It is the time of the year when the spirit of generosity is undoubtedly heightened. Definitely brought by the celebration of Jesus’ birth, which signifies God’s immense love for us as He gave His only Son – His ultimate gift to mankind. The BJMP 8 took this inviting season to share our love and blessings by being blessings ourselves. With the leadership of the Regional Director of the Jail Bureau, JCSUPT EDWIN B RIEL, DSC, we were able to identify an area in one of the outskirts of Leyte, nestling in the northern mouth of the renowned San Juanico Strait to be recipients of our little but love-filled treats. In partnership with the Eagles Sirak-Waraynon Club, a Community Outreach Program themed as “Reaching Individuals Expressing Love this Christmas” was organized.
On 19 December 2019, the Regional Director assisted by the BJMP 8 personnel left the building to proceed to Planza Elementary School, Brgy. Planza, Babatngon Leyte. To reach the school, we traversed a 45-minute car ride from the BJMP Regional Office 8 to one of the barangays of Babatngon, Leyte where we later embarked a 10-minute boat ride that led us to Brgy. Planza. When we reached the coast of the little barangay, we were greeted by accommodating smiles from the School Prinicpal, Mrs. Melanie Tonedo-Canillas, her co-teachers and the Brgy. Tanods. Upon arriving at the school premises, one hundred thirty-four (134) pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 6 who were properly seated and excitedly waiting for us in their mini multi-purpose area welcomed us. Feeling very cheered and enthusiastic ourselves, the program was immediately started by an invocation and message from the Regional Director, the man behind the successful plan. Also, presentations from BJMPRO 8 personnel, pupils and teachers were presented. The day definitely started right brought by the active participation and laughter of each and every one present in the activity.
Finally! The most awaited part of the program was started when all of the pupils were directed to form a big circle. To make the event possible, all of the regional office personnel voluntarily agreed to adopt at least 2 children to give a gift and be Secret Santas in their own little ways and capacities. When the big circle was formed, each of the Secret Santa looked for their adopted pupils and gave their well-prepared treats and gifts. The fun did not stop there, each of the children were given jolly chicken-spaghetti packs which we believe is one of the simple wishes of a pinoy/pinay child.
When we first started conceptualizing this activity, the desire was driven by the irrepressible feeling of gratitude to all the blessings received this year and the want to give back through sharing. However, as we successfully conducted the activity, the realization came in that it was more than just the feeling of being gratified but also the need and want to become a blessing to others. For when you focus on being a blessing, you are blessed with even more than just the worldly desires. You grow spiritually and abundantly within. If there is one thing that we are reminded by this, that is, to always try to be a blessing.