After the successfully-staged Christmas Tree Contests in the past two consecutive years dubbed as “Unity in Diversity” with Ms. Tessa Prieto-Valdes as grand winner in 2010 and “The Family Tree” with The Cruz Family as grand winner in 2011, this year’s theme focuses on children, the world’s hope for the future. Through creative, young hearts and minds and the use of recycled materials, Dusit Thani Manila has invited esteemed educational institutions represented by its Grade School Students to join us in this Christmas endeavor and unite in the spirit of the season. Participating Grade Schools include De La Salle Zobel School, Everest Academy Manila, German European School Manila, Mahatma Gandhi International School, MGC New Life Christian Academy, Miriam College Grade School, Paref Southridge and Divine Healer Academy from Cabid-an, Sorsogon. To make this event more meaningful, the chance to make their favorite beneficiary happy this Christmas is also in their hands. The top three winning Christmas Trees will receive cash prizes which will be donated to the winners’ chosen charity.
3T: TREE, TECHNOLOGY AND TRUTH
By MGC New Life Christian Academy
Featured Recycled Materials: Compact Discs and Electronic Wastes
With the 21st century lifestyle, the fast is sidelined by the faster. Even the very young have their fair share of technology consumption. In the process, tons of e-waste is amassed and their disposal is already considered a societal problem.
Glitz and gadgets may come and go, but the true message of Christmas will never be outdated. The newborn Babe whose life on earth ended on Calvary’s Cross for sinners’ salvation still rings true through centuries passed. As a school, MGC New Life tries to ride the tide of technology, but the dictates of modernity will never change the very reason of the school’s being. Everything starts and ends with the Cross — the TRUTH. In everything that they do, be it in class, co-curricular, or extra-curricular activity, the Cross and its truth is constantly in full view.
Beneficiary: Center for Community Transformation, Inc. - Visions of Hope
This is carried out through the fusion of social development initiatives and evangelical mission in a uniquely Filipino context. It serves urban and rural poor communities throughout the Philippines, in pursuit of its desire to see changed lives, strong families and transformed communities centered on the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
PUNO NG PANGARAP (Tree of Dreams / Full of Dreams)
By Divine Healer Academy, Cabid-an, Sorsogon
Featured Recycled Material: Bamboo
Puno ng Pangarap is a tree in flaming red, the color of the aspiration of the school children to fulfill their dreams. The three bamboo poles that form the frame of the tree represent the school pillars—the administrators, teachers and yes, the benefactors who untiringly support the school. Inside and outside the frame are stars made of bamboo branches; these stars symbolize each and every pupil of the school. Hanged around these poles are Christmas balls that carry the wishes of the school children—“to have a simple umbrella,” “to have something for Noche Buena,” “to see Manila,” “for their benefactors to have a good health,” “for their parents to continue to love them,” “for Santa to take care of Papa Jesus.” On top of the tree is a bigger star, representing the bigger dreams of the students that they wish to attain. Once fulfilled, their dreams will give light to others.
Like the proverbial bamboo, the school is pliant to the tests of times. And so is the spirit of the students and teachers. They are filled with hope. They are showered with love. They are rich in dreams. With Puno ng Pangarap, the students, teachers and administrators of the Divine Healer Academy aim to bring to the consciousness of the people that they need every possible help they can get to sustain the operation of the school. Included in the academy’s vision board is to increase the number of its students to 500 by next school year. It is in this respect that Divine Healer Academy chooses itself to become its own beneficiary.
GOOD NEWS AND GOOD TIDINGS
By Everest Academy Manila
Featured Recycled Material: Newspapers
Everest Academy Manila affirms that the family is the base and foundation of every community. They are the salt and light that will guide the children towards better lives. The students were also asked to write their Christmas wishes for their families while inside the Christmas Tree shows the Holy Family as a testament of hope for all families. Christian life and love springs from hope which produces joy and peace. It is not about the colorful lights and fancy gifts but the birth of Christ as the true meaning of Christmas.
Beneficiary: Mano Amiga Academy
Mano Amiga Academy is a school that provides high quality education, health, and development services to children from marginalized families. Its mission is to provide education and development services tailored to the needs of the Filipino community that would empower each family to transform their lives and break out from poverty.
OUR CHRISTMAS STORY
By German European School Manila (GESM)
Featured Recycled Material: Toilet Paper Tubes
GESM is an international school with at least 26 student nationalities. But despite the diversity in cultures and traditions, Christmas remains a very important and joyous part of the year for each and every child. The toilet paper tubes were used to create the elements that are found in the Christmas stories. It has been observed that the world moves forward, traditions are slowly being flushed away. People start forgetting all the little things that make Christmas special for the children. It is not always about the gifts that Santa brings every child. The GESM Christmas Tree aspires to keep the tradition of sharing Christmas stories told by people from many years ago for the next generation to learn and experience.
Beneficiary: German European School Manila Foundation
The GESM Foundation supports the initiatives of its teachers and students in caring for the community through their outreach programs that mostly include helping families rebuild their homes.
PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS TREE
By Miriam Grade School Manila
Featured Recycled Material: Corn Husks
Instead of an ordinary Christmas tree, peace masks were used featuring the expressive facial features of the community, with trimmings using Japanese corn husks gathered from the vendor outside the campus. Despite being diverse, from the way people talk, to the cultures and attitudes, mankind can still have that chance to be united. The inspiration and design is from a female peace advocate named Myong Hee Kim whose work has helped individuals understand the role of art in the society. What better gift to give Jesus this season than showing love and unity to one another.
Beneficiary: Miriam College Adult Education (MAE)
Established by the Maryknoll Sisters in 1967, MAE continues to empower the disadvantaged youth and adult learners through basic education and vocational classes like Dressmaking, Tailoring, Beauty Culture, and Auto Mechanics. It caters not only the residents of the nearby areas, but has also attracted students from as far as Eastern Rizal and Southern Manila.
THE GIVING TREE
By Mahatma Gandhi International School (MGIS)
Featured Recycled Materials: Shoe Boxes, Aluminum Tabs and Soda Cans
The Giving Tree is a 10 ft. tall by 6 ft. wide Christmas tree made up of shoe boxes covered in green and red wrappers, individually and creatively designed by the Primary Years Programme (PYP) kids, and piled up to the shape of a triangular tree. Inside each box is a special gift by the pupil for a chosen beneficiary.
The Christmas Tree design has sprung out of the realization that international school MGIS being an inter-cultural community with students of different backgrounds and religions, acknowledges that the Christian concept of Christmas is all about the universal values of love and giving. In general, Christmas in MGIS is being observed all-year round.
Beneficiaries: Tahanang Walang Hagdan and Barangay Day Care
The MGIS Tree is ecologically friendly as no used material (from top to bottom) will be wasted. Everything will be purposely utilized for a worthy cause. The round base will be transformed into a table, and donated to the Barangay Day Care afterwards. The aluminum tabs and aluminum soda cans will be donated to the Tahanang Walang Hagdan where they are being used in making canes, wheelchairs, etc.
TREE OF FAITH
By PAREF Southridge School
Featured Recycled Material: Plastic Spoons
Pope Benedict XVI declared October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013 as The Year of Faith where people are called to renew their commitment in living out their faith as Catholics. Highlighted in the Christmas Tree are Nativity Scene and Filipino family customs like celebrating Misa De Gallo and having Noche Buena, a symbolic representation of how mankind can be the light of the world.
The Christmas Tree is filled with anahaw leaves, some candle, floral, and poinsettia designs, colorful and shiny Christmas balls made out of plastic spoons as well as Christmas messages by the students. The spoon heads are creatively and uniquely attached to a styro ball covering it with acrylic paint and shiny gold and silver glitters. Paref Southridge strongly believes in the drive for recycling and reusing waste items as its contribution in the community in saving Mother Earth.
Beneficiary: Casa Miani – San Jose
The foundation of Casa Miani – San Jose is mainly oriented to provide assistance to male children (6 years old, minimum age), who are morally and physically deprived of family support (orphans, abandoned, physically abused, school drop outs and children in situation of high social risk)
TREE OF HOPE
By De La Salle Zobel (DLSZ)
Featured Recycled Materials: Used Books and Plywood from Scraps
Inspired by the various programs of the school to reach out to the marginalized sectors of the community, DLSZ’s “Tree of Hope” is made up of books that have been gathered from students’ yearly Book Drives and Book Showers of the school’s Learning Resource Center. Volunteer grade school students who sorted about 2,000 books by sizes and placed them one after the other until it was too high for them to reach. Aside from these various student clubs and activities, this aims to promote the love of reading. Through the Book Mobile program alone, DLSZ has provided books to public schools that have limited library resources and has catered to over 30 public schools in Batangas and Muntinlupa, motivating the youth to read and nurture their interest in them through puppet shows, story-telling activities and library services. This program is collaborated by DLSZ’s Learning Resource Center and the Social Action Office.
Beneficiary: The Calambuyan Elementary School
Each book laid on this tree will be donated to Calambuyan Elementary School. An upland school located in Calatagan, Batangas where students come from poor families engaged in farming. It is DLSZ’s hope that the outreach programs develop and sustain linkages with various entities for educational enrichment and social transformation.
WITH LOVE AND LIGHT
By Singapore School Manila (SSM)
Featured Recycled Materials: Bamboo Twigs and Scraps
The main stalks of these bamboo branches and twigs are prized for their size and strength, while the smaller younger ones are discarded. SSM used the younger and smaller bamboo because they see the value of the young and the small in the creation of something great. Small things are the foundation of bigger things. So these little twigs are tied together to form a large tree. This process of tying and building represent the cohesiveness of the different cultures among SSM students.
Beneficiary: Home for the Angels
Home for the Angels, a half-way home for unwanted children located in San Andres Bukid, Manila was founded in 1996. It has been a consistent crisis home for abortion survivors and neglected, abused and exploited infants. It provides a place for babies to be nourished with everything they need and most of all they would feel wanted and loved.
HOW TO VOTE
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