Christmas Hope:It Takes A Village

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 

"An expression of all things unified without uniformity and diversified without division", the theme is Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree! Unity in Diversity. 

The hotel Dusit Thani Manila put together a symbolism of oneness by gathering a distinctive ensemble of Christmas Trees created by
 twelve individuals and companies by providing their very own symbolic Christmas Tree that best evokes their existence in the industry they are in.

Tessa Prieto Valdes's Christmas tree showcases diverse world-class Filipino fashion design through Barbie dolls. Each doll has been embellished with the finest fabrics and jewels representing each of the designer's exquisite fashion design sense including students of Slim's Fashion and Arts School. Tessa's beneficiary is the school of Fr. Gerard in Sorsogon that has over 300 young kids which needs better lights and ventilation. 
Dubbed the "Little Black Tree", Celine Lopez's Christmas tree is inspired by the Little Black Dress of Coco Chanel. Just like the LBD, the tree is intended to be classic, versatile, and accessible. Moreover, the Little Black Tree is similar to the LBD's indispensability and ubiquity, and is designed as simply as possible, adorned with white roses. Her chosen charity is the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women (CATW), which promotes women's human rights.

The Sharing Tree by Lifestyle Asia and joined by designer Junjun Ablaza is made up of wood products, traditional agricultural and garden tools, rakes, hoes, scythes, sickles, baskets and watering cans speaks of the relationship between the gardener and his garden. Lifestyle Asia is a proponent for the best of living which is marked by an elegance of spirit and supports the Make A Wish Foundation.
HSBC Christmas tree is fashioned from bamboo painted white with hand carved niches for candles. Designed by prominent export entrepreneur and artist Al Caronan, the red and white tree is decorated with stars made from plastic water bottles and ornaments hand sewn by the young girls of Tahanan Sta. Luisa. HSBC has been a long-time partner and supporter of Childhope Asia and Tahanan Sta. Luisa and lauds their efforts to provide these girls with a healthy home environment and brighter futures.
The House of Laurel Christmas tree, joint effort between Rajo Laurel and its beneficiary RAGS2RICHES, uses salvaged objects such as wire hangers, scrap metal, scrap fabric, old twine and colored paper. The tree is spiral-shaped with wire hangers designed in to look like wings, carrying the dreams and wishes of the impoverished community of Payatas, whose able hands all contributed in the creation of the tree.
The Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Christmas tree features multi-media materials to represent unity in diversity. Among the materials used are dried Durian rind from Gongoog City, Pili Nuts from Iriga City and the dried mini Formosan Pineapple harvested from Daet, Camarines Norte and many more. LPU believes that the collecting and gathering of materials from nature's unwanted and discarded objects can be productive and economical or a beneficial entrepreneurial endeavor. LPU has chosen LPU Scholarships and Grants as their beneficiary - an organization providing tuition grants and discounts to the brightest and most talented students of the school.
Canon incorporates their technologies in their Christmas tree design, and the bridges that they have helped build and strengthen. Canon also re-imagines the moments where they have induced the most basic, yet considered to be the most beautiful indicator that they have been successful in our business and social mission, a SMILE. Canon further takes inspiration from their beneficiary organization, Kythe, which strengthens children's determination to battle cancer and other chronic illnesses. And in return, help them have a happy and memorable childhood, the moments that Canon is passionate in immortalizing through their products.
School of Fashion and the Arts, SOFA, built and designed their Christmas tree from used water bottles for the leaves, hand cut by the maximum security inmates of the Muntinlupa prison. The Christmas ornaments were made by the fashion students of SoFA which include pin cushions, dolls, stars, hearts, and other jewel-toned and silver accent materials. SoFA's chosen beneficiary is the group of talented and promising young designers, whose passion and skills overshadow their lack of educational funding, are developed to be the designers that they truly are through the SoFA scholarship program.

Thai-inspired Christmas tree by Rachy Cuna as commissioned by Thai Airways International to showcase the "Thainess" of its airline and nation to the Filipinos. It incorporates the corporate colors of purple, pink, and yellow reflects the corporate identity of the airline and the unique culture and traditions of Thailand. Thai Airways supports the GMA Kapuso Foundation which places focus on Health, Disaster Relief, Education and Values Formation.
Teddy Manuel's Christmas tree is a chandelier of blown glass balls, various blooms and lights. Hand blown glass balls are individually hung to form the shape of a Christmas tree. Each glass ball represents one person, unified into one beautiful output to shape the country, no matter what social and economic background he or she may have. The chosen foundation for Teddy Manuel Flowers and Events is Sagip Buhay Foundation which provides free medicine to indigent patients at the medical wards and ICUs of the Philippine General Hospital.
Tesoro's Christmas tree consists of new products such as their table -- top trees made from local nuts and twigs, tree trimso of miniature baskets, Christmas balls and hats and twine of Capiz. Their "Pamaskong Pilipino" theme reflect a Christmas tree that is both traditional and contemporary, the best of Filipino creativity. Tesoro's chosen beneficiary is Carewell The Cancer Resource and Wellness Community which provides free support to those diagnosed with cancer and their families.
The Tim Yap tree is made of 100% recycled materials from the twigs of the tree to the fabric and buttons used for the Red Cross dolls that embellish the sculpture. The charity dolls were made by youth volunteers from fabric and excess materials from factories into creative little toys. Red Cross is Tim Yap's chosen beneficiary.

The hotel invites all its in-house and dining guests as well as Facebook friends to cast their votes for the best Christmas Tree, where a a hundred thousand pesos will be donated to the winning entry’s chosen charity. 

1 comment:

traci zeller designs said...

What an amazing story! I LOVE the different trees!