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Check Out This Christmas Bazaar for Gifts that Give Back

So you can give gifts that aren't just material objects.
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Every year, like clockwork, crowds of last minute Christmas shoppers descend upon the aisles lining up the department store, emerging with socks, bath towels, and gift cards in hand—just like they did last year and the year before that. Suddenly, we forget that the real spirit of Christmas isn't in the rush sales, gift cards, and maxed out credit cards. As cheesy as it may sound, the holidays are about the act of giving beyond just material things. Here to refresh our memory is BPI Foundation's annual Christmas bazaar Sinag ng Pasko.

At Sinag ng Pasko, you won't just be buying a homegrown gift for your loved ones—you'll be giving back to the community that each product supports. Social entrepreneurship is at the heart of the project with social enterprises from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao making up all 55 sellers at the bazaar. The difference between buying from a regular business and a social enterprise? With each purchase from these carefully chosen booths, you'll be supporting the cause each social enterprise advocates, thereby making your own small impact on society.

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Many of the bazaar’s social enterprises are part of BPI Foundation’s Sinag Accelerate program which aims to build an ecosystem of social entrepreneurs by discovering, empowering, and expanding their business and impact on community development. In being the bridge that gives these social enterprises access to a bigger market, they’re also offering us the opportunity to support our local communities.

Take a look at just some of the businesses (and their causes) that you could champion:

CustomMade Crafts Center

CustomMade Crafts Center (CMCC)’s advocacy lies in promoting indigenous artistry and fair trade in the Philippines. Their products are made to order, ranging from notebooks to neck ties, all of which are made with traditional fabrics. Connecting indigenous communities to the contemporary market, CMCC seeks a stable income source for indigenous artisans.
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Xabukid

Xabukid is an initiative of women social entrepreneurs looking to promote healthy, sustainable lifestyles while assisting and encouraging local and indigenous communities in Mindanao. The shop offers high quality products including vibrant tangkulo by the T’boli people to inabal fabric by Bagobo-Tagabawa women.

Knitting Expedition

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Knitting Expedition offers toys, home décor, and woolly warmers made from the hands of the women from the rice terraces of the Ifugao region. By selling the products, the business provides supplementary income for these women to support themselves enough so they don’t have to leave their ancestral lands to seek work elsewhere.

Junk Not!

Junk Not! takes trash and turns it into treasure by upcycling waste material into furniture, bags, and accessories. Aside from helping the environment and promoting waste management, the social enterprise also works closely with the women of Barangay Alas-as, San Nicolas, Batangas to encourage them to be environmental stewards.
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SARET Organic Farmville 

SARET Organic Farmville produces completely safe, organic products like cacao bars and wild honey—all of which is void of synthetic chemical ingredients. The Bulacan-based family agribusiness works to support Filipino farmers and indigenous tribes in Bulacan.

Accents and Petals

Accents and Petals is a wedding bouquet business with a twist—instead of flowers, these eco-friendly floral arrangements are made from recycled and sustainable materials in an effort to reduce landfill waste. Not only do they provide their “forever flowers” to brides in the Philippines and beyond, they also aim to provide job opportunities to the indigenous people of Cordillera and other disadvantaged groups in areas.
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This year, the bazaar will run for two days, from December 5 to 6 at Glorietta 2 Activity Center, Palm Drive, Makati. 

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About The Author
Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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