24 Dec2009


These photos were taken last Friday, December 18, at the Banawa Elementary School in Cebu. It was their final day of classes and this was the final feeding program date until school re-commences in early January. All throughout December, the kids have had extremely special meals, not only as a result of the many donations received from readers earlier in the year, but also from special corporate donors who have stepped in to sponsor several days of the feeding program, often with generous budgets and hence delicious, nutritious and abundant meals. I must make a special mention however, to one of marketmanila’s readers who prefers to remain anonymous this year…


“Texas” as I will call him, contacted me several months ago and had indicated then he wanted to help with a Christmas feeding program. He emailed me again a few weeks ago and we finally connected on line last week. He made a VERY generous donation, enough to provide more than 2,000 meals for the regular feeding program. And while I wasn’t even able to claim the funds until yesterday, I had promised him last week that we would dedicate the last feeding day/Christmas celebration to him and his family, who wish to remain humbly unknown. Substantial funds that remain from this generous donation will go to more feeding dates in January. Salamat. From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of each of the kids who have benefitted from your and many other readers gifts, a huge thank you indeed.


For last Friday’s meal, one I could not attend, the office crew brought, of course, freshly roasted Zubuchons and lots of pancit canton and several hundred puso or rice wrapped in coconut leaves. It was certainly a feast by this public school’s standards, and I know the kids appreciated it. They feel special, they understand that this comes to them out of the kindness of strangers, and yet I get teary eyed every single time I see their faces because this is just a teeny tiny bucket in an ocean of problems they and millions of others like them face on a day to day basis.


The week prior, the kids had terrific meals courtesy of corporate sponsors and other days in December sponsored by MM readers who have donated earlier in the year. We shall continue to fund this program until the end of the 2009-2010 school year.


I think these photos, taken by one of my office colleagues in Cebu, say more than I can ever express in writing.


If only one of these kids, recipients of some of the nearly 60,000+ meals provided so far, does something to help others in his/her adult life, then it was totally worth the effort.


In this season wherein it’s easy to forget what the holidays should really be about, just pause a minute to realize just how lucky each of us really are, and how many other folks out there we could help with just a little bit of our time, resources and effort.


This feeding program is a good thing. And I am seriously grateful to all of you who have contributed to it. As well as to my Cebu and Manila crew that have helped administer it. A Very Merry Christmas to you all! Oh, and stay tuned for the Marketman gingerbread post which I will publish by hook or by crook sometime later today!



  1. Bong says:

    What a wonderful sight! Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to you MM and to all who contribute to the feeding program.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 12:31 am


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  3. mardie c",) says:

    happy faces, warm hearts… merry christmas and a prosperous year ahead to all!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 12:32 am

  4. Vicky Go says:

    God bless you MM & MM readers! To you & yours: Merry Christmas and a Peaceful, Healthy & Prosperous New Year!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 12:32 am

  5. sunflowii says:

    Merry Christmas, MM and family!
    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 12:39 am

  6. natie says:

    that last picture says it all…thumbs up to you and the crew, MM!!! may you be twice- blessed for all the good things you’ve done

    Dec 24, 2009 | 1:36 am

  7. marilen says:

    The highest form of wisdom is kindness. Blessings to you MM and family and to all the kind people who have opened their hearts and been good stewards of God’s goodness.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 2:02 am

  8. Tok says:

    MM,keep up the good work! God bless.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 3:20 am

  9. Ariel says:

    Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to you MM and your Family.
    May you be blessed for all your noble work with the children.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 5:38 am

  10. botchok says:

    Merry Christmas MM,family & “crew”, and all MM readers .
    May God bless all of you, especially the feeding program sponsors.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 5:42 am

  11. denise says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family MM! and to the crew as well.. reading about “Texas” and seeing all the kids happy faces made me teary-eyed as well!

    Praying for more blessings for your feeding program and may God Bless you and yours always!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 6:13 am

  12. Jody says:

    Marketman, may God Bless you and your family and I hope you have a good Xmas.



    Dec 24, 2009 | 6:22 am

  13. kurzhaar says:

    Hi Marketman, you said “If only one of these kids…does something to help others in his/her adult life, then it was totally worth the effort.” So true. One of the reasons I support Heifer International is they require recipients of the livestock and training donated to them by Heifer to in turn “pass the gift” on by passing on offspring of the original livestock.

    The golden rule still is primary: Do unto others…

    Wishing you and yours a happy Christmas and good health in 2010.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 7:05 am

  14. millet says:

    yes, was about to ask how the gingerbread house looks like this year.

    but somehow, i also felt that christmas in the MM world wouldn’t be complete without a feeding program post. am so inspired by this program that i’m dreaming of doing a similar thing in a nearby public school here. in a series of seminars that i had with public school heads, the participants had many stories of children going to school hungry, children staring at the blackboard with glassy eyes because they had not had dinner the night before and breakfast that morning, children who ate green bananas that they picked off the trees on the way to school, etc. truly heartbreaking, but inspiring in the way that the kids have kept going to school despite all the difficulties.

    when the time comes for me to realize this dream, i know i do not have to reinvent the wheel because there is a “Banawa Model” that i can count on. thanks for inspiring us, MM!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 7:32 am

  15. alicia says:

    Merry Christmas! Thank you for doing this for our children.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 8:56 am

  16. Mary Kim says:

    happy holidays everyone^ ^

    Dec 24, 2009 | 10:40 am

  17. Lee says:

    Good thing I’m alone in the office and no one can see my tears. I miss home and the warmth and generosity that seem so abundant in a country that never had it easy. It is my first time away from home and family and one of the things I do often is to click on the random posts below and read the old Marketmanila posts and comments just to keep my heart and soul connected with my dear old Pilipinas.
    This is such a serious entry coming from me. Are there some hallucinogenic particles in the dust I breathe here?
    Merry Christmas to the Marketman, Mrs. MM, the Teen, the crew, millet, moni, betty q, silly lolo, joey of 80 breakfasts, waitlisted joey, edik, toping, silly lolo, apicio, katrina, mila, artisan, joan, socky, everyone….. to the fishpan lady, the “sili” incident student, and my idol aridelros, adireldos, aliredlos whatever!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 10:54 am

  18. aji says:


    Happy Holidays to you and your Family !

    May He shower you with more of His mercy and love, and bring you peace, prosperity and abundance in the coming year!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 11:49 am

  19. Marketman says:

    Thanks for all the kind holiday greetings! Still crazed in the kitchen. But Lee, I wanted to say, you know if I could, I would send you a kilo of zubuchon sisig by overnight express if I thought you would get it in an edible form. :) My double best wishes to all of you abroad who miss relatives from home!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 12:19 pm

  20. melanie v. says:

    Merry Christmas, MM and family. Have been following your posts for the last year, but this is the first time I am adding my thoughts…all the recipes and events you share with your readers have been great. And the camaraderie amongst your regulars ooze out of their comments. Great blog. More power to you MM and may all the beautiful thoughts and feelings we feel spread all over the world this season…and everyday of the coming year! Merry Christmas to all MM readers!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 1:07 pm

  21. betty q. says:


    Lee, …for a minute I thought that couldn’t be you! I was about to say, what in the world did you have for breakfast? I know what it is like to be homesick…After 35 years of being here, I still feel homesick! Nothing can compare to being with your loved ones in Pinas and engage in the kaguluhan of the Christmas celebrations like kids caroling, the simbang gabi,….Oh, no…lalo ka ng na homesick! Pareho na tayo…

    So, will 2010 be the year for MM’s cookbook….would make great fundraiser!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 1:10 pm

  22. kitongzki says:

    I wish I could help out with the feeding program soon… Would really love to volunteer or at least, donate a little bit when times aren’t really crazy… maybe next year… :D

    Merry Christmas to you MM and to your family! :D

    Dec 24, 2009 | 1:19 pm

  23. Lee says:

    Thanks Marketman. I will definitely drop by Zubuchon in Cebu in one of my future bakasyons.

    Hi betty q. I had a few mugs of brewed Colombian coffee.. was it just coffee in it?

    Dec 24, 2009 | 1:25 pm

  24. Rona Y says:

    I really hope this coming year you’ll have a sort of tutorial on how to start a similar program. My mother has been trying to get something like this started in Bacolod, but it has been a struggle. It would be great to learn more about the logistics of such a program, and how you began it.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 1:31 pm

  25. iris says:

    I think seeing the kids’ smiles are better than seeing the ornaments on your tree this year, MM.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, your family and your crew! God bless. :)

    Dec 24, 2009 | 1:45 pm

  26. Mila says:

    Lee, I didn’t know you were also overseas. I hope you have a safe and peaceful holiday in the UK.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 3:59 pm

  27. Lee says:

    hi mila, I’m in a more exciting place but we get our Internet from U.K. satellites. waaay more exciting than UK. Merry Christmas!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 5:58 pm

  28. Artisan Chocolatier says:


    I Thank The Almighty for a wonderful year and for new found friends, I met thru Marketmanila!!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 6:28 pm

  29. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    MM, The pictures of the kids prove that your feeding program is working. The kids don’t look emaciated and they all wear big smiles!!!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 7:32 pm

  30. silly lolo says:

    To MarketMan and group: Happy Holidays and the best of everything to all of you! This year, and every year!
    To St. BettyQ: You are the best!
    To Lee: You are my best “apo”! Good luck in your new adventure and do keep us all posted on how you are doing.
    To Artisan: “Mr. Cebu”! You singlehandedly made me want to visit Cebu with your kind encouragement. Eb or no EB, maybe, just maybe, I will someday visit.
    ConnieC: You have such a big heart, I can feel it all the way out here on the coast.
    Silly Lolo

    Dec 24, 2009 | 9:32 pm

  31. psychomom says:

    Have a blessed Christmas everybody!!!! especially to you MM and your family. we have sooo mcuh to be grateful for…. this blog that has bought so many people together, our families, health etc etc etc.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 11:47 pm

  32. diday says:

    Happy Holidays to everyone!!!!

    Dec 24, 2009 | 11:52 pm

  33. Roland says:

    Merry Christmas MM! Thank you for sharing!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 1:44 am

  34. iamj says:

    Maligayang Pasko po!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 2:04 am

  35. rhea says:

    Malipayon nga Paskua sa imo MM, Mrs. MM and the Teen… kag sa tanan nga readers sang sini nga blog!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 4:21 am

  36. betty q. says:

    OH, SILLY LOLO!!!!! MALIGAYANG PASKO TO YOU, SILLY LOLA,YOUR DAUGHTER AND TO YOUR APOS! May your SILLYNESS be lalong humaba in the coming year and the year after that….

    May the coming year bring you and Silly Lola GOOD HEALTH, Prosperity, MMORE SILLYNESS!!!!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 4:23 am

  37. linda says:

    Happy Christmas MM and family and all your readers!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 6:28 am

  38. atbnorge says:

    Uy, nakabati na ang mga favourite mainstays ko…I love reading the posts of Artisan, Silly Lolo, betty_q, Vicky Go, el_jefe, robKSA, psychomom, at marami pang iba…And to you, Marketman, Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa ‘yo at sa ‘yong pamilya. Lalo pa sanang umunlad ang lahat ng iyong mga ventures at pagpalain ka ng Diyos.

    Dec 25, 2009 | 7:13 am

  39. edee says:

    Nollaig Shona Duit!
    That’s Irish for Happy Christmas!!!

    Maligayang Pasko !

    Dec 25, 2009 | 9:05 am

  40. chinky says:

    To MarketMan, Mrs MM, the Teen, the Crew and to all of you: A Blessed Christmas to you and your family.

    I enjoy this blog not only for the great info on food, places i have never been to and what have you BUT for all the good that MM and his family has done and have allowed us to be a part of. It also reminds us that we can still do so much more in our own little way.

    Maligayang Pasko sa inyong tanan!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 9:15 am

  41. Betchay says:

    The 1st and the last 2 pix really showed what good appetites these children really have!3-4 puso in their plates!!!That’s why I really support your feeding program MM.Nothing can beat seeing those happy faces!
    Merry Christmas MM and to your family!May you have more blessings this coming year!
    Happy Holidays to all!!!!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 10:29 am

  42. zaN says:

    A very happy holidays to the generous host and viewers/followers of Marketmanila. May the new year bring joy and prosperity to all.

    Lee: I was just there in your neck of the woods last September. Took my mom there to take care of my aging-not-in-good-health aunt. We’ll be there again in May.

    BettyQ: I still look forward to seeing you i2i. It’s just 14 hours drive from where i am at. Maybe I’ll tow sillyLolo’s runabout to see you. (lol)

    SillyLolo: maybe we could get together since you’re not going to Cebu.

    Dec 25, 2009 | 11:11 am

  43. giancarlo says:

    Thanks for sharing the blessings Market Man!!!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 11:19 am

  44. chinachix says:

    …and a merry one to you and your family too MM!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 1:21 pm

  45. marissewalangkaparis says:

    A wonderful season to you ,Mrs MM and the teen… Godbless you and more power!!!!

    Dec 25, 2009 | 1:35 pm

  46. presentacion says:

    Merry Christmas MM and Family. Thank you very much for sharing the nice things that you do. God bless you.

    Dec 26, 2009 | 12:45 am

  47. psychomom says:

    it is incredible how universal and international this blogsite has been and become. you have readers from norway (atbnorge), ireland (edee), austria, greenland and other far away places. this site has allowed us to form “families, attachments, bonds.” and for me a vicarious way of looking and living life in different places in the world. thank you MM for allowing us to be a part of this and thank you all visitors and contributors for sharing. makes me feel less isolated and more of a family.

    Dec 26, 2009 | 10:01 am

  48. psychomom says:

    it is incredible how universal and international this blogsite has been and become. you have readers from norway (atbnorge), ireland (edee), austria, greenland and other far away places. this site has allowed us to form “families, attachments, bonds.” and for me a vicarious way of looking and living life in different places in the world. thank you MM for allowing us to be a part of this and thank you all visitors and contributors for sharing. makes me feel less isolated and more part of a family.

    Dec 26, 2009 | 10:01 am

  49. Cecilia says:

    This post touches me to no end.

    Dec 27, 2009 | 1:08 pm

  50. RobKSA says:

    Merry Christmas, happy, prosperous, recession-free new year to all! Thanks MM and you fans for everything, all the sharing, etc. All you have to do is ask and I’m sure your fans will more than willing to help in any way.

    Dec 27, 2009 | 3:48 pm

  51. terrey says:

    i’d be very happy with puso and lechon myself, pun-an pas pancit, samot kalami! for sure those kids will truly remember these kindness and generosity. to all the generous donors, kudos to you all!

    Jan 4, 2010 | 9:34 pm


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