Christmas Gifts that Give: Alkansyang Bao (Coconut Shell Coin Bank)

Christmas is fast approaching and as in years past, you are probably looking around for meaningful Christmas gifts. Christmas gifts that give are gifts that allow you to give gifts to your loved ones and friends and at the same time, give you the opportunity to help out other people.

This Christmas, I am helping my nun-cousin, Sister Florence Bautista, RGS, spread the word about the alkansyang bao, a coin bank made out of coconut shell. The coconut shell is varnished and decorated with ribbons, laces, and flowers. The alkansyang bao comes in different designs (e.g. angel, rat, monkey) and prices range from P120 to P200 apiece, depending on the design. My cousin calls it a cultural revival gift for children and adults.

Alkansiyang Bao - Coconut Coin Bank

Sister Florence helps run Bahay Pastulan (Pasture Home), a Waldorf-inspired daycare for three- to six-year old children of rural farmers in Quezon. The alkansyang bao is a sustainability project of the mothers and staff of Bahay Pastulan who aim to build a self-reliant and nourishing community.

Bahay Pastulan

Each alkansyang bao will come with a special message printed on it. The message goes like this: “Ang alkansya – pagbabalik ng nakagawiang kulturang nakasanayan nung bata pa tayo. Mahalagang handog ng isang nagmamahal. Anong kasayahang marinig ang tunog ng barya sa loob ng bao. Anong pananabik sa pag-iimpok para sa pangangalaga sa kinabukasan. Likhang-gawa ng mga katuwang sa paglilingkod sa Bahay Pastulan Daycare, Sariaya, Quezon.”

Bahay Pastulan

Lead time for any order will depend on the number of pending orders so it is good to place your orders early. Orders can be made by contacting the Good Shepherd Sisters at 913 6441 or by contacting Sister Florence directly at +63 926 737 1183. Payment will be upon pick-up at the Good Shepherd Sisters at 1043 Aurora Boulevard 1108 Quezon City. If you are ordering in bulk, it would be appreciated if you can also make a deposit. Please contact Sister Florence or the Good Shepherd Sisters for further details on this.

Bahay Pastulan

So, get going on your Christmas shopping now. Order the alkansyang bao. Scratch off items from your Christmas list. Teach the recipient to save for his or her future. Veer away from all those toys and gadgets for kids or for your godchildren for a change (pun intended). For adult recipients who already seem to have it all, you can suggest that they eventually turn over the alkansyang bao filled with their coins to their favorite charity or to Pondo ng Pinoy. Help support the mission partners of Bahay Pastulan daycare, as well as the children who go there. Give a meaningful gift this Christmas. Give a gift that gives.

If you happen to stumble upon this write-up and decide to order an alkansyang bao after reading this, please inform Sister Florence that you read about it here on viloria.com. May the good Lord bless you a hundredfold for your generosity.

[By Angelica Viloria | Saturday, October 22, 2011]


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