Jingle bell, jingle bell jingle all the way. Oh what fun to give love on Christmas Day. Last Christmas we spread joy to the world by making the children as the ” STAR NG PASKO “
Christmas or “Pasko” is the most awaited celebration and happiest season or event not only in the Philippines but also in the whole Christian world. This is also the time of the year when family getting together, especially when family members from overseas come home with lots of gifts. Exchanging gifts and the family feast highlight the most loved celebration. The celebration of Christmas in the Philippines begins on the 16th of December and ends on the first Sunday of January which is the Feast of the Epiphany (The Three Kings). It is quite different from the other countries of the world; it is the longest of the Philippine festivities stretching for over 3 weeks. This makes the Filipino Christmas celebration one of the longest Christmas season in the world. A rich tradition which dates back to the Spanish period.
WHAT MAKES THE FILIPINO CHRISTMAS UNIQUE?
Well, Filipinos have a lot of Christmas tradition which makes us different from the other. Some of the Filipino traditions are the Filipino Christmas lantern, Christmas caroling, “simbang gabi” or the misa de gallo, and the gift giving, the true essence of Filipino Christmas.
CHRISTMAS GIFT GIVING…
Historically, Christmas gift giving became part of many Christmas traditions all over the world to honor the three wise men that brought gifts to the baby Jesus. According to the bible records after Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
As a fulfillment of our requirement for our Psychology subject, we conduct a gift giving program to the Nueva Ecija Home for Girls in Brgy. Singgalat, Palayan City. The Nueva Ecija Home for Girls is a child-caring facility that provides protection, care, treatment and rehabilitation services to abused and exploited girls below 18 years old. As of now, they give care and shelter for 93 women. At first our only aim is to have a project in our psychology class, but when we first visit the Home for the Girls, the girls touched our heart as their smiles flashes on their faces. We realize that this project is not only for our grades but for those women that need love and care this Christmas. Now it is not about the grades, it is all about giving love, care and attention for all those abused women.
*SOLICITATION AND CAROLING
In order for us to gather money or fund for our gift giving program for Nueva Ecija Home for Girls, our group decided to solicit and conduct a caroling. Each of us in our group gave a solicitation letter on each of our barangay officials in our barangays. And from December 12 to December 19, every night we go to different barangays like Kapt. Pepe, Zulueta, Ma. Theresa, and Caridad to conduct a caroling. We collect P6,000.00 on solicits and P3,500.00 on caroling with a total of P9,500.00.
*GIFTS AND FOODS
After we collect funds from solicitations and caroling, we provide P3,500.00 for the gifts and P6,000.00 for foods. On December 20, we canvass and purchase toys and candies as gifts to the beneficiaries; we also purchase the ingredients and recipes for the food that we will bring to the orphans of Nueva Ecija Home for Girls. On the night of December 20, we wrap all the gifts and started to prepare the foods. In the morning of December 21, we prepare and cook Lumpiang Shanghai, Menudo and Chopsuey. After we prepare and ready all the foods and gifts, we go to the Nueva Ecija Home for Girls to start our gift giving program and also a mini Christmas party for them.
It is hard to imagine celebrating Christmas in the modern world without thinking about giving gifts. But, have you ever thought to yourself, “Why do we give gifts at Christmas?” In some ways, the tradition of giving gifts at Christmas is a very ancient tradition. In other ways, giving gifts at Christmas is a relatively new development, as well. Gift giving is one of the core aspects of the modern Christmas celebration; the essence of the Christmas season.
Planning and conducting of activity like gift giving is so hard because huge amount of money or funds are needed to accomplish it. So our group plans to conduct a caroling and solicits to each of our barangay officials to collect funds for this charity work.
When we are wrapping the gifts, we feel so excited and we’re thinking about what will they feel and say to our gifts for them. And when we are going to the Nueva Ecija Home for Girls, we feel so nervous and excited. But when we see the smiles of the orphans, we feel so very happy and pleasured. We feel great and very happy not just because we give gifts to the orphans in the Home for Girls but also because we put smiles on their faces and gave happiness. Even though our gifts were not expensive or so special, each of them appreciate it very much and express their highest gratitude to us. It’s so nice to help others especially to the orphans.
Every hugs and thank you from them make us cry. They really touched our hearts. We can’t imagine that in a simple party and simple gifts can make them happy. We feel so happy especially when we hear a child said “ Ngayon lang ako naging masaya ng ganito”. Every message that we receive from them like “ ate maraming salamat po” , “ kuya babalik kayo ha”. And as they hug and kiss us we feel that they really need more care and love that’s why we decided that every Christmas we are going to visit them and bring some smile on their faces. This only proves that “It’s better to give, than to receive.”
Courtney from Study Moose
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