President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and First Lady Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos welcomed over 1,700 children from select shelters and orphan care centers at the Malacañang grounds on Sunday as they led the “Balik Sigla, Bigay Saya” gift-giving day, simultaneously held in 300 satellite centers to over 17,000 children nationwide.
“Welcome to Malacañan Palace! Welcome to our Christmas celebration! Merry Christmas, mga anak,” President Marcos told the children and their guardians shortly before distributing bags of Christmas gifts along with the First Lady.
The “Balik Sigla, Bigay Saya” gift-giving activity – held in over 250 locations nationwide was made possible through the partnership between the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the private support groups of President Marcos that included Jollibee and San Miguel Corporation.
There are 1,120 children in the National Capital Region (NCR) who received the early Christmas gifts; 449 in Cebu; 600 in Davao; and over 14,867 children in other satellite centers across the country.
In his speech, President Marcos could not help but recall his fondest Christmas memories during his childhood.
“Alam niyo noong kasing tanda ko lang kayo, maliit din ako noon, ‘yung tatay ko siya ang presidente rito. Kaya bawat Pasko ganito ang aming ginagawa dito,” President Marcos told the children as he emphasized that the gift-giving activity is simultaneously held through the use of the new technology.
“Ngayon lamang ay siyempre high-tech na tayo, hindi lang dito sa Palasyo nagkakaroon ng Maligayang Pasko at Gift-Giving, lahat ng ating gagawin ngayon kundi sa iba’t ibang lugar sa Pilipinas para naman ay lahat ng ating mga kabataan ay makaramdam ng Pasko,” he added.
“At alam naman natin – we all know that Christmas is really about the children. And we always have a Merry Christmas when the children have a good Christmas. Na makita natin ang inyong mga ngiti, na kayo naman ay ‘pag sinabing Merry Christmas ay may kabuluhan.”
Before concluding his speech, President Marcos thanked the guardians and the parents of the children who wholeheartedly take care of them as he emphasized that they are the most loved sector as they are the future of the nation. *PND*