Philippine Star feature: Santa Claus lives here!

Philippine Star Casa Santa
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Philippine Star feature: Santa Claus lives here!

By: Dina Sta.Maria

(The Casa Santa Museum’s First Full page feature in the Philippine Star back in 2004!

IMAGINE ALL THE HO-HO-HO’s RINGING THROUH THE HOUSE AS 1,422 –count ‘em!—representations of jolly old Saint Nick occupy every nook, cranny and crevice of this half-century-old house in the leafy confines of Antipolo.

Casa Santa museum facade

The owner of the collection has been picking up Santa figures during her travels over the past decade, scouring boutiques, department stores, curio and antique shops here and abroad for unusual depictions of Santa and other symbols of Christmas.

It will take a visitor a whole day and long into the night to look at and appreciate each of the figures, and it’s a fascinating encounter if you have the vivacious owner annotation as you go along. Many of the figures are interactive; press a button or give it a push and Santa bursts into song or starts dancing, or the sleight starts moving and the reindeer gallop.

The smallest figures are set of six frolicking Santas that are less than a centimeter high; the largest are a rotund life-size Santa climbing a ladder and another in a life size sleigh loaded with gifts, which our model gamely climbed aboard. There is a set of matryoshka Santas as well as a Swarovski crystal Santa in his sleigh.

A piece of fern bark from Baguio has been painted with Santa faces on its many nodes by Aleli Vengua, who also designed the entire Santa display. A sleeping Santa lying in an antique French crib actually snores; Mrs. Claus is quieter in her repose nearby. Another sleeping Santa in the same bedroom lies in an old four-poster bed, with more Santa watching over him. Both are, of course, covered with Santa blankets. On the stairs leading to the second floor, Santa careens on in a game of chess—on a set with Santa’s representing the different chess pieces, of course. The tall flower of an agave plant is used as a Christmas tree to display a collection of interesting ornaments, like Harley Davidson motorcycles.

The Santa house used to be the owner’s family vacation house. Built almost 50 years ago, it was recently remodeled by architect Rosario Encarnacion-Tan.

Rosario Encarnacion-Tan

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