By Ana de Villa – Singson

Editor-in-Chief, Assumpta Magazine
Co-Chairperson, AAA Website

Proud To Be! AHS 1983

Christmas is in the air! And in celebration of NOEL…GOD WITH US!, this edition of ASSUMPTA focuses on the universal theme of Christmas:  GIFT GIVING! 

Giving the gift of knowledge! So many alumnae have so generously gifted others with everlasting gifts. One of them is  Annie Kawpeng of AHS 1979. Undeterred by persistent health issues and unmindful of self, Annie has made Alpabasa, a game-themed system of teaching youngsters how to read, her personal advocacy.  Written by her classmate , Michelle Dayrit Soliven, journey with Annie in ALPABASA ni ANNIE as she gifts children with knowledge that  lasts a lifetime.

Giving the gift of education!  The dynamic HS Class 1970, the movers and shakers behind the long-running St Eugenie Malibay Community Pantry, was not content to feed thousands during the pandemic.  With St Eugenie’s battlecry for education towards a transformative society, these indefatigable Assumptionists put up a Malibay Scholarship Program, an ongoing program that gifts scholarships until a student graduates in Grade 6.

Giving the gift of sustenance!  4 bosom buddies from HS Class 1968 decided that they could not “sit prettily at home when others out there are hungry!”  Coroy Diaz, Tessa Mortensen, Len Fernandez and Chona Mercado feed thousands weekly, waking up to a daily grind of food preparation, packing and distribution as early at 3 a.m. Kusina ng Pag-ibig includes love with every single bite of their packed meals.

Giving all the time! HS Class of 79 celebrates Christmas with yearly generosity. Since 2018, their “collective heart [shares] blessings with others.”  From food and gift distributions in 2018 to providing bancas for indigenous folk in 2019, to PPE donations, laptop and generator donations in 2020 and so many more, HS Class 79 brings Christmas goodwill to many again and again and again!

Giving the gift of spritutal nourishment!  Since our website’s restage, we posted a monthly spiritual reflection on one of St Eugenie’s quotations.  In the spirit of Christmas, we are gifting you with 2 spiritual gems in Reflecting…Walking With St. Eugenie. Both Pilar “Ginny” Brion Garza  , valedictorian of Herran Class’70 and Socorro “Cory” Villafania, Assumption educator for 39 years,  reflect on “Love Never Says I  Have Done Enough”.  I was particularly struck by Ginny’s reflection that “ All He [Jesus] asks for in return for His boundless, unconditional Love is a pittance of our Love to slake His thirst.” What a powerful though-provoking idea, that human love, small and limited as it is, can slake the need of the Ultimate Love of all. Then Cory writes “ there is no diminishment in loving; there is only a BECOMING MORE and a GIVING MORE.”  In these trying times, this wealth of spiritual insight is like manna from heaven.  

Giving the gift of Noche Buena! This beloved Christmas midnight meal, brings the family together with love and merriment.  This Christmas, cook up the festive Yule recipes provided by internationally – renown Chef and Culinary Educator Lourdes “Lorrie” Reynoso. Of the famed Reynoso cooking family, Lorrie takes us on her global culinary journey through the continents then gifts us with easy to prepare delectable recipes for Christmas! Eggnog, anyone?

Giving gifts!  While Christmas shopping this year, I enjoyed more than usual, because I shopped for a cause.  In Shopaholic Inc, sales of many of the items benefit Assumption Mission Schools, so the joy of giving is exponentially multiplied! Many items too are products of our talented alumnae, so hie off to Shopaholics Inc and be dazzled by the many wonderful gift choices! Personalized rosaries, icons, hand-painted woven bags, yummies, trays, tables, chestnut crackers, jammies, Christmas baskets, personal services…you name it, it’s probably in Shopaholic Inc!

Now that I am past golden and supposedly wiser,  giving far outweighs receiving gifts! My gifts come with a piece of my heart.  It’s me saying  Gracias, Kamsahamnida, Domo Arigato, Taimtim and Buong-Pusong Pasasalamat.   It’s saying Te Amo, Je T’aime, Mahal Kita.  It’s saying there are many things I don’t understand, many challenges I face, many fears I have, but “ No Worries”, “Hakuna Matata”, NOEL…GOD IS WITH US!

May these stories of giving inspire you to give , give and give again!  Because giving begets more giving and when the world gives more, what a wonderful place it can be!

Happy Christmas! May you be a gifter and receiver of much love and happiness!  May God bless  your hearts and homes and may your heart’s most ardent dreams and hopes come true!

See you in 2022!  Stay safe and healthy!

All Hail!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *