A magical world
BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
It’s that magical time of the year again when Bacolod a rtist and designer Bamboo Tonogbanua brings joy to all those who visit his miniature village filled with thousands of tiny objects that bring the festive spirit of Christmas around the world alive.
“Collecting these miniature pieces has been a lifelong pleasure and sharing them with others brings me joy beyond measure,” said Tonogbanua, whose famous miniature Christmas Village at his ancestral home in Bacolod City opens for the 23rd year to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. starting December 1 to January 4.
“It is a tradition I dearly treasure,” he said of the village, he first opened to the public in 1996, that has grown from a one table display to two rooms on the second floor of his home.
Fr. Mao Buenafe, who blessed the 2019 Christmas Village Thursday night ahead of its opening to the public said Tonogbanua has a big heart to do what he does every year without fail.
“Bamboo built his Christmas Village to share the joy of Christmas with others, especially the little children,” Buenafe said.
The message of Christmas is hope, and the joy Tonogbanua’s Village gives others brings hope, he said.
Buenafe also noted that the ecumenical spirit in the village delivers the message of unity and harmony in the world.
Aside from miniatures of places from around the world, Tonogbanua’s village features fairytale figures and castles, festive carnival rides, trains running through tunnels beneath snow covered mountains, and people dancing and skating on ice as multi-colored tiny lights blink and Christmas music plays in the background.
The latest additions to this year’s village are a bigger Jerusalem filled with ancient buildings, and an expanded Chinatown.
In the magical world, the Frozen castle is populated by more fairytale characters, including Aladdin and Princess Jasmine gliding across the sky on a magic carpet with Genie nearby.
The Christmas Village warms the hearts and fills the eyes because it has everything you dream of in a make-believe world, Tonogbanua said.*
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