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“The Power of Gold . . .  and the love that you give”

Emailed for posting by Carlos A. Arnaldo
December 19, 2016


“Opo, Miss, yung large lang.” So she again took everything out and put it in the slightly smaller box to make a perfect fit. It gave me a chance to see what there was without seeming nosy.

“Are you sending that all as pamasko? Where to?”

“Masbate, po, my family.” She was probably 19 or 20 and the sole family member in Manila to earn for the family. Her goods probably cost her all her savings, her December sahod and her 13th month bonus. There were skin creams, little leather pouch bags, cookies and candies, some T shirts and a pair of branded jeans! I wondered what kind of Christmas she would have here by herself! But looking at her penetrating smile, she seemed more happy that she could send a full and jolly pamasko-bayan box home to ate, her brothers and sisters, mom and dad in Masbate. There were probably a hundred a day or more such customers of LBC this season.

One of my college students was about to celebrate her 18th birthday, usually by a deluxe and stunning (and very expensive!) début at some ritzy hotel! She decided to forego the début and put all her funds into buying presents for the children with special needs of Elsie Gaches Village in Muntinlupa. She also invited several of her classmates to join and help in distributing the gifts and snacks to the children. Afterwards, the college students and the Elsie Gaches kids played a fun match of football before ending the surprise afternoon.

Elsie Gaches Village was created by philanthropist Samuel Gaches and Elsie McCloskey and today cares for more than 600 children and adults with special needs.

On a smaller and perhaps more reachable scale, another student launched a Christmas shoe box. “Load a shoebox with gifts for kindergarten and 1st grade in a poor barangay. At the end of the week she had some 30 shoe boxes full of pencils and pens, notebooks,  art books, candies and cookies, socks and T shirts and many other goodies for the kids. She delivered her Christmas boxes to a poor barangay school the week before Christmas.

Appropriate to this season of giving are the lyrics of a well known country song, ‘We’re here to love.”

Some will lose their souls to the power of gold And all that it may possess They count their blessings by the things that they own Never learning that more is less But from the moment we're born until the fading light And all the seasons that turn in between It's the love that you give in the hour you live That's the measure of the life that you lead.

Ronnie Milsap

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