Georgina and Clayton Tugonon
It all started with Georgina wanting to have a White Christmas in the tropics. With her penchant for collecting, it soon became a Christmas Village with almost lifelike snow. When her husband, Clayton, stepped in, it became a working Christmas Village with motors and water running and lights everywhere. We used to visit their house and see the spectacle every year. If Clayton Tugonon seems familiar to some of you, he is also a SNUG designer and designs the very organic hand inlaid pieces. Last year, they adopted the Kythe Foundation. Kythe is a Scottish word which means healing through simple sharing and togetherness. It provides psychosocial care to sick children in hospitals especially those stricken with cancer.
Marco Polo Plaza Hotel GM Hans Hauri, Sr. ______, the Tugonons
They partnered with Marco Polo Hotel and staged the scene in one little corner at the lobby. To raise funds for the cause, donations for each house was five thousand pesos (almost a hundred dollars in today's conversion). Donors' names were then printed on each house. It was so well supported that the event raised about a million pesos. Spurred to success, it is bigger and better this year. Georgina and Clayton Tugonon bought more houses for the village and as of last update, they have now raised almost 2 million pesos. If I'm not mistaken, a senator just pledged 5 million pesos. Here are photos from the set up to the final idyllic display.
some of the volunteers
The kids getting ready to go on stage.
I got a furniture store and naturally, a shoe store :-)
Fun to play a holiday version of Second Life for a cause.
The outreach continues at other times of the year. Sometimes, the kids are treated to their favorite fastfood place, Jollibee. It's the Philippine version of McDonald's and trumps McD's in ratings.
joyrides with the car club in their beetles or sports cars
kids get to pick their favorite colors
followed by a snack at La Marea, our favorite dessert place
Breakfast with the kids will be the highlight of my day on December 20th.
For more information, please see Christmas Hope
Another activity by Kythe is the Unity in Diversity Christmas Tree Project