A jollier, brighter Christmas for 400 kids at the Jollibee Maaga ang Pasko bash

Some 400 children from various parts of Metro Manila enjoyed big surprises during the grand gift-giving bash of the 16th Jollibee Maaga ang Pasko held recently at the PICC Forum in Pasay City.

Greeted by magical Christmas characters, overflowing treats and the huggable Jollibee and Friends, the children had the time of their lives as they played games and enjoyed Jollibee’s langhap-sarap treats. Jollibee, together with Hetty, Popo, Twirlie and Yum rendered an energetic dance number with selected members of the Jollibee Kids Club, getting the kids up on their feet. The famous Trudis Liit herself, Jillian Ward, was also present, inspiring the children with her rendition of Tomorrow.

The highlight of the event came when life-sized toy ballerinas appeared onstage to signal this year’s grand gift-giving celebration led by Jollibee Philippines president Pepot Miñana, Jollibee Foundation president Grace Tan, Jollibee vice president for marketing Albert Cuadrante, Jollibee Foundation vice president Belen Rillo and executive director Gisela Tiongson with the original Jolly Toy Scout Aga Muhlach. 

Some of the Yumbassadors—Jollibee’s chosen Pinoy youth icons—also helped shower the kids with gifts and love. They were three-time Palanca Awardee Miro Capili, visual artist Nasser Lubay, and coffee painter Sunshine Plata.

Among the chosen beneficiaries were kids from Brgy. Tonsuya, Malabon; Sacred Heart, Quezon City; Plainview, Mandaluyong; Pateros Church, Brgy. Sta. Ana; Brgy. Bagong Tanyag, Taguig City; Brgy. 13, Pasay City; Brgy. 157, Pasay City; Brgy Taguig; Our Lady of Fatima Church, Pasay City; and Nuestra De Perperto Socorro, Sampaloc Manila. Coming from the region’s poorest communities, the children were selected by Jollibee Maaga ang Pasko partners, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Hands on Manila, Habitat for Humanity, Social Services and Development Ministry, and the Jollibee Foundation.

“Seeing the joy in the children’s eyes as they opened their gift bags is something that we always look forward to with every Maaga gift-giving,” said Cuadrante. “Their genuine excitement and appreciation over the toys and books made the efforts of our Jolly Toy Scouts truly worthwhile. To date, we have successfully collected more than 30,000 gifts which Jollibee will match, and we are continuously receiving more donations from kind and generous hearts to help make this number grow even more.”

He also shared good news about the campaign’s classroom-building project with the Jollibee Foundation and Department of Education. “I am happy to note the very warm response of our customers on our special novelty offering – the Jollibee and Friends Dolls. As proof we have sold nearly 400,000 units of the limited-edition dolls. Because of this, we will definitely be able to construct even more classrooms early next year.” The limited-edition Jollibee and Friends dolls were sold at Jollibee stores nationwide, with part of the proceeds allocated to the establishment of classrooms in public schools to give more children a better place to learn

The Maaga boxes found at Jollibee stores nationwide are still open for toy and book donations until January 2, 2011. 

Nasser Lubay