Kelly hosts Christmas luau in Climax

Published 10:01 am Monday, December 24, 2012

LARGE GROUP: Filipino people from far and near, along with Joseph Kelly’s parents, Paul and Juliet Kelly, gather for a photo at the home of Joseph Kelly at the first Pinoy-Country Christmas and luau.|Jean Ouzts

Joseph Kelly hosted the first “Pinoy-Country” (“Pinoy means Filipino) Christmas luau in Climax, in honor of his mother and his Filipino heritage, on Saturday, Dec. 15.

“I wanted to honor my mom and our heritage, as well as my aunt Luz Musgrove and all our Filipino friends,” Kelly said.

Filipinos celebrate Christmas a little differently, Kelly said. He noted that they cook all night, then dance and play games the following day, while feasting all day long.

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On Christmas Eve night, the family gathers around the Christmas tree and exchanges gifts. They then all spend Christmas Eve night together, bringing sleeping bag and sleeping on the floor.

On the day of the celebration in Climax, guests played games, such as a balloon relay, tomato dance, eggplant relay, and the newspaper dance — where they dance off and on the paper, while the music stops and starts.
In the tomato dance, couples held a tomato between their foreheads and danced to music until they dropped the tomato. Couples were eliminated until the winner was the last couple left.

Food was abundant, including the big roasted pig, with an orange in his mouth. Climax Mayor Charles Hadsock said he had never seen so much delicious food on his plate at one time — he said he couldn’t identify most of it, but it sure tasted wonderful!

Father Rudy Breunig of St. Joseph Catholic Church, where Luz Musgrove attends, gave the blessing for the food at lunch time. Later that evening, Kelly’s pastor Elder Emery Carlton, and his wife Dell, from Community Primitive Baptist Church, also arrived.

Filipino friends, and other friends, who gathered from as far away as Orlando and Orange Beach, Fla., and Atlanta, Ga., as well as from Bainbridge and Climax were:

Violeta Adams and husband Buddy, Marivic Plonyman, Emilda Jones, Luz Tatman, Vivian Hennessey, Patric Hennessey, Linda Tanjuatco, Dr. Manuel Tanjuatco, Remedios Usana, Juliet Kelly, Joseph Kelly, Paul Kelly, Maria Dickman, Carmen Faires, Marlyn Lashley, Rowena Entea, Bella Cooper, Phillip Labrador, April Rowland, Carl Rowland and Luz Musgrove.

That evening, as local guests left after two full meals and much snacking, Filipino guests were gathering around the huge Christmas tree in Kelly’s living room. Others attended “Christmas in the Park” in Climax to welcome the arrival of Santa, before settling down to open some early Christmas gifts.