Going green has never looked this cool as Power Plant Mall dials down with a more monochromatic color palette for #ChristmasAtRockwell 2018.
The mall goes for a relaxed vibe with its garlanded posts and arches, and hallways lined with lush greenery. Punches of color are provided by red berries, poinsettias, fairy lights and silver balls peeping from within the greens.
On the P1 Level, the giant Christmas tree that wowed shoppers last year makes its reappearance. The red ornaments have given way to more green, enhancing the serene feel.
This year, the North Court and the new wing also get their own trees, while the animatronic menagerie has reinforcements in the form of unicorns, squirrels and snow leopards, joining the singing reindeer, pandas, penguins and bears.
Christmas in July
What goes on behind the scenes of the much-anticipated holiday treat?
According to Power Plant Mall assistant operations manager Will Gilbuena, the team gets into Christmas mode as early as July, when they begin brainstorming ideas for the décor.
Led by assistant horticulture manager Lester Almazan, the décor team includes Gilbuena, the Power Plant Mall marketing team and Jaime Santiago, the mall’s Christmas décor consultant for the past 10 years.
Gilbuena points out that one person would be hardpressed to come up with fresh ideas year in and year out, thus the importance of having a strong sense of collaboration among the team members, plus the guidance of Rockwell president Nestor J. Padilla.
“The objective is always to give customers something new,” Gilbuena says. “We try to find not only the exact theme that we want, but also the right people to collaborate with.”
The six-month lead time is allotted for polishing the concept, preparing mock-ups, choosing suppliers, arranging deliveries and setting up electrical provisions, reveals Power Plant Mall operations manager Nio Gutierrez.
By November, the team gears up for the installation of the décor, all the while ensuring that a line is drawn between overlapping celebrations.
“We have to put that distinction. It can’t be a blend of Halloween-Christmas,” Gilbuena says.
Gutierrez, a first-timer on the décor team, was in charge of the undertaking’s engineering side.
“We have to establish provisions for the electrical works before we turn over the area to Will’s team for the decoration installation,” Gutierrez says. “Where do we put the wires so that they will not be seen? All our installations have to be well-thought out. They can’t be scattered all over as it will be unsightly, not to mention dangerous.”
Gutierrez cites the giant tree, which rests on a metal plate that has been doubly secured with lots of bolts and wires at its base, out of sight of visitors.
“There are no wires holding up the Christmas tree, unlike last year. More than aesthetic, it’s also safe. It makes everyone feel good and safe at the same time.”
It took about 30 members of the facilities services team some two weeks to erect the Christmas trees, install the lights and put up the wreaths.
Meanwhile, a security issue involving a big budol-budol group was recently resolved by the mall’s security team. The breakthrough is understandably something that senior security manager Tony Padua is proud of.
“The Makati police and the guest who reported the incident were very happy that the suspects were apprehended. They were asking how we did it,” says Padua.
According to Padua, who is also in charge of security at Santolan Town Plaza in San Juan, the security team makes sure to give “extra attention” to senior guests, especially those who are at the mall solo and are more likely to be approached by undesirable elements.
#ChristmasAtRockwell in San Juan
Over at Santolan Town Plaza, operations manager Ariel Ferrer is looking forward to the mall’s first full-blown Christmas celebration.
“We conducted a survey and the customers say they like the resort feel of Santolan Town Plaza, which is different from the usual malls in the area,” Ferrer says of the mixed-use development in San Juan.
The Power Plant Mall decorations have been carried over to Santolan Town Plaza, albeit on a smaller scale, he adds.
Those who can’t make it to Power Plant don’t have to worry about missing out on #ChristmasAtRockwell as Santolan Town Plaza has its own giant Christmas tree.
Some of the bigger mall’s signature holiday traditions, such as the Musical Christmas choral performance every Sunday and the meet-and-greet with Santa Claus for the kids, have also been transplanted to San Juan, says Ferrer.
Always something new
Gilbuena says Power Plant Mall will continuously strive to offer shoppers extraordinary experiences, something that they have consistently done for more than two decades now.
“Whenever they come in, we will always have something new to offer. It’s our way of saying ‘You are special, you are welcome and we would like you to be in Power Plant Mall.’”
Gutierrez seconds this, saying the team will continue to give shoppers that “wow factor” every year.
For Ferrer, not only are they transplanting the Rockwell experience to the San Juan area through Santolan Town Plaza, “we are also bringing the safety and security that we are known for.”
For his part, Padua stresses: “Our culture is such that if we have concerns involving other teams, we liaise with the appropriate person and do what we have to do right away.”
This strong bond among the teams translates into a shopping experience beyond ordinary for Rockwell and Power Plant guests, he adds.