Home and Kitchen Diaries

Bel-Air saves Christmas

Lit lanterns bring a feeling of joy sneaking into one’s heart

COVID pandemic-inspired lantern wins first prize.
COVID pandemic-inspired lantern wins first prize.

I had a special opportunity to feel Christmas even in this pandemic when the Bel-Air Village invited me, former Cultural Center of the Philippines president Nestor Jardin and Martina Bautista to judge the Christmas Lantern Contest around this cozy village in Makati last December 20.

The pandemic didn’t dampen the Bel-Air Village’s community spirit. To express the community’s gratitude for the blessings of family, good health, and peace, the Bel-Air Village Association, with Barangay Bel-Air and the Women of Bel-Air Foundation, organized the Pasko ng Pasasalamat.

It was a variety of events that was kicked off by an online concert of talented residents— the E-Jeepney Caroling, Apple Pie Baking Contest, TikTok Challenge, Family Bonding Photo Contest, Poetry Contest, culminating in an Online Game Night filled with fun and laughter. The E-Jeepney Caroling was led by barangay captain Nene Lichauco, Association president Mila Reyes, Women of Bel-Air Foundation president Girlie Guerzon.

At first I was hesitant to go out but the safety protocols were followed strictly. I just had to ride my own car and join the convoy around the streets to see the lanterns hanging from the homes.

I felt this refreshing happiness seeing the lit lanterns—it was like a feeling of joy sneaking into one’s heart in these sad abnormal times. We were so thankful to see how many homes went all out to create and hang the traditional Filipino parol. Of course, many of them carried the COVID pandemic theme—like Christmas balls with masks and a lot of recycled materials.

This is what I love about Bel-Air. The community spirit has always been strong, like in the Saturday market and in the Concert at the Park, even if they weren’t held this year. But somehow the spirit of the residents remains undaunted. In Pasko ng Pasasalamat, their grateful hearts shone through this Christmas.

Yakult bottles make up 2nd prize winner in the Christmas Lantern contest.Grab bike-inspired decor wins third prizeHat winnersHat winnersE-Jeepney caroling


About author


He is one of the leading fashion show and event directors in the country, an advocate of Philippine fashion and popular culture.

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