• Reimagining Christmas during the pandemic

    Family reunions and get-togethers, the Misa de Gallo are just among our Christmas traditions that have been upended by the new corona virus, Covid-19.

    While we are strongly advised to observe the minimum safety protocol, our movements outside the house have been restricted. Christmas parties and other large gatherings even during the Christmas season have been discouraged.

    Because of the pandemic, some families who normally get together and dine in hotels or restaurants, may instead opt to celebrate at home. Heeding the advice of health experts will save them from the health risks and hazards.

    Despite the adversities, Christmas will always be here to stay. People will continue to find ways to feel the holiday spirit. If families can't go out, then some hotels and restaurants have braced themselves for an increase in takeout orders even if they are open to guests who wish to dine under strict protocols.

    The noche buena spread in the home table will still be extra special even if the pandemic prevents families from celebrating in hotels and restaurants. Instead, families can reimagine Christmas by celebrating at home and ordering their favorite dishes from their favorite hotels, and still feel the Christmas magic and festive spirit.

    For instance, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Hotel anticipates an uptake in takeout orders, even if its classic Christmas favorites are featured in its managed buffet on Christmas eve and New Year's eve.

    Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Brian Connelly says, “We are ready for takeout orders from the Cebuanos as we desire to bring Christmas cheer to their homes through the Festive Classic Favorites prepared by our award-winning chefs at the Marco Polo kitchens.”
    “They may order our Classic Christmas Ham, Roast Turkey, Roast Beef, Chicken Relleno ahead of time by emailing hospitality.ceb@marcopolohotels.com. Our signature pastries and other Christmas goodies will also be available at the Lobby Lounge for them to bring home,” he added.

    Marco Polo Plaza Cebu's Christmas bestsellers are the Christmas Ham, Roast Turkey, USDA Roast Beef, and Chicken Relleno.

    However Connelly also revealed that the hotel also has “virtual party set menus for families who are celebrating with friends and extended family online.” These menu items range from a cheese platter and a bottle of wine to rib eye steaks with side salad, pasta, mashed potatoes and dessert.

    According to Connelly, “The pandemic might bring a bit of a damper on this season, but we are here to help you add a touch of magic to your Festive Gatherings at home.”

    For families who wish to make their noche buena spread a little extra special, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu has a Facebook page, facebook.com/marcopolocebu that you can check for more information. One may also call 253111for further information.

    Not even the pandemic can stop the festive spirit.
    While we wanted to check out the special Christmas offerings of a couple of other city hotels, they have deferred answering for now. Nonetheless you can always call your favorite hotels and ask if you can order your favorite Christmas dish for takeout . (Thea C. Riñen)
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