During a year marked by challenges and setbacks, Bigay Puso sa Pasko pushed forward
This December marks the 10th year of Bigay Puso sa Pasko. We received our largest amount in donations for a single Christmas in Bigay Puso history, and distributed Jollibee meals, grocery packages, toys, and school supplies for 450 students in our usual communities in Payatas and West Fairview in Quezon City on December 12, 2020, as well as in our new community in the remote mountain area of Sitio Culasisi in Antipolo, Rizal on December 21, 2020.
Since we couldn't hold our traditional Christmas celebration this year, we had to adapt to the government's quarantine restrictions in light of the pandemic and for the safety of the kids, volunteers, and the greater community.
Bigay Puso sa Pasko originally began in 2011 at Lupang Pangako (English translation: The Promised Land) Elementary School, which is located in the middle of the infamous Payatas dumpsite in the northeastern district of Quezon City. This year, we distributed the gifts to the parents of 300 Lupang Pangako Elementary School students from Grade 1 during the school's weekly module distribution and retrieval schedule. Lupang Pangako is among the schools in the Philippines that have adopted modular systems of learning since most students don't have access to mobile devices or wi-fi.
Thanks to the increasing support from our donors, Bigay Puso sa Pasko grew during the last few years to include the community of West Fairview, also located in the northeastern district of Quezon City. 100 students from Grade 1 and Special Education at West Fairview Elementary School also received their gifts through their parents this year. For the first time in Bigay Puso sa Pasko history, senior citizens and PWDs (Persons With Disabilities) also participated in our program. They were assisted by the PWD Department from the local barangay and received meals, grocery packages, toys and school supplies for their family members, and hygiene kits.
We are sad to report that Jollibee did not make its annual appearance this year (another first in Bigay Puso history) due to the pandemic, but we're hopeful that Jollibee will return to see the kids at next year's celebration.
The kids still received their usual chickenjoy meals from Jollibee, as well as grocery packages from SM Supermarket, and toys bought from Divisoria (Metro Manila's largest shopping center and wholesale district). We opted for toys that encourage learning, so each student received a Connect 4 board game and Lego set. We were especially excited about this year's addition of school supplies to the Christmas gifts. Students in the Philippines have been forced to shift to distance learning from home in the wake of the pandemic. In light of the circumstances, many students' families lack the resources to buy them needed school supplies. The large amount of donations we received this year provided 450 students with a set of basic school supplies to help them as they continue to receive their educations from home.
Bigay Puso sa Pasko also expanded once again this year to a new community in the remote mountain area of Sitio Culasisi in Antipolo, Rizal. Although Sitio Culasisi is located just outside Metro Manila, most members of the community have never left the area since it is isolated and transportation is costly for them. As a result, many of the kids are still illiterate because they are unable to attend school due to the distance.
On December 21, 2020, we brought Bigay Puso sa Pasko to Sitio Culasisi and distributed Jollibee meals, grocery packages, toys, and school supplies for 50 kids in the community. We were also surprised to learn that most of the kids had never tried Jollibee (the most popular fast food chain in the Philippines) before. The kids were really happy to receive all their gifts and especially loved their Jollibee meals.
Thank you once again to our donors who make this all possible every year with their consistent generosity. We would also like to thank the volunteers behind Bigay Puso sa Pasko - the dedicated teachers from Lupang Pangako Elementary School and West Fairview Elementary School.
Maraming salamat po at Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!
Bigay Puso sa Pasko 2020 Donors
Adrian & Melissa Padiernos
Antoinette & Leighton Ong
Armi Prisara Morales
Babs & Lito Bisnar
Bjorn San Pablo
Bryant Palacio & Family
Carla Sison & Borgy Manotoc
Chris & Liz Dimaano
Grant Van Peski
Henry Oaminal, Jr.
Jan Jeruel Victoria
John Steven Ilagan
Liza & Allan Manangan
Mayor Ando Oaminal
Nancy & Tony Bautista
Raney Rex Balbuena
Vivian De Zuzuarregui
In memory of Ninyo Frias