Santa visit to Malay before Christmas 2020 included a stop in Balusbos.

Special Santa visit before Christmas 2020

Santa came to Malay for a special visit before Christmas! We can hardly believe it!

I asked Santa if he could stop by for a quick stop here – and he actually showed up!

Santa visit Christmas 2020

Last year, a Christmas Day typhoon dampened the magic of the season in this area of Malay, Aklan, Philippines. Some parents had to explain to kids the typhoon was too much for Santa’s sleigh.

Because of this, I asked Santa to make a special visit before Christmas 2020.

I wrote to him that I hoped he could restore some of that ‘Christmas kid magic’ that seeded imagination and joy in my own young childhood.

Say what you will about Santa as a symbol of consumerism that destroys the spirit of the season.

This isn’t about that.

This is about a mythical man making an real-time appearance to an area devastated by a typhoon last year.

This is about spreading holiday cheer in a shit year.

This is about the magic of doing something kind for adults and kids – because it feels good. Their smiles — even under masks — reward the soul.

I’m thrilled to report – Santa agreed!

He said he’d try to make it before Christmas and that we should keep watch – and keep hopeful.

On the lookout

Our friend Chief Ernesto from the Ati tribe was up on the mountain when he thought he saw something in the sky.

Indeed — it was Santa!

The chief came to our apartment rental at the Hangout Beach Resort to give us the report.

If there was time, Santa was going to make a few special visits to private homes, and wave to kids and throw candy along the route.

We had to be his helpers because his reindeer, Mrs. Claus and the elves couldn’t come – they were too busy getting ready for Christmas!

Santa himself was busy with business, and would not be able to stay long — if in fact he could make it at all.

Time was limited. We had to hurry!

Getting ready

We were hopeful the visit would actually happen. And we hoped “Tropical Storm Vicky” stayed far enough to the south that it wouldn’t prevent the visit.

We Earth Vagabonds donned hats and masks – and grabbed our face shields.

The clock was ticking… and I had to go visit my Balusbos gang. I was expected, and already running a little late.

I left on the bike, and Theo said he and Chief Ernesto would bring Santa to my friends’ home when Santa came — if he came.

Shortly after I left our apartment, Santa appeared and was ready to ride!

The visits

Well– to say the kids were excited when Santa came to my friends’ home would be an understatement!

No one could hardly believe it!

Santa wore a mask over his beard, and a full face shield the entire time. I saw him using hand sanitizer before he put on this gloves for safety.

Santa had candy and bread for all of the kids. He wished everyone a Merry Christmas and told children young and old to be good.

The kids all wore masks for a quick group shot and selfies — I mean, we had to! They’d never seen Santa.

And let’s face it: it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing to have Santa visit your home before Christmas!!

Santa also stopped in front of a few other homes on the way to Ati villages – but he stayed in the chief’s tricycle. There just wasn’t time for more personal visits. He had to get back to the North Pole!

Also, Santa wanted to stay socially distanced as much as possible.

Ati villages

A while back, an Ati friend revealed Ati children do not believe in Santa Claus. I understand why, of course.

But here was Santa – in the chief’s tricycle!

So Chief Ernesto headed to two Ati villages with Santa — where he was met with intense excitement! These children also had never seen Santa.

More candy and bread and cookies were distributed. Smiles and laughter in the open-air at the villages brightened the atmosphere – even with gloomy clouds and some wind.

(Photos above courtesy Angelica Prado.)

There were a few sprinkles of rain along the route, but for the hour and 15 minutes Santa was in Malay Municipality, heavy rain held off.

It seems God wanted Santa to have a rain-free, smile-filled visit.

For that, and so much more, we are grateful.

To my young and old friends in Malay: keep the faith. Keep hope alive. Life is now.

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for reading, “Special Santa visit before Christmas 2020.”

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