. Booking comes with dinner, a fireworks display at countdown, and an after-hours party at Le Bar. Dinner includes French festive favorites like foie gras, escargot, duck confit, artisanal cheese, homemade chocolates and pralines and free flowing sparkling wine, beer and for those who'd like to keep off the booze, iced tea. The Bloomfields and singer/songwriter Nicole Asensio provide live music and you get a chance to win a trip for two to Paris including air fare, accommodation, and an exclusive tour of Nicola Feuillatte Winery in Champagne. 
P4,850 per person. Tel +632 832 6988, email [email protected], check out Midnight in Paris, visit Sofitel.

5 “Oscar's Night” New Year’s Eve Gala Ball at The Peninsula Manila
The iconic lobby of The Peninsula Manila all dressed up for the grand New Year's Eve gala

Dust off that ball gown or tux for The Peninsula Manila hotel's black-tie NYE "Oscar's Night" Gala Ball and dinner, at P11,850 per plate, complete with a glass of champagne, hat and party poppers, a balloon drop following the New Year's countdown, and no less than a 21-piece orchestra providing live music. Entertainment starts from 6pm with The Peninsula String, followed by The Peninsula Cocktail Orchestra, a 21-piece orchestra, from 10pm, and Shane and Brown Union, a six-band act, from 10:45pm.
P11,850.80 per person and for children from six to 12, P8,166.20. Tel +632 887 2888 (ask to be connected to the Festive Desk), The Peninsula Manila.

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6 Rooftop New Year Countdown Party at SEDA's Straight Up Bar, Taguig

Enjoy a delicious New Year’s Eve buffet with live music in one of the most popular rooftop bar venues in Taguig City, near Makati. Straight Up Bar at Seda Bonifacio Global City hotel, where there are dizzying views of the city - no better place from where to be amazed by Manila's traditional cacaphony of fireworks and firecrackers at midnight. Upgrade to the Auld Lang Syne package and you'll get an overnight stay at the hotel, so no worries about finding a taxi.
P4,000 per person. Auld Lang Syne package P16,562 per person, which includes an overnight stay and breakfast for two adults and two children. Tel +632 945 8888, email [email protected], visit Straight Up Bar, visit SEDA BGC

7 Up on the roof NYE dancing and fireworks display at New World Manila Bay

Start your NYE celebration with dinner at New World Manila Bay's The Fireplace restaurant, offering a delicious menu of slow-roasted certified Angus beef tenderloin, coffee jus, buttered Kenya beans, shallot confit and potato fondant. After dinner, head to the hotel rooftop for all-night dancing and drinks while you wait for the New Year's pyrotechnics to start, a deafening, smoke-inducing, visual feast. 
P3,500 per person for the New Year’s Eve Set Dinner Menu; P1,500 per person for the New Year’s Eve Countdown Party access, including three rounds of drinks (choice of spirits, local beer and wine). Tel +632 252 6888, email dining.newworldhotels.com, visit New World Manila Bay.

8 The Grand Countdown to 2017 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom

Join Filipino singers Lea Salonga of "Miss Saigon" theatre fame and Bamboo perform live at The Grand Countdown to 2017 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, Marriott Hotel, at the Resorts World Manila complex on December 31. There’s a mass at 6pm followed by dinner and a show which also features stand up commedian Jon Santos.
Tickets are from P11,832 at TicketWorld. Buy 10 tickets online and get two additional tickets for free. Visit Resortsworld Manila

9 New Year's Eve dinner at Corniche

Corniche at Diamond Hotel is adding extras to its usual buffet offerings, throwing in a glass of Cava, party favors, live performances from bands Red Picasso and Zyncxation, and access to the New Year's Eve Countdown Party at Bar 27 on the hotel's 27th floor. 
P3,380 per person. Tel +632 528 3000 local 1121, visit Diamond Hotel.

Published December 2016