17 Dec2013


Sometimes simple is perfection. I caught a rapid glimpse of this tree while driving in a convoy (at 80+kph) on our way up to Medellin, Cebu this morning, to do our last distribution with a “Christmas theme” for those affected by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. I took note of the kilometer reading and vowed to return for a closer look on our way home. So this post is totally out of sync and should follow a dozen others in the interim, but it is also so darned appropriate after my previous post on Christmas Tree decorating tips… This tree is as close to holiday “perfection” as you will ever get. Perfectly simple. Perfectly shaped. Perfectly environmentally conscious. Simply but beautifully decorated (and yes, it has lights for the evening) and the result of an inspired landholder and local participation.


On the way home, after several exhausting hours in the hot sun distributing in two barangays with 1,000 families, we stopped to take a closer look at the tree (it’s roughly 12 kilometers before Bogo City when driving up from Cebu City) and were all in awe. I have seen Christmas trees all over the world, and have had several favorites, but this one was just amazing, and Mrs. MM, the Teen and I took a minute to really absorb the experience of the past 5 weeks since the massive storm hit, the real meaning of the holiday season, and the amazing bayanihan spirit we have witnessed up close in the recent past. The Christmas tree was made of natural twigs from fallen branches and trees and the decor was made of recycled aluminum foil and other materials…


We had nearly 25 people from our office join us on this trip up North today, and I think EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US got a really inspiring DOSE of Christmas… After a couple of photos, Jun, our trusty inventory assistant, brought out our last sack of children’s goodies and we gave out a few dozen loot bags to kids in the surrounding area. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.




  1. Sarah says:

    Nice! I wish I could see it all lit up. I’m sure it must bring a lot of Christmas cheer to the community.

    Dec 17, 2013 | 11:25 pm


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  3. natie says:

    Brought a lump on my throat, and all the smiles tugged at my heart-strings. Simply beautiful! Red T-shirts! Children! Teen all grown up( she has dimples..)!

    Aluminum foil! Now, that we can use.. Candies too…

    Dec 17, 2013 | 11:26 pm

  4. MiMac says:

    May puso. :)

    Dec 17, 2013 | 11:31 pm

  5. Meg says:

    The second picture was so dramatic. Appreciation for simple things that surround us is more nourishing to the soul.

    Dec 18, 2013 | 12:33 am

  6. leah says:

    I can’t help but notice as well, the trees behind the Christmas tree. They look like trees here in the US East Coast in the spring when leaves begin to sprout after the long winter. Very hopeful signs indeed.

    Dec 18, 2013 | 1:15 am

  7. La Emperor says:

    Quite Creative and a cool Christmas tree that I would like to make myself one day.:)

    Dec 18, 2013 | 3:11 am

  8. netoy says:

    All I can say is that this tree epitomizes the Filipino spirit. The message it delivers is just so powerful and really struck me to my core and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing, MM!

    Dec 18, 2013 | 5:45 am

  9. pixienixie says:

    From afar you won’t be able to tell that the decor is made from recycled materials! And the tree, oh my goodness! I wonder how long it took for them to finish that, what with finding the perfect twigs and arranging them in such a way as to form the perfect shape…

    It’s really wonderful how you also thought of giving toys to the kids. Although relief goods are very important, the gifts you brought also are. Food will fill their tummies, but toys and other goodies will feed their soul by bringing some of that holiday cheer. :)

    Dec 18, 2013 | 6:50 am

  10. Marketman says:

    pixienixie, wait till you see what we managed to cobble together for the nearly 1,000 children’s Christmas loot bags we gave out in addition to stuff for the adults… the kids were thrilled to get them a week before Christmas! :)

    Dec 18, 2013 | 6:55 am

  11. millet says:

    this post made me cry.

    Dec 18, 2013 | 7:10 am

  12. Thel from Florida says:

    Wow, ang Galing, very creative ang mga gumawa ng Christmas tree!

    Dec 18, 2013 | 10:12 am

  13. pixienixie says:

    I’ll be waiting for that post!:) In the meantime, planning a trip to Cebu this January to sample some of that Zubuchon, at last! My husband made me inggit because a couple of his colleagues brought Zubuchon to their office. He said that although the skin suffered (understandable given what it went through – took a plane ride, went in a deep freeze for the night, and then reheated the next day to be served during lunch), the meat was really, really, realllllly flavorful!

    Dec 18, 2013 | 10:19 am

  14. EbbaBlue says:

    I too will copy the idea from that tree. It is really simply amazing.

    Dec 19, 2013 | 12:58 pm

  15. kristin says:

    the best things in life is in giving, without ceasing until it hurts…then you find the ultimate satisfaction,joy and meaning of what living is really about…because in giving you get back grace, the heartfelt thanks and the joy of the spirit. And its also the true meaning of christmas…thank you MM and Family.

    Dec 19, 2013 | 7:14 pm

  16. MP says:

    OMG! I can’t stop crying – not sure if it is because of the unique and inspiring christmas tree or seeing the kids’ grateful, sincere smiles!

    Happy holidays to one and all!

    Dec 20, 2013 | 1:38 am

  17. linda says:

    A truly Pinoy ingenuity and spirit. Amazing!

    Dec 20, 2013 | 3:27 am

  18. Susan says:

    God bless you and your family MM, Merry Christmas! Heading to the Philippines for a quick trip, sad I won’t make it to Zubuchon this trip, hopefully soon I will get to try the best lechon in the PI.

    Dec 20, 2013 | 7:55 pm

  19. Akeeno says:

    That’s the Filipino Spirit. Nice Christmas tree, very creative. Merry Christmas, MM and to your family and staff. Sorry, I have been so busy.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all! May God’s blessing pour upon us.

    Dec 22, 2013 | 10:17 am

  20. bagito says:

    late comment but wow, that was certainly awesome!

    Dec 27, 2013 | 9:46 pm


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