SM City Cebu's Christmas Village of Hope

SM City Cebu formally opened the Christmas Village of Hope at the Northwing Atrium on November 26, 2011. No less than the president of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Mr. Hans Sy, and his sister Ms. Elizabeth Sy, the president of SM Hotels and Conventions led the unveiling ceremony.

An overview of the 70 square-meter Christmas Village of Hope at the Northwing Atrium

The event started with a performance from Cebu’s Double String Quartet and the University of Cebu Chorus. The award-winning choir group, Mandaue Children and Youth Chorus also sang Christmas songs. Conductor Mr. Dennis Gregory Sugarol led the young boys and girls to an outstanding performance. The choir group sang the SM Christmas ChriSMs jingle version of Youtube sensation Maria Aragon. SM Supermalls chose International YouTube sensation Maria Aragon to sing the SM Supermalls’ official holiday tune, SM Christmas ChriSMs Bop, to make the Christmas celebration extra special for its shoppers and loyal patrons.

Mr. Hans Sy and Ms. Elizabeth Sy led the ceremonial lighting of the symbolic Christmas Tree which opened the curtain exposing the over 70 square-meter Christmas Village of Hope. Witnessing the opening of the Christmas Village was also Ms. Marissa Fernan, vice president of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

Left to Right: Clayton Tugonon, Joji Tugonon, Lala Sotto-Antonio, Elizabeth Sy, Hans Sy, Marissa Fernan

The Christmas Village collection is owned by couple, Clayton and Joji Tugonon. Joji started her collection of miniature houses eighteen years ago. A miniature Christmas village was set-up in her home in Cebu. Year after year, she added her collection little by little until her modest village set grew to 440 pieces with trains and dozens of miniature vignettes now worth about P3 million. Joji’s husband, Clayton, a renowned furniture designer and manufacturer, helped Joji design the Christmas Village.

In 2008, a foundation that supports children with autism asked the Tugonons if they were willing to receive the children in their house to view the Christmas Village. The management of a hotel in Cebu City also read about their collection and offered them the hotel as venue to showcase the Christmas Village. The Tugonons agreed provided that the set-up should have a charity component.

Hans Sy, Marissa Fernan and Santa with the children with cancer

The Tugonons chose the Kythe Foundation, a foundation that takes care of children with cancer. Joji Tugonon, who is childless, had a nanny whose child has cancer. Sometimes she would accompany the nanny and the child when the child got treatment. Touched by the plight of the other children, Joji spoke to her husband Clayton about her plan to help.  Clayton then arranged a  car caravan on New Year’s Day of 2008 to raise funds for the cancer patients. The Tugonons raised P100,000 during the car caravan.

In 2009, their first exhibit in Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu raised P1.4 million for the Christmas Village, and in 2010, they raised P1.9 million plus a P5M donation from Sen. Tito Sotto. This year, the couple aims to raise P2.7M in SM City Cebu.

The Christmas Village of Hope aims to raise funds for the indigent children with cancer under the care of Kythe Foundation Inc. The funds are intended for the chemotherapy of the children. The proceeds will also help fund the laboratory and imaging procedures, medicines as well as the Kythe sponsored celebrate life parties and events.

Survivor, Kianna, speaks in behalf of the children with cancer

Interested donors may visit the Northwing Atrium for their donations (house adoption) and pledges. One may also check the Facebook account bearing the name "CHRISTMAS HOPE"  to choose the “Christmas Houses” they wish to adopt or sponsor. They can get in touch with Joji Tugonon through the following contact numbers: 032-5149899, 032- 3163730, 0917 716 7705 & 0922 8222 167, or email at Each of the miniature houses cost P5,000, while the train/carriage is for adoption at P20,000.                                                              

Just some of the houses that are up for adoption in the Christmas Village of Hope 

The Christmas Village of Hope is also supported by Jollibee, Greenwich, Red Ribbon and Chowking. It will run until January 2, 2012.