Another Side of Christmas


Last December 24, my wife and I went to Robertson’s to buy some ingredients for lunch. Even before we came reached the entrance, one lady in white polo shirt approached us with an envelope, asking for donation. We simply ignored her.

Then, I noticed that that there were more of them in front of the store’s entrance asking people to donate. And they don

It was my wife who went inside Robertson’s and I went to buy some fruits near the cathedral; I also spent some time checking for a cheap mobile phone (to replace the one that got stolen). When going back to wait for my wife to come out, a couple of ladies approached me again to ask for donation. I simply ignored them.

What surprised me when we were in the tricycle on our way home. The tricycle was moving slowly due to heavy traffic in Magsaysay, a lady came running towards us and asking for the envelope, that she claimed, she gave me! One thing that came into my mind quickly – I only see this modus operandi in the big city! And she was really convincing, “pakibalik lang po ng envelope ng binigay ko sa inyo, kahit envelop lang po” – courteous, assertive, and young. A good recipe to somebody to fall into and give something so that she stops.

The incident in the bus, when my office mobile was stolen, is still fresh in my mind. Thus, my paranoia kicked in immediately. But it’s not really surprising; as of this writing, our unidentified visitors asking for “christmas” is increasing every year. I remember, we don’t have this 20 years ago; nowadays, it seems to be institutionalized.

There must be a systemic structure here why the number of beggars during Christmas season is increasing…

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