DREAMING OF CITY OF DREAMS MANILA

You don’t have to go to Macau to visit a 6-Star hotel, City of Dreams Manila is now open!

Located along Roxas Boulevard and Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Paranaque City, Manila, this mammoth structure adds color to the skyline in the reclaimed portion of Aseana City which includes Hyatt Hotel, Nobu Hotel and Crown Towers. City of Dreams is a joint venture between Melco Crown Entertainment and Belle Corporation, a subsidiary of SM Investments Corporation.

Weeks after their soft opening in January, they sponsored a contest in their Facebook account where they gave away 4 free tickets to 150 persons to watch the Concert of Dreams Grand Opening Party on Feb. 2, 2015. The contest mechanics was simple: to Like the Concert of Dreams poster, Share and write a comment explaining why you should receive free tickets to the concert, and finally tag three of your Facebook friends.

Concert of Dreams Facebook Contest Post
Concert of Dreams Facebook Contest Post

Since January is my birth month, I left a comment saying that I want to celebrate my birthday at the City of Dreams. After a week, they had posted the first batch of winners.  A few days later, the next batch of winners was released but my name was not included.  I thought the Concert of Dreams contest was over thus  I left another comment on my first post informing my  friends that I failed to  win any tickets.  However, shortly after my post, the organizers announced that they had decided to give away tickets to an additional 150 winners.  This time I got lucky for my name was part of the list of the Third Batch of winners! The reference number for claiming the tickets was sent through my email after two days, which I later claimed at an SM Ticket outlet.

The list of performers  for the Concert of Dreams Grand Opening Party were later released:  Kyla, Jed Madela, Zsazsa Padilla, Gary Valenciano, Four-Time Grammy Winner Kelly Rowland and Grammy Award-Winner Ne-Yo.

City of Dreams, here I come!

Concert of Dreams Grand Opening Hosts Marc Nelson and Angel Jacob
Concert of Dreams Grand Opening Hosts Marc Nelson and Angel Jacob

The show was hosted by Marc Nelson and Angel Jacob. Kyla serenaded the audience with her high notes while Jed sweated it out with a repertoire of five songs. He was wearing a coat with leather sleeves. Zsazsa was still beautiful as ever in her 50’s and Gary was still energetic as he was in the 80’s. Kelly sang only two songs while Ne-Yo, the highlight of the concert, performed three songs. Everybody was on their feet dancing to the beat and waving their hands, well, together with their cellphones and tablets, taking video of his performance. Yes, that included me!

Concert of Dreams Grand Opening Concert Performers Kyla, Jed Madela, Ms. Zsazsa Padilla ang Mr. 'Pure Energy' Gary Valenciano.
Concert of Dreams Grand Opening Concert Performers Kyla, Jed Madela, Ms. Zsazsa Padilla ang Mr. ‘Pure Energy’ Gary Valenciano.

The iconic dome-like structure called Fortune Egg found at the center of the complex is believed to be their ‘lucky charm’. The Concert of Dreams stage was set below having the Egg as the background.

 

Grand Opening Concert International Performers Kelly Rowland and Ne-Yo.
Grand Opening Concert International Performers Kelly Rowland and Ne-Yo.

The viewing public was divided into sections and I found myself in Section B, only few meters away from the stage, together with the rest of the winners.  Each person was given a City of Dreams Goodie bag that contains a hotel guide, light stick, rain coat and food stubs. The amount indicated in the stubs can be used to purchase any food in drinks, in short, IT’S FREE!

Free food and drinks for guests.
Free food and drinks for guests.

 

But it was not easy to get any food, the line was not short and you need a long patience in queuing just to place your order, wait for them to prepare until it is cooked. I waited more than an hour standing and missed some of the performers. But I went back to watch Ne-Yo after placing my order and returned to claim it after the concert.

 

The official launching of City of Dreams Manila was led by Top Executives by opening a replica of the Fortune Egg on stage using symbolic keys then with some wine toasting and ended with fireworks display.

Grand Opening with Top Bosses
Opening the symbolic Fortune Egg with Top Bosses (Picture courtesy of City of Dreams Facebook Page)

It was unfortunate that I have left the stage area right after Ne-Yo’s performance and missed this historic ceremony but I was fortunate not to suffer burns from the fireworks above head. It has been reported that the ashes fell on the spectators below and was taken to the nearest medical emergency tent.

Since I was already tired from from watching the Concert of Dreams, I had no time to tour the inside, perhaps another time. I have registered online for Dream Rewards membership card and still have to claim it. ‘Till the next post.

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