Marcos leads launch of gov't Christmas gift-giving program

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 04 2022 01:50 PM | Updated as of Dec 04 2022 02:37 PM

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leads the launch of the government's nationwide Christmas gift-giving program the Malacañang Palace grounds in Manila on Dec. 4, 2022. Office of the Press Secretary/handout
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leads the launch of the government's nationwide Christmas gift-giving program the Malacañang Palace grounds in Manila on Dec. 4, 2022. Office of the Press Secretary/handout

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Marcos on Sunday took part in a Christmas carnival for several children in the Malacañang grounds, an activity that the chief executive took on from the presidency of his father and namesake.

Inflatables and carnival booths were open for some 600 kids from Metro Manila shelters, orphanages and communities to enjoy, while snacks and drinks were also served to both young and adult guests.

“This is a very very happy day for me dahil tradisyon ito dati pa, dito sa Palasyo, gumagawa kami ng children’s party pag Pasko para naman lahat nakasiguro tayo lahat ng ating kabataan sa buong Pilipinas ay merong Pasko, at merong konting party, me konting gift-giving, me konting palaro, at lahat ‘yan,” the President said in his speech.

“Hindi lang dito sa Palasyo, 40 locations around the Philippines gumagawa rin tayo ng ganito para rin makatiyak na kahit saan sa Pilipinas ay nagawa natin ng paraan upang mabigyan ng Pasko ang ating mga kabataan,” he said.

Several kids who were chosen by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) serenaded the President and the First Lady with Christmas carols, before the First couple roamed the lawn to try out the games and snacks for themselves.

Marcos Jr. manned one of the “pabitins”, a traditional party game where kids reach for treats hung on bamboo sticks pulled above their heads, and played darts with his wife.

Grocery baskets from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) were also handed out to the children who attended the event.

In a chance interview with reporters, Marcos Jr. reminisced about how similar events were held in the Palace every Yuletide season when his father later President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was still in power.

“Diyan ‘yung stage nung mga magicians. Wala pang inflatables, mga kainan lang, games,” he said, pointing at the center of the lawn.

“I’m just continuing the tradition that was begun in my father’s time. It was the funnest day, all the kids would come… Nakikilaro din ako noon,” he said.

Critics of the Marcoses have been faulting the First family for their lavish lifestyle and supposed knack for parties, but the President had underscored that government must work to ensure that each Filipino child would have a chance to enjoy Christmas.

“I always believed that Christmas is really for the children,” the President said in a speech delivered during the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Malacañang on December 3.

“So we have done everything we can to make sure that every Filipino child has a Christmas,” he said.

“That is something that I think is a good goal for us this Christmas. Despite all the challenges we have faced, here we are, we have all been blessed,” he said.

RELATED VIDEO:

Watch more News on iWantTFC