Coco Martin leads Christmas party, gift-giving in Payatas

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Dec 03 2019 04:49 PM

Coco Martin graces the Christmas party and gift-giving of the Mother of Divine Providence Parish or the children and families of Payatas.Photo from the Facebook page of Tanging Yaman Foundation

Coco Martin graces the Christmas party and gift-giving of the Mother of Divine Providence Parish or the children and families of Payatas.Photo from the Facebook page of Tanging Yaman Foundation

Coco Martin graces the Christmas party and gift-giving of the Mother of Divine Providence Parish or the children and families of Payatas.Photo from the Facebook page of Tanging Yaman Foundation

Coco Martin graces the Christmas party and gift-giving of the Mother of Divine Providence Parish or the children and families of Payatas.Photo from the Facebook page of Tanging Yaman Foundation

Coco Martin graces the Christmas party and gift-giving of the Mother of Divine Providence Parish or the children and families of Payatas.Photo from the Facebook page of Tanging Yaman Foundation

Coco Martin graces the Christmas party and gift-giving of the Mother of Divine Providence Parish or the children and families of Payatas.Photo from the Facebook page of Tanging Yaman Foundation

Coco Martin graces the Christmas party and gift-giving of the Mother of Divine Providence Parish or the children and families of Payatas.Photo from the Facebook page of Tanging Yaman Foundation


MANILA -- Coco Martin’s top-rating primetime teleserye, “Ang Probinsiyano,” and his 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, “3Pol Trobol Huli Ka Balbon,” which he also directed, are certainly enough to keep him busy.

Yet, the actor did not hesitate to grace the Christmas party and gift-giving of the Mother of Divine Providence Parish, supported by Tanging Yaman Foundation (TYF), for the children and families of Payatas.

Last Saturday, November 30, Martin delighted 175 children as he joined the activity held at the basketball court beside St. Joseph Litex Chapel in Abril, Payatas. Every year, ABS-CBN, through chief operating officer of broadcast Cory Vidanes, sends a celebrity to grace the Christmas party and gift-giving for the children of Payatas. Vidanes is a sponsor of the feeding program.

November 30 is the “annual commitment date” of the lay volunteers to Payatas for the last 18 years, according to Marites Ingles, one of the staunch supporters and volunteers of the feeding program. The Payatas Orione Foundation (PAOFI) is the lead group tasked with the operations of the nine feeding centers under the Mother of Divine Providence Parish.

TYF, led by Fr. Manoling Francisco, helps support one feeding center. Francisco was also present in the gift-giving and Christmas party. “The others who support the feeding centers are my friends and relatives,” Ingles said.

“Every Christmas, we commit goodie bags to each child and each family,” Ingles offered. “Each child’s bag contains brand new clothes, rubber shoes, water bottles, backpacks, towels, toothpaste and toothbrush, soap, candies and biscuits.

“For the family, they are given a goodie bag that contains an Orocan pail or flexibox that contains a blanket, sleeping mat, mosquito net, towel, canned goods and food items for noche buena.”

The Christmas party was a festive affair with a photo booth, face painting, ice cream, lunch meals and other give-aways. There were 175 children present.

“At the annual Christmas party, we have been fortunate to have the stars of ABS-CBN, courtesy of Cory, over the years,” Ingles offered. The stars included John Lloyd Cruz, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, Kim Chui and XIan Lim, Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) housemates, Toni Gonzaga, Roby Domingo, Melai Cantiveros and Isabelle Daza (also a sponsor of the feeding program).

Since Payatas is known as a dumpsite in Manila, with residents scavenging for their living, the parish through its foundation, maintains various social programs in health and education to empower and uplift the lives of the less-fortunate residents of the community.

At present, the parish and its network of volunteers maintain nine feeding centers, operating in different locations in Payatas: Mother of Divine Parish Feeding Center (1997), Our Lady of Lourdes (1998), St. Joseph Litex (2000), St. Joseph Molave (2007), San Isidro and Sagrada Familia Feeding Center (2010), Sto. Nino (2011), Nazareno (2012) and St. Benedict (2015).

Of the nine feeding centers, a group of ladies tagged as the “Amazons,” their family and friends, assume the financial obligations to sustain four feeding centers, namely St. Joseph Litex, Nazareno, Molave and Sto. Nino. The total number of children reaches about 150 daily.