Trying to get a feel of Christmas

Jenara Regis Newman
·3 min read

IT’S about the middle of November. Do you feel Christmas in the air? Me, I’m trying hard to get a whiff of Christmas but it’s really not quite there. I pass by the corner of Imus and Sikatuna streets and try to see if the Day-as “100 days to Christmas” countdown is there but can’t seem to see it for all the notices they have put up. But yes, the Christmas tree is there, and the Sto. Niño statue.

Robinsons Galleria Cebu’s main lobby is already decorated with its tall Christmas tree, but the lights are not yet on. And in my neighborhood in Talisay City, Star Mall is fronted with a sea of lights, not twinkling, neither red nor green, just a bright yellow. Maybe for hope of a brighter tomorrow? Other establishments probably have also bravely put up their Christmas displays and trees, but with the limitation to essential travel these days, I can’t roam around to see them like I used to.

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Anyway, life goes on. So when Hanski Garcia sent an invite for a “Thankful Together” bash at Filinvest’s Il Corso, I gladly went, especially as the affair started with Holy Mass, which I have not been able to physically attend since about mid-March, relying solely on TV masses. Finally, I could receive holy communion. What joy!

It was a thankful celebration for the Il Corso community of management frontliners and the mall’s business locators. Guests were treated to Christmas melodies from the Fifth Serenades and performances by the Dreamcatchers inspired by, according to Hanski, “today’s call to kindness, empathy and social consciousness,” before and after the lighting of the beautiful, 28-foot-tall Il Corso Christmas tree.

The happiness of the season was there but marred by the fact of everyone having to keep socially distant, with face masks, face shields... and yes, drinks were from Bubble Z and food from Dessert Factory had to come in plastic containers—all these necessary precautions dampened the holiday cheer as they reminded us very visually that there is an unseen vicious enemy waiting somewhere to strike, hopefully not where we were!

At that affair, I met Dexter Alazas who had lost several pounds. I could hardly recognize him. He was recently featured in the California-based Luxury Trending Magazine with a write–up by Gavin Sanson Bagares. He said the magazine’s editorial staff plan to visit Cebu after the pandemic. Congratulations for the international exposure and cheers for your hablon advocacy, Dexter.

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Over at the Waterfront Mactan Airport Hotel and Casino, there was also a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Instead of inviting us there, because again of pandemic precautions, manager Benhur Caballes and staff sent instead a box containing a feast of a meal—mixed green salad with red molasses dressing, pumpkin carrot soup, beef teppan with wild mushrooms, roasted veggies, nasi kuning and banoffee for dessert—lovingly prepared by the hotel’s executive chef, Tristan Encarnacion.

With the boxed meal was a gingerbread house: Finally, there is something Christmassy at home.

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Qube Gallery has been consistently coming up with exhibits of art works. Currently on exhibit are the works of Golda King. The solo exhibition, dubbed “Connect the Dots,” features Golda’s interpretation of “vegetal themes with her distinctive watercolor, graphite and gouache with pointillism references.” Also in the exhibit are pen and ink works done during her art residency in Vermont in 2017. The exhibit is ongoing until this Saturday.