Christmas is the time for giving. It is the time for hope. It is the time when people open up their hearts to help the people around them. While people normally give something to the less fortunate during the Christmas season, others take this to another level. They give kind-hearted people the opportunity make a difference in the lives of others.
Long before the first Christmas Village was set up at the Northwing Atrium of SM City Cebu, Joji Tugonon created her own Christmas village at home over two decades ago. The collection started with seven pieces and she gradually increased her collection each year, adding more and more pieces to the village. It was mainly a personal treat for Joji who once came home with balikbayan boxes full of the miniature models.
It was also providential that her husband is a furniture designer and manufacturer. Clayton designed the Christmas Village, which was initially displayed at their home. In 2008, Joji played host to children with autism after an organization asked her if they can pay a visit. Later, Mrs. Tugonon agreed to have the collection displayed at a public venue. A hotel in Cebu served as the first public venue for the Christmas village, which had a charity component where each house and train was adopted to benefit children with cancer. The Christmas Village raised PHP1.4 million after it was displayed at the Marco Polo Hotel.
SM City Cebu offered to host the Christmas Village of Hope after the Tugonon couple was looking for a more public venue. Already on its sixth year, the Christmas Village of Hope has nearly 700 miniature models and is among the biggest Christmas villages in the country. Some miniature models seem to tell a story. One has a teacher giving a math lesson to some students inside a school while another model shows the Nativity scene. Highlighting the collection of miniature models of the Tugonons this year are different churches around the world.
The Kythe Foundation will be the main beneficiary of the Christmas Village of Hope. The proceeds will be used for the treatment of children with cancer. Have you already checked out the Christmas Village of Hope at the Northwing Atrium of SM City Cebu? It’s on display until January 8, 2017.
Lola Pureza's Peanut Browas, a taste of old Cebu.
Available in leading supermarkets and pasalubong shops.