We've got an inordinately long holiday season in Manila. It's not yet mid-October and the malls are playing Christmas carols. By mid-December, nothing but shopping, eating, and sitting in traffic is going to happen here. It starts to calm down on Christmas Day. There should be 5 working days in the 2 weeks between 21December and 3 January, but we'll be lucky (or not) to see 4.
Fret not, the malls and restaurants will be open even on Christmas Day, and--more importantly to people like me--the Salcedo Saturday Market and the Legaspi Sunday Market will be open over the December weekends! klyeoh and prasantrin, and anyone else visiting friends and family in Manila over the holidays should bring loose clothing. Very loose clothing. Any hounds interested in meeting up to chow down at any of the markets can e-mail me. (I go to both when I'm in town, but I try to get out before 11am when I have to compete with ravenous crowds.)