Ads & Ends
Nanette Franco-Diyco

AS I WAS monitoring the local channels’ morning shows for possible launches of new commercials last Tuesday, I happily caught what I’m sure must be the networks’ first Christmas show for the year. ABS-CBN’s Channel 2 regular morning show, Magandang Buhay, featured the Christmas songs written, composed, and sung over the years by Jose Mari Chan.

A wake up call before Christmas

What proved to be truly meaningful were the casual interviews by the three program hosts — Karla Estrada, Melai Francisco and Jolina Magdangal — before and after each song, sung live by Magandang Buhay’s special guests, Mr. Chan and two of his children.

I was impressed with Mr. Chan’s forthright espousal of family values, imbibed by each member of his family. Christmas is indeed about family for the Chans. And what Mr. Chan stated as his utmost wish, as he looked straight at the camera, was his desire to witness a real palpable lessening of the gap between the rich and the poor in our society.

With that I segue to an AVP Tribute to Mother Teresa for the Ramon Magsaysay Awards in 1963, the creation by an icon in our advertising industry, Emily Abrera. After Mother Teresa was canonized early this month by Pope Francis, the spectacular tribute — written and voiced by Emily Abrera more than 50 years ago — has gained a new life, and has been re-circulated in our country and in the US.

The tribute was shared with me by a Maryknoll classmate of mine who has been living in the US, who said that the audio-visual presentation was originally shared by Cleo and Juan Miguel Llamas. Emily Abrera herself informed me last week that the material was shown in its entirety at the recent Ramon Magsaysay Awards.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta was one of my favorite blessed people even before she was declared a saint. There were numerous feature films on Mother Teresa’s life on local TV and cable channels before, during, and immediately after her canonization in Rome. Of course, I watched all of the features that were pre-announced with pegged schedules.

Here is the link to the Ramon Magsaysay Awards tribute created, voiced and produced by multi-awarded creative icon Emily Abrera — AVmxkbUl5TENFX28/view. After viewing it, you will have to agree with me that it stands head and shoulders above the rest.

As we all know, Mother Teresa’s intense love for the poorest of the poor was constantly manifested in her every word and action. So, let me end with a practical option and opportunity to somehow concretely help the poor in our country. I personally have discovered something about Caritas Manila, presently chaired by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. Many of us knew this as Catholic Charities during our high school years. This was founded by Rufino Cardinal Santos in 1953.

What is so beautiful about Caritas Manila is that you can have them pick up even your appliances or furniture (no matter how big!) from your homes. These are restored to good use by a fully trained staff at their main offices in Pandacan, Manila (2002 Jesus St.) and resold. The proceeds have been funding scholarship programs all over the Philippines, Caritas’ flagship program.

Caritas also accepts donations of clothes and food, all organized and distributed to the poor. You can visit Caritas Manila directly for any and all donations. Or call its trunk line, 562-0020 to 25, or direct lines 563-9311 or 564-0205.

Inspired by Magandang Buhay’s Christmas tree and Jose Mari Chan’s enduring Christmas carols, let us also begin our own preparations for Christmas, prioritizing the poor. After all, the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy which Pope Francis opened during the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8, 2015) ends on the Feast of Christ the King (Nov. 20), barely two months from now. Call it a wake up call.

Nanette Franco-Diyco ended her 15th year advertising career as Vice-President of JWT, segueing into the world of academe, currently teaching communications at the Ateneo de Manila University.