Christmas on Display returns to Araneta Center

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For many families who’ve made it a tradition to see COD come December, watching it in Cubao once again is sure to bring back memories.

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — In the late 1950s, Alex Rosario Sr. concocted a plan to attract more customers to his department store during the holiday season. He placed several life-sized animatronic mannequins on his storefront, which evidently raked in the crowds. This became a yearly tradition known as “Christmas on Display” or COD. In 1966, the display was moved to Araneta Center along with the department store’s transfer. But as the years went by, the department store could no longer keep up with the massive malls popping up in the area, leading to its shut down in 2002 and the moving of the display to Greenhills.

This year, COD makes its return to Araneta Center after 16 long years with the apt theme, “Christmas is Home.” For many families who’ve made it a tradition to see COD come December, watching it in Cubao once again is sure to bring back memories.

Ray Rosario, son of Alex Rosario Sr., and manager of Rosario Animated Display, talks about the long process involved in making the nostalgic display come to life and what makes COD such an iconic mainstay in Manila’s holiday celebrations.