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Project Pambata's Paskookie

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Festive red and green decorations, toy stores' employees frantically wrapping presents, Mariah Carey’s voice booming in department store speakers—you name it, it’s Christmas! Now is the season where many reflect on the year that has passed and create goals for themselves for the new year as well. It is when families and friends gather together to eat bucket loads of food and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Most of all, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without giving. Almost no one will really be experiencing the most exciting celebration this year due to the pandemic, but the joyful and generous spirit of Christmas remains nonetheless. Even though we probably won’t be throwing Christmas parties (or not socially-distanced parties, at the very least) with the usual exchange gift segment, there are still many ways to give to others—and that is exactly what the core team of our fellow ICS club Project Pambata is aiming to do.

From November 27 to December 18, Project Pambata will be selling Hershey’s chocolate chip cookies priced at P200 for 5 pieces. This is for their first ever event called ‘Paskookie’ which is to raise funds for their beneficiary student, Rizalyn Castro.

Now you may be asking, well, who is she? Why her? Let me give a little background. Rizalyn is an eighth grader who was born with a disorder that damaged her vision at a very young age. As she got older, her eyesight continued to worsen that even surgery failed to fix it. As a result, Rizalyn is now completely blind.

However, this hurdle did not stop her from persevering for excellence in all that she does. Despite the challenge, Rizalyn was able to achieve things that are seemingly impossible for someone who cannot see—one example of which is winning 3 gold medals in track and field.

Still, Rizalyn and her siblings cannot afford to go to school, at least not all at the same time. They even go to school alternately because of it. For this reason, Project Pambata is working to gather enough funds to pay for Rizalyn’s school expenses and other supplies she may need.

A COVID-19 Christmas is certainly not the most ideal Christmas for anyone, but it should not stop people from focusing on the core of it all—the heart to give to others. Just as Jose Marie Chan sings, “May the spirit of Christmas be always in our hearts,” may we all be stirred up to heartfelt generosity even if our current situation tries to convince us otherwise.

We, The Owl Pamphlet, strongly support Project Pambata in their advocacy that all Filipino children are entitled to receive proper education, and Rizalyn is just the beginning. She is the first of many young people in this country that the organization aims to support, and you can be a part of their journey simply by buying one box of cookies. It may not seem like much, but we assure you that it will go a very long way.

*Follow Project Pambata’s social media pages for more details and updates!

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