It’s that time of year again

Yes, as the title says, it’s that time of year again, holiday time.  Today, US time, is Thanksgiving in the USA.  It’s the day after Thanksgiving here in the Philippines, although actually Thanksgiving is not celebrated here in the Philippines, obviously.  Thanksgiving is an American holiday, commemorating the arrival of the first Pilgrims in the USA, and how they gave thanks for the blessings that the Lord provided for them.

Our Martin tradition is that we celebrate American Thanksgiving even though we live in the Philippines, because we enjoy it, and we do want to give thanks for the blessings that we have in life.  We, however, always celebrate on the Saturday following the American Thanksgiving day.  Why?  Because Thanksgiving is not a holiday here, so the kids have school on Thursday.  We want to celebrate the day as a family, so we wait until Saturday when the kids are here with us.

This article is not about turkey or stuffing, though, not even about Pumpkin Pie or any of the other treats that come every Thanksgiving.  The truth is, though, no matter what country you are from, no matter what God you worship (or whether you worship any God at all), we all have things to be thankful for.  In fact, most of the people who read this site have so many more blessings than the average Filipino does.  Just viewing the life of a poor Filipino, out in the Province somewhere can feel quite sad to a person who blessed as we all are.

Getting ready to head out with gifts for the 2009 LiP Giveaway!
Getting ready to head out with gifts for the 2009 LiP Giveaway!

Because of this, for about 9 years now, our family has had a tradition that on December 24, we give back.  We spend much of the month of December preparing for our annual Christmas Giveaway.  Each year we choose a different area to visit and spread a bit of Christmas Cheer to the poor people.  We give food and toys to people who don’t have the means to provide a special treat for themselves.  For the past 3 or 4 years now, we have also invited the LiP community to join us in spreading a bit of cheer to the poor people.  To do this, we have made it possible for LiP readers to make donations to the cause through Paypal, and since we started doing this, the response from the LiP community has been overwhelming! (By the way, if Paypal does not work for you, please contact me, and I will make other arrangements so that you can donate more conveniently)

Ho ho ho... Can you help the LiP Santa this year?
Ho ho ho… Can you help the LiP Santa this year?

In the Philippines, the celebration that is very common is called “Noche Buena” during Christmas Eve, at Midnight.  A large meal is prepared for the family to enjoy as a Christmas Celebration.  Or, at least a meal as big as can be afforded for a poor family.  We like to give a bit of a helping hand to those who are very poor, so that they can also enjoy Christmas.

We generally have two different types of giveaway items.  Firstly, for the adults, we give a large basket of food items that can be used to prepare the Christmas meal.  This giveaway includes all of the items that would be necessary for cooking the meal, including the food itself, the cooking ingredients, coffee, sugar, cooking oil and such.  We have given out Chickens, Pork and other types of meats as well.  Our second type of giveaway is for the children, and consists of a small bag of Christmas Candy, a few small toys and other such items that Children will enjoy, and will bring a bit of Christmas to their lives, and let them forget about their poverty for a short time.

Over the years, this project has brought a lot of joy to me personally, and I believe, given the reactions I have seen here on the site, it has brought a great deal of Christmas joy to the LiP community as well.  I know for sure that it has brought comfort and joy to the hundreds of people (probably thousands, I guess) that we have been able to help over the years.  There have been plenty of times when a small gift has brought tears to the eyes – both mine and theirs – over the years.

Can you help with the 2010 LiP Christmas Giveaway? If so, just use the donation button here in this post and donate what you can.  It doesn’t have to be a huge amount, all amounts are welcome.  We have, over the years gotten plenty of donations of as little as a few dollars, and we are happy when we get any donations toward the project.  We have gotten a lot of big donations too, and we are very happy for those, of course.  I mean, I remember several donations of $500, or even more.  So, whatever amount you can afford to share this year is appropriate.  No amount is too small, because when it is all pooled together, it all adds up and helps the poor!

Help LiP bring a smile to more faces at Christmas this year!  Pitch in what you can to help feed a few people during Christmas 2010.  For Americans, this being Thanksgiving day, share your blessings with those who have a lot fewer blessings than we do!  I will be pitching in for this!  Will you join me?

For those of you who did not get to see last year’s LiP Christmas Giveaway Video, have a look now:

I would like to just note that 100% of any donations go toward buying Christmas Gifts.  There are no Administrative Costs or any other deductions from the donations.  All costs of doing the giveaway are paid for by us, and 100% of any donations you make will go toward making a Merry Christmas for poor people in the Philippines.

Post Author: MindanaoBob (1353 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

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  1. ian says

    Hey hold on there Bob ! You Americans already stole Celine Dione and Pamela Anderson [ and according to Google 104 other famous actors ], as well as most of the great hockey players, but I am NOT going to let you steal Canadian Thanksgiving ! lol
    American Thanksgiving might be an American holiday, but Canadian Thanksgiving is 100% Canadian !!
    Btw- Canadian Thanksgiving is in October . [ Maybe our turkeys fatten faster than yours ? ]
    I will forgive you a bit for the slight since you later in the post did correctly refer to ” American Thanksgiving”

    • says

      Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in November is a United States event. Canadian Thanksgiving, I believe, occurs in October. Both Canada and the United States are part of North America, right? So, Thanksgiving of each Country is an “American Holiday,” am I not correct? Both Canada and the United States are part of North America, no?

      My goodness… sometimes it feels like whatever a person says… criticism the to be expected. “lol”

  2. ian says

    Gee Bob- are you going to be the first American to publicly state that ” America” includes Canada also ?? lol
    I’m sure that when people say ” america land of the free home of the brave ” they dont mean Canada also .
    Think levity Bob ! lol

    • says

      While many United States Citizens don’t understand it… Canada is indeed just as much a part of America as the USA is. So is Mexico, Guatamela and other countries. The United States of America is only one of the countries on the American Continents. I have said this for decades, so there is nothing “first” about it.

      There is no lyric that says “america land of the free home of the brave”. Part of that is included in the US National Anthem, but certainly not as you wrote it.

  3. John says

    Since I hail from Saint-Pierre et Miquelon the French jewel of North America I was told in school the reason why there is a difference in the Canadian and the US Thanksgiving was simple. The Americans gives thanks they were not part of Britain and the Canadian give thanks they are not American. LOL

  4. art wolford says

    Hello bob,

    I am not a person to donate to any cause here unless it is going to an individual family, since most organizations are corrupt. By the time all administrative costs and the CEO gets his big paycheck, there isn’t much left for the needy. But, after watching your Christmas giveaway video I have no doubt in my mind that 100% goes to the ones in need. So, there aren’t any problems with me donating to your cause. It was a very touching video to see someone like you and your family giving out gifts for Christmas and seeing the smiles on the people’s faces. It was easy to see it was coming from the heart. Way to go Bob! Keep up the good work. Wish we had a lot more like you in the Philippines.

      • Randy W says


        I think its really a super generous and kind thing that you are doing. Its nice to see 100% of the contribution going to the people in need instead of the normal 10%. That video really brought tears to my eyes. You can tell those people really appreciated it. Unlike alot of american children who are so unappreciative of what they receive. God Bless You Bob. You really have a big heart.

  5. Mike says

    Interesting education on the history of Thanksgiving, Bob. Though I attended private schools that were of a religious base – Catholic & Protestant – I must have been sick on the day they explained the significance, as I always thought of it representing a specific day when pilgrims from the “Mayflower”, in Plymouth, ate a meal with some first nations people to celebrate a good harvest!(I believe I learned this from saturday morning cartoons on KSTW Bellingham). I could never understand why Canada celebrated it. After reading your article, I had to google American and Canadian thanksgiving and learned that it has been celebrated in The U.S., in a National sense, since 1863, in Canada since 1957. As for Celine Dion, I’d be willing to trade her & Stephen Harper – our Prime Minister – for Barack Obama & Cat Stevens, or Carole King. Give it some thought & let me know. (Btw, Ian wasn’t arguing/criticizing, he was joking with you.)

    I think your Christmas Giveaway is a great thing. Every year when we send money to the in-laws it is with the stipulation that 50% of the gifts bought are to be given to the poor around Davao. I think I’ll suggest to Jeanne that we do this through you this year, as I have some misgivings concerning the status quo.

    • says

      Thank you Mike. If you choose to give through the LiP Christmas drive it will be highly appreciate… if you choose to keep doing as you have in the past, that’s OK too! Helping the poor is what it’s all about, and either way they are getting assistance! Thanks!

  6. chris says

    Hi bob and feyma well we dont celebrate thanksgiving here in oz but i can tell you now that after my first trip to davao when i returned i was very thankfull of where i lived and the life i have .I always used to think that sometimes i had it hard but compared to the average person in the phillipines i have got it good ,watching your video of the giveaway just hit that home that i have got it bloody good here i only wish a lot of others could see that as well ,where i work our employer has recruited about 4 philipino people through a scheme through the government (no doubt there are financial gains) i tell my work mates how thes people live as one of the girls comes from davao region and how they would be sending money home to help there families have a bit better time of it ,i dont think these guys have any idea at all of the difference in living standards i suppose that all i can try to do is stem the rascist remarks and try to make them understand that these guys and girls would be feeling like they were kings and queens with the pay they are getting here , anyway what i want to say is i think that what you and your family do is something really special and i will surely donate some just so i can think maybe i helped put a bit of xmas spirit into a childs or adults life so that for one day they can feel like a king or queen and forget there problems and enjoy the spirit of xmas

  7. sugar says

    H Bob- As you mentioned, no thanksgiving here so most Pinoys don’t know the US tradition. It looks fun though. The parade and all. Uh, for Americans and Canadians thanksgiving is more important than Christmas? And just curious, do you eat turkey too? He he.

    Anyway, you and Feyma are like Santa and Mrs Claus and along as well with others who choose to give and share their blessing to the less fortunate. I’ll contribute if have some extra here.

  8. Bob New York says

    Happy Thanksgiving Mindanao Bob and Family.

    It is almost that time of the year again to ride along with Minda-Claus and crew ( via video ) so you can count me in again this year.

    This reminds me of a Hit Single by Eddie Fisher that I recieved as a gift when I was a young child. I think it is a very appropriate song to go along with what Mindanao Bob ( AKA Minda-Claus ) does at this time of the year with the ” L I P Christmas Give-A-Way. You can hear it on Youtube.

  9. peterjoy says

    ho bob

    all i wont to say to u is god bless u for the help u give the poor of where u live mate if all off us did a little bit every year it would make some ppls life a lot better so thank u for what u and ur famliy are doing there and happy thanks giving day too for yesterday…….

    peter martin tassie

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