The horrendous traffic everyone complained of over last Payday Weekend is proof that holiday shopping is in full swing. While many roads were literally parking lots with bumper to bumper traffic, the congestion was worse (if that is even possible) around shopping malls that staged sales to make sure they get their fair share of your hard-earned pay.
It’s simply impossible to escape the holiday season without buying gifts for family and friends. Just how long your list is will depend on your budget or your discipline to stick to one. But if you must shop, why not consider gifts that keep on giving?
Back in the 1920s, a radio company used the phrase “a gift that keeps on giving” as part of its advertising campaign. Many other companies followed suit, from appliances to cameras to chocolates. The phrase has come to mean a present that one can enjoy over and over, or having many benefits for a long time.
As you work through your shopping list, why not consider gifts that keep on giving, not just for your recipient but also for others who are less fortunate. The Philippines is home to many social entrepreneurs committed to triple bottom line results, focusing not only on profit but also on their impact on people (greater community) and planet (environmental sustainability).
What can be tricky though is finding them as these social enterprises lack access to a wider market and distribution poses a huge problem. Many cannot reach their customers, and their customers cannot find them on the shelves of groceries and department stores.
SINAG NG PASKO
Taking advantage of the holiday shopping season, BPI Foundation is hosting Sinag ng Pasko to showcase some 40 small and social enterprises presenting options ranging from arts, fashion, food to home essentials.
"We offer Sinag ng Pasko as an ideal venue to look for Christmas gifts, whether you are a zero-waste advocate encouraging your loved ones to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, a proud champion of Filipino craftsmanship, or simply a shopper looking for unique and beautiful items," said Maricris San Diego, Executive Director of BPI Foundation.
"By bridging social enterprises and conscious consumers, Sinag ng Pasko aims to shine the light on a more meaningful celebration of the Christmas season."
For 5 years now, Sinag ng Pasko has been helping socially-aware shoppers find stylish and contemporary creations that offer a glimpse of Filipino culture, reusable everyday items built from sustainable materials, upcycled pieces, and food assortments made from locally-sourced ingredients. The bazaar is a spin-off of the foundation’s Sinag program that nurtures social entrepreneurs looking to scale up and expand, while deepening their community impact.
On December 11, head over to Palm Drive Activity Center at Glorietta 2 for a well-curated selection that fits a wide range of budgets, and helps you give back with every present.
#1 Buy One, Give One.
For every handmade soap or shampoo bar sold (prices start at P175), Squeaky Clean Kids turns around and gives one to children from underprivileged families in underserved communities all over the country. Founded by three doctors, the company works to make good hygiene accessible and protect those kids from infectious yet preventable diseases.
#2 From Unemployed Mothers to Happy Helpers.
Two mothers started this social enterprise initially offering home cleaning service. Their business mission is simple: lessen the load of mothers in the home, while helping other mothers earn additional income. Now Happy Helpers also offer a wide range of home cleaning solutions (starts at P320) that you can catch at the Sinag ng Pasko bazaar.
#3 Julyan’s Farm, Haven to PWDs.
Rachel Harrison returned to her hometown in Zambales to build a home for her son with autism. Now a thriving eco agri-farm, she has turned Julyan’s Farm into a haven for people with special needs and abilities, and continues to adopt that principle as her business expands to also include Julyan’s Coffee Spot in Makati. Her multi-skilled team will showcase their homegrown products that include fruit jams at P120 per bottle (made with all natural ingredients and cane sugar), bamboo cutlery and tumblers, and virgin coconut infused body oil.
#4 Make Peace, Bake Bread.
Thanks to The Make Peace Bakery, you can enjoy natural and healthier breads baked by out-of-school youth they trained with baking and business skills – what’s not to love? Make sure to try the Dark Cacao Biscotso and Calamansi Coco Sugar Biscotso (both at P150 each) and the Veggie good cupcakes (P200).
#5 Recycle is good, Upcycle is even better.
Candid Clothing creates employment by training workers from marginalized communities to use surplus fabric and upcycled materials to make fashionable clothing and accessories. A stylist white button-down shirt is a steal at P190 – one very affordable reason to go ahead and indulge in guilt-free shopping.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.