Christmas becomes Fantasy World in San Manuel
Text by Yolanda Sotelo
Photos by Ray Zambrano
SAN MANUEL -Storybook girls and boys in verdant gardens, thick forests and sparkling castles transformed the plaza of this agricultural land into a fantasy land, giving a distinct and illusory rendering of Christmas celebration.
Children and children-at-heart have been trooping to the town square to relive the ageless stories of Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and others.There are also depictions of not-so-old but equally fantastic characters like Frozen, Barbie, Shrek, Pokemon, Minie and Mickey, and Angry Bird.What’s remarkable about the fantasy lands are they are created mostly from recycled and indigenous materials, Carmencita Sabater, the accountant of the local government unit, said.For instance, Cinderella’s glass slipper which doubles as a lantern, was decorated with discarded transluscent plastic spoons and white mini lights. Her rag dress was made of leaves and the carriage that took her to the party was decorated with pine cone coated with silver and gold paint and glitters.In another corner of the plaza is a depiction of Frozen movie, with the lead girl Elsa looking out from the ice castle is her stunning blue gown. All around her is “ice” made of pillow polyester stuffing.An under the sea scene shows Little Mermaid surrounded by sea creatures like a giant octopus covered in red beans, a seahorse made of white beans, and a fish made from plastic bottles.Peter Pan in Neverland was depicted interacting with pirates in a ship that mechanically “sways” to sea waves, while Snow White with a “banig gown” and her seven dwarfs are inside a room walled with egg trays. Just outside the room is the witch ready to make her life miserable.The Cheshire Cat grins above a scene where Alice in Wonderland seek shelter under a giant mushroom made of heat insulator and styrofoam.There are 17 plots prepared by the local government’s 17 departments, Sabater says. Its actually a contest on how innovative the employees in using locally sourced materials. The more recycled materials used, the better.Still, they have to buy new materials like manequins and textiles for gowns, she says.The stuff used have been “transformed” that unless one looks closely, they become what the employees wanted them to be. For instance, coconut shells became mountain walls and styrofoam, lined with green paint, turned into a water falls. Bottle caps made Peter Pan’s ship as seaworthy as it can get, while oyster shells became corals in Little Mermaid’s place.It looked like plastic spoons are the most versatile among the materials used. Aside from turning Cinderella’s shoe into sparkling piece, the spoons’ hollow part become leaves of trees and scales of the Little Mermaid. The handles were used also to decorate Cinderella’s carriage and walls of the different scenarios.Wood chips, tree barks, clay, plastic bottles and caps, corn cobs, tree leaves, sacks, newspapers, yarn, cartoons, plastic forks and cups. These, and many others, were used to transform San Manuel’s plaza into a fantasy land where residents and visitors are transported to glittery castles and thick forests where good girls and adventurous boys dwell.
Entry filed under: News.