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Casa Santa: A Holiday Showcase Stopover in Antipolo

Casa Santa: A Holiday Showcase Stopover in Antipolo

What better way to spread the holiday cheer than a visit to the jolly old man's crib in Antipolo, Rizal?
By Keisha Uy

The hills of Antipolo are home to a number of inns, private houses, and events venues that take advantage of the locale's cool weather. For Jardin de Miramar, its cool breeze and cheery ambiance is also the perfect location for a house filled with a thousand images of the white-bearded man clad in red, known as Santa Claus.

A roster of Christmas décor and displays wouldn't be complete without a jolly old man who goes "Hohoho!" Popular among children (and children at heart), Santa Claus is a common Christmas fixture who is believed to give away presents to children around the world during Christmas Eve with his trusty sleigh pulled by his army of reindeer. And while a figurine or two of this white-bearded man clad in red is enough for some households, Jardin de Miramar's Casa Santa takes having Santa come down one's chimney to a whole new level.

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Casa Santa, a 50-year old remodelled two-storey house found within the grassy confines of Jardin de Miramar in Antipolo, holds a 3,005- (and counting) item Santa collection from 64 countries. According to Casa Santa tour guide Barney Rabadon, Ms. Edna Nepomuceno-Del Rosario's Santa collection started 16 years ago when a friend of hers gave her a 7-piece mini Santa set. After that, Edna began to purchase Santa Claus items--from Santa statues and figurines to Santa kitchen wares, toilet covers, and all other Santa Claus knickknacks imaginable. With her growing collection and commitment, Edna decided to establish Casa Santa and organize her then-1,500 strong collection in 2005. Along with the opening of Jardin de Miramar as a venue for special events, Casa Santa opened its doors for public viewing.

Since its opening, Casa Santa has drawn a lot of attention from media, schools, and other tourists for field trips and feature stories. As people come and go, Edna continues to increase her unique collection's number. With the wide range of Santa items in the collection, both kids, collectors, and anyone who can appreciate a good dose of fun would surely enjoy taking a tour around the jolly museum.The sheer number of items, and the way they are arranged and displayed around the house, will keep guests amused and entertained.

This holiday season, Casa Santa has scheduled special dates for open house tours that run from 2-4PM (see detailed schedule below) for P130 per person. Emerging wide-eyed and giddy after spending about an hour viewing the items, guests can still take a tour around Jardin de Miramar's lush garden grounds, which has a replica of a galleon surrounded by gangplanks that kids will enjoy clambering around on. Guests can also bring merienda snacks to munch on while strolling around the place, or settle down in the gardens for a quick picnic, enjoying the cool December weather and fresh Antipolo air.

Browse through our gallery below and see some of the key pieces from the fascinating Santa Claus collection that Casa Santa has in store for you and your family.

How to get there:

Jardin de Miramar is located at 276-279 San Jose Extension, Antipolo City, Rizal. 

Via Ortigas Extension

Go all the way to the end of Ortigas Extension, until you reach the Rizal Provincial Capitol. When you reach the fork by the provincial capitol, turn left. When you reach a triangle, turn left to Pinagsamahan Road. When you reach a minor intersection, take a right to Taktak Road, then cross the Sumulong Highway to take the San Lorenzo Sumulong Circunmferencial Road until you reach San Jose Extension, where you take a left. You will see Jardin de Miramar's gate on your right.

Via Marcos Highway

From Marcos Highway, turn right to the Sumulong Highway and follow the road until you reach its intersection with the San Lorenzo Sumulong Circumferential Road. Turn left to the Circumferential Road and take another left when you reach San Jose Extension. You will see Jardin de Miramar's gate on your right.

Schedule of Open Houses:

2010
Dec. 18 (Saturday)
Dec. 19 (Sunday)
Dec. 25 (Saturday)
Dec. 26 (Sunday)
Dec. 27 (Monday)
Dec. 28 (Tuesday)
Dec. 29 (Wednesday)
Dec. 30 (Thursday)

2011
Jan. 1 (Saturday)
Jan. 2 (Sunday)
Jan. 3 (Monday)
Jan. 8 (Saturday)
Jan. 9 (Sunday)
Jan. 15 (Saturday)

For other inquiries, you may contact Jardin de Miramar at (02) 817-1589 or (02) 817-1594; (+63) 917-7923915.

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Casa Santa

Casa Santa's frosty, christmas-y colors make for an inviting and cozy ambiance.

Casa Santa

The glass front door of Casa Santa gives a sneak peek of its warm and cheery interiors.

Casa Santa

Casa Santa comes complete with a living room and kitchen filled with everything Santa Claus.

Casa Santa

To properly position all the pieces of the collection, tour guide Barney says that Edna hires an interior designer to arrange the house/museum.

Casa Santa

To keep track of such a huge collection, Casa Santa's staff keeps an inventory that is regularly updated, especially if there are any new additions.

Casa Santa

According to Barney, 60% of the collection comes from the Philippines, while 35% comes from the US, and 5% from some Asian countries.

Gift Santa Cluas Set

The Santa Claus set that started it all: This 7-piece mini Santa Claus set was given to Edna 16 years ago and sparked her now 3,005-piece collection.

First Santa Claus

Edna's first purchased Santa item was a face fixture which the Casa Santa team refers to as the "handsome Santa Claus."

Biggest Santa

The biggest Santa Claus piece in Casa Santa is a statue coming down a house, holding a rope, with a bag of gifts.

Swarovski Santa

The most expensive piece in the collection is a blue-eyed Swarovski Santa Claus which was purchased for P15,000 10 years ago.

Resting Santa Claus

A Santa Claus statue in his undersuit sitting--and thinking about his list--on his sleigh.

Russian Santa Dolls

Different sets of Russian Santa Claus dolls fill one of the cabinets in Casa Santa.

Filipino Santa Claus

Edna's collection includes a Filipino Santa Claus clad in Barong Tagalog, holding a woven Filipino goodie bag.

Santa on a Coke Bottle Sleigh

Santa Trivia (as told by Barney Rabadon): Santa's suit color was originally green until 1964, when the Coca-Cola company wanted to use Santa as an image model for their softdrink product. In 1970, the commercial with Santa wearing his now-popular red suit was launched.

Santa Mural

Casa Santa's ceiling features a mural by Alfred Vargas.

Santa's Dining Table

Dining with Santa: Santa plates, tumblers, mugs, utensils, salt and pepper shakers, stirrers, and place mats!

Santa's Bathroom

The bathroom at Casa Santa features a Santa shower curtain, toilet seat, toilet cover, rag, and bubble machine.

Santa's Bedroom

Santa's bedroom is filled with stuffed Santa toys and other Santa bedroom accents, such as pillows and blankets.

The Grinch and Santa

Even the Grinch hangs out at Santa's crib.

Santa's Mistress?

A blonde girl in a sexy Santa outfit greets Casa Santa's visitors by the entrance.

Santa Footwear

There's always room for shoes: Santa wooden clogs, sneakers, and slippers!

Santa Spud

With fun Santa toys such as this, it is really quite a challenge to keep children away from the collection.

Santa Woodcarving

This Santa woodcarving is made from the wood of a tree in the Coronado National Forest in the USA.

Christmas Village

Edna's collection also includes decorative ceramic houses that make up the Christmas Village set at the second floor of Casa Santa.

St. Nicholas

Casa Santa also features an antique framed image of St. Nicholas--the saint from whom the image of Santa Claus was modeled--that hails from Rome, Italy.

St. Nicholas Oil

Casa Santa also keeps a small bottle of oil which is believed to come from the bone of St. Nicholas. This holy relic also comes from Rome, Italy.
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