Starting a fresh Gift-giving tradition in 2020!

Gift giving tradition
Kawit, Cavite gift-giving by author’s family.

Today I am 10 years old. And I start a new decade with you all! Let me talk about gift-giving before I go off to experience the beach on my birthday.

The day after Christmas in 2019, my family (me, mom, dad, Lola Cita) met 25 poor families in Kawit, Cavite.

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I came not to get the gifts, but to give them. The gifts were food packs full of delicious food.

Handling the gift for each person was quite a heavy task for me. The bags were so heavy my arm started to hurt badly and I had to carry them with both of my arms. But hearing them say “Merry Christmas!” made it all right.

My mama said that because Christmas is a celebration of Jesus Christ’s birthday then it’s him we should be giving gifts to – and so we did.

The families were nice, but I think they shouldn’t be poor anymore. I hope that will happen.

I heard the family of Joy Balean has been giving gifts the same way every Christmas. This year they had fun, enjoyed the food and gifted around 200 people in Tabaco City, Albay. And they have been doing it for 26 years now! Joy and Danilo Arao also brought their child to the gift distribution, like what my mom and dad did with me. I think it’s pretty cool and they should continue their hard work!

Balean Family Gift-giving in Tabaco City, Albay. Photo courtesy of Danilo Arao.

I also heard that a group of teachers from Lagro High School has also been giving gifts to poor kids of the Barangay Maralita in the Kabataang Lingap ng mga Gurong may Adbokasiya (KALINGA) for 5 years now and spending their Christmas vacation on the project. Jek Jumawan and a group of 15 volunteer teachers and 5 of their students give the kids medical and dental treatment, teach them hygiene, art, and even feed them! I think its nice of them to do it, and they should continue!

KALINGA Gift-giving in Quezon City. Photo courtesy of Jek Jumawan.

I can do this again next year, but it will be more fun!

It’s been a year since I started writing for and it’s been fun!

I decided to start writing the day after my birthday in 2019, and it was a story of how the School-in-a-bag project is helping educate poor children across the country.

I also wrote about the First 1000 Days law that will keep babies in the Philippines healthy. I wrote about how YouTuber Mikey Bustos gives inspiration and it was awesome that he even sent me a video message!

Wrote, too, about environmental scientist Janice Lao and her inclusion in the book of STEM Women Superheroes and Para swimmer Ernie Gawilan who helped clean up beaches and plant mangroves in his mission for cleaner waters.

Capped my writing year with a UP Fighting Maroons story and my experience actually watching the games live. Was heartbroken but I know they will fight harder than ever this year! UP Fight!

SEND cheers in the comments below to the gift-givers for inspiring us all with their good deeds!

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Agnes Hannah Q. Balibay is a Filipino Pride young advocate who really, really loves computers, digital art, and making friends from around the world.