Charity programs in Manila


Christmas is the biggest holiday celebration every Filipino looks forward to – in fact, we even start celebrating as early as September. That’s when festive decor takes over, the gift shopping begins, and the Noche Buena menus start coming together.

With all that going on, it’s easy to forget our countrymen who aren’t as fortunate as us. In the true spirit of giving, here are 10 local charity programs you help out this festive season to truly enjoy the gift of giving.


1. Climb Against Cancer – for underprivileged children in mountain provinces


Climbs for children in remote mountain provinces and cancer wards
Image credit: @ninisacro

Founded by mountaineer and artist Nini Andrada Sacro in 2010, Climb Against Cancer is a volunteer group that has spent 9 years sending school supplies to indigenous kids and kids who have been diagnosed with cancer. The group holds many programs all year long, and the Christmas season is no different.

Christmas in the Mountains
Image credit: Nini Andrada Sacro

This year, they’ll be holding Christmas in the Mountains where they plan to distribute gifts to kids in remote mountain communities and cancer pediatric wards. You can volunteer to join them in sites all over Mindanao and Manila from 27th November – 29th December 2019.

To make donations, whether in cash or items, you can contact Nini Andrada Sacro at the number below. You can also join their Facebook group for updates on their public events.

Dates: 27th November – 29th December 2019
Telephone: 09163162879
Website


2. Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord – for supporting inmates


Christmas parols handmade by inmates of San Juan jail
These colorful woven designs are made from recycled material
Image credit: @fifislagirl

If you’re looking for a beautiful parol to complete your Christmas decor, the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord will be selling parols made from recycled yellow pages and manila paper. These are intricately handmade by the inmates of San Juan City Jail. They cost just P300, and each parol you purchase will help out the families of these inmates.

You can hit 2 birds with 1 stone by attending your Sunday mass, then getting your Christmas parol from the chapel. 

Address: 5th floor, SM Megamall Mega Atrium, EDSA Cor. Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 1550 Metro Manila
Opening hours: 10:30AM-7:30PM, Daily (For mass schedules, head here.)
Website


3. Zonta Club of Alabang – for improving women’s lives


Christmas Carnivale Bazaar for women's lives
Image credit: @michelleyu88

Give gifts to your loved ones while giving back to the community in Zonta Club Alabang’s Christmas Carnivale Bazaar from 7th – 8th December 2019. The entrance fee? Free! 

Browse through a wide variety of over 250 booths where you can get Christmas gifts and everything ranging from dream cakes and macaroons, to woven bags and handmade soap. The proceeds fund the organisation’s different cause-driven programs, from supporting hepatitis awareness to advocating for anti-violence against women and children. Their main cause, however, is the improvement of all aspects of a woman’s life, be it legal, political, economic, educational, health, or professional.

Address: Cuenca Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1780 Metro Manila
Dates:
7th – 8th December 2019
Opening hours: 10AM-9PM
Website


4. World Vision – for less fortunate families to enjoy Noche Buena


 Noche Buena Campaign for underprivileged families
Image credit: @worldvisionphl

Noche Buena is an important part of every Filipino family’s Christmas, but some families don’t have the means to celebrate it. Fortunately, local charities have been working hard to ensure that each family has something on their table on Christmas Eve.

By making a minimum donation of P1,000 to World Vision’s Noche Buena Campaign, you’ll be funding the Noche Buena of 2 underprivileged families. Last year, they were able to sponsor the meals of over 30,000 families, and this year you can help to contribute to this.

Website


5. Project PEARLS – for children’s gifts and homeless families


Project PEARLS Christmas Program with homeless families
Image adapted from: @projectpearls

Project PEARLS aims to better the Christmases of our less-fortunate countrymen, and it shows in the 2 programs they’re holding this holiday season. 

Every kid deserves to have a gift to open on Christmas day, and the organization’s Holiday Toy Drive is a program where they distribute presents to less fortunate kids. You can pledge to buy a wrapped gift by filling in this form, or donate in cash through the Donate tab on their website. 

Additionally, the Adopt a Family program aims to feed as many homeless families in Manila as they can by distributing as many food packs as possible. You can make a donation through this link.

Website


6. American Women’s Club of the Philippines – for local charities


AWCP Charity Bazaar for local charities
Image credit: @bazaarwhisperer

Expats aren’t left out of the equation when it comes to giving back to the community. Although it’s an event held by foreigners, the products you’ll find at over 300 booths at the AWCP Charity Bazaar are all made locally. You can take your pick from everything that ranges from handmade jewelry and clothes, to local cuisine.

For a P100 entrance fee, not only will you be supporting local businesses, you’ll also be donating to local charities, which is where the proceeds from this bazaar goes. They’ve donated to 23 different organizations to date, and with the bazaar going on all-year round, you can continue to support these causes well beyond the Christmas season too.

Address: SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Seashell Ln, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila
Dates
: 11th December 2019 (Christmas special)
Opening hours: 8.30AM-4PM
Website


7. Noel Bazaar – for a slew of foundations


Noel Bazaar proceeds for local charities
Image credit: @noelbazaar

The Noel Bazaar is the largest and longest-running holiday bazaar in the Philippines, and they’re in their 18th year running with over 500 merchants. You’ll find cookware, food, baby onesies, even Heart Evangelista’s pre-loved bags on sale here.

In partnership with the likes of GMA and Inquirer, the bazaar will be held alongside notable and star-studded events like the 2nd International Food Feast Bazaar, GMA Celebrity Ukay-ukay, GMA Celebrity Auction and Variety Show, and talent competitions.

The best part about doing your Christmas shopping at this bazaar is that the proceeds go to causes like the GMA Kapuso Foundation, Philippine Daily Inquirer Foundation, and Gifts & Graces Foundation that aim to help Filipinos in need.

For those who live all the way in the South, you can get some early Christmas shopping done in the bazaar’s first wave at the Alabang’s Filinvest Tent from 27th November – 1st December 2019. For those closer to the metro, you can get your last-minute shopping done in the SMX Convention Center on 19th – 22nd December 2019.

Noel Bazaar, Alabang
Address:The Filinvest Tent, Spectrum Midway, Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1780 Metro Manila
Dates
:
27th November – 1st December 2019
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs 11AM-9PM | Fri – Sun 10AM-9PM

Noel Bazaar, Pasay
Address: SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Seashell Ln, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila
Dates:
19th – 22nd December 2019
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs 11AM-9PM  | Fri – Sun 10AM-9PM
Website


8. Museo Pambata – for underprivileged kids


Museo Pambata's Christmas Gift Giving
Image adapted from: @museopambata

Museo Pambata is known for making museum learning experiences fun and interactive for Filipino kids, but this Christmas they’re taking things a step further. They’re going all out by inviting 1,000 underprivileged children to their annual Christmas Gift Giving program. 

Interactive activities in Museo Pambata
Image credit: @museopambata

Play a part in supporting the community by volunteering as a storyteller, arts and craft facilitator, host, and other tasks you can find here. You can also donate cash by filling in this form, or drop off books, toys, and craft items at the museum.

To help them spruce up their venue, pledge Christmas decor from the museum’s gift shop. Aside from funding the Christmas program, you also get to put the decor on the museum’s Christmas tree.

Address: Museo Pambata, Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
Website


9. The Peninsula Manila – for victims of Yolanda, and underprivileged students


The Peninsula
Image credit: The Peninsula

The Peninsula Manila doesn’t just think about giving their guests a 5-star experience, they also hold Christmas events for the benefit of our underprivileged countrymen.

The night of 8th December 2019 will see the 36th Christmas Concert at the Pen. For P2,300, you’ll get to enjoy a night’s worth of Christmas classics from Gerphil Flores, the University of Santo Tomas Singers, and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. The proceeds will go to The Peninsula’s Hope for the Philippines program, which benefits the victims of super-typhoon Yolanda.

Gingerbread-decorating in Santa's WorkshopImage credit: The Peninsula

The hotel lobby will also transform into Santa’s Workshop on 15th December 2019, where parents and their kids can participate in a gingerbread-decorating class for P2600. Though the price sounds steep, it goes into helping out the Hands On Manila Schools’ Galing Mo Kid program, which mentors high-achieving public high school students.

Christmas Concert at the Pen
Address: The Peninsula Manila Lobby, Corner of Ayala and Makati Ave, Makati, 1226 Metro Manila
Date
: 8th December 2019
Time: 5PM-7PM

Santa’s Workshop
Address:The Peninsula Manila Lobby, Corner of Ayala and Makati Ave, Makati, 1226 Metro Manila
Date
: 15th December 2019
Time: 9AM-11AM

Website


10. World Bazaar Festival – for the improvement of underprivileged Filipinos’ lives


World Bazaar Festival filled with Kapamilya stars
Image credit: @worldbazaarfestival

Held by ABS-CBN, The World Bazaar Festival’s 800 booths isn’t the only thing to look forward to. 

They feature a Celebrity Pavillion where you can meet and buy products from your favorite showbiz celebrities cum entrepreneurs such as Alex and Toni Gonzaga, Ronnie Alonte, Kim Chiu, and Judy Ann Santos. They also hold stage activities like comedy acts and live performances by notable ABS-CBN stars.

You’ll get your Christmas shopping done, your celebrity meet-and-greet bucket list checked, and you’ll get to give back to the community while you’re at it. The proceeds from the bazaar go to ABS-CBN’s Lingkod Kapamilya, which dedicates itself to making Filipino’s lives better.

Address: 2/F WTCMM Building, 1300, Pasay Extension corner, Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave, Pasay, Metro Manila
Dates
: 14th – 23rd December 2019
Opening hours: Sun – Thurs 12PM-10PM | Fri – Sat 10AM-12AM
Website


Christmas charity drives in Manila


With the Christmas season fast approaching, it’s good to remember the opportunities that allow you to celebrate the holidays. While you’re celebrating the season of giving, take this chance to give back to the community. Christmas isn’t just about receiving gifts and decorating trees after all, it’s spreading love and charity to friends, family, and everyone who might need it.


Cover image adapted from: @fifislagirl and @worldvisionphl