While the Philippines is known to have the longest Christmas celebration, it is always been anticipated because of the extravagant decorations and feasts. Baguio Christmas village is just an example of that. We’d been to the Christmas village 2 years ago with my nephews and it was a gratifying experience. The kids enjoyed the “snow” and took as many pictures with “candy crush” characters as well as with the cast of the “Christmas story.” Baguio’s cold weather definitely completes the ‘white Christmas’ setting the Christmas village wants the people to experience.
It was supposed to be enough. I mean, we don’t need to go back there and waste a hundred peso each for we know that the snow is fake and we naturally get our feel of the cold every “ber months” as we reside in the city. However, we were there to treat ourselves with a night of local tour. Yes, balancing parenthood and work had been so harsh that it, being a part of everyday life, has been life itself. Small and simple trips are unusual. Most often than not, I have to cancel some of my booked lessons and ask for a day off on my other job just to have time with my son. While it strengthens family bond, it also means, tightening budget as I am a freelance worker and is depending on a no-work, no-pay, kind of job.
I used to have no problem working extra hours since my husband used to be a house-husband and took care of our son in his early months and other household stuff – cooking included. What can I say, he’s better than me at it and we both have no problem with that as he loves cooking and I don’t! However a few months ago, he got employed in an office-based work and he only got Sunday for a day off. We usually attend a worship service in the morning of Sunday, and come home, rest a while and do the laundry or other household chores. Admittedly, we are both silently moaning that time is too short. Our son is particularly cranky whenever he gets tired of playing by himself or with his grandfather. He’s an energetic 20-month old boy and his Papa Clair can’t catch up with his playtime demands so we decided to go out for a night. Indeed, he was the happiest. Since it is Christmas season, the closest place we could go to for a short R&R is at the Christmas village of country club. I searched on the internet if it was open and if there are certain rules that we had to keep in mind before we went there.
Originally, went there on November 18, 2015 but were dismayed since the people from the lowlands came up to the city supposedly to avoid the APEC hassle but unintentionally blocked the city roads. Literally, they brought their heavy traffic with them. So that day, we went home exhausted and disappointed. So we rescheduled and finally, no more traffic problems and long lines.
Upon entering, Xen, my son, immediately noticed the dragons and uttering “roar!” “roar!” It was still dark and the lights weren’t on and the Christmas story started the show. I think it was only me who was interested with the show as Grandpa and Xen are trying to figure out how the lights would look like and what will happen next. Suddenly the snow machine went on and the kids enthusiastically tried to catch the snow bubbles. I thought my son would be like them but he grabbed on tight on me, scared and bothered. He didn’t even want to take a picture or get down and play on them. But when I put him down, he immediately grabbed the snow bubbles on the ground like he usually does when I do the laundry and he’s around.
Then the lights went on as well as the singing. He was amazed and felt relaxed. He likes lights. He likes music. He is not into watching but he immediately jerks up and stay focused when there is music playing around. I was only on guard. I was actually worried he might not enjoy the night and as a parent, my enjoyment would be from seeing him happy.
We went around and he was keenly observant on every light design that he sees. Then we saw something that my husband and I knew he would love.
That wasn’t there the last time we visited the place. The kids play area! He loved the slide. (It was his first time, actually.) It was a breath of fresh air and satisfaction when I finally saw him smile. That was an indication that he was enjoying. His energy was maintained and when the artificial snow came the second time around, we finally took a picture of him enjoying the show. Surely, it was a wonderfully spent night.