Latest Stories

Poor kids’ first day at the mall

CHILDREN of the Valdez family set foot on a mall for the first time and are treated to a day of shopping on Christmas Day. WILLIE LOMIBAO/CONTRIBUTOR

ROSALES, Pangasinan—There are still a few Filipino children who have never set foot on a shopping mall, which has defined lifestyles for urban and rural families, because they simply can’t afford that kind of life.

It was, therefore, a dream come true for the children of the Valdez family when SM City Rosales treated them to a day of malling on Tuesday, Christmas Day.

Siblings Precia Mae, 6 (Grade 1), Joan, 8 (Grade 2), and Marvin, 11 (Grade VI), are the children of a farm worker and a laundry woman. They also have a 13-year-old sister, Precious, and a 2-year-old brother, Joven.

They live in Bacag East, Villasis, a 30-minute ride from SM City Rosales, and they are students of the elementary school in the village. The school has tagged the children as those from the poorest family in the neighborhood.

Maria Agnes Oller, the school principal, learned about their plight when she once took over the class of Precia Mae on behalf of the regular teacher, who took a leave of absence.

“The girl caught my attention because she was so quiet. I asked her what she wished for Christmas and if she had gone to SM. She said she has not and neither has her siblings. I thought going to malls is just an ordinary thing and yet there are children who could not go there because of poverty,” Oller said.

She discovered that the siblings occasionally come to school hungry, although they remain diligent students. Marvin is a contender for third honors.

“The teachers know the situation and are helping these kids, giving them food and paying for some contributions in school,” she said.

Oller wrote SM mall manager Jersey Mendoza to ask if it could sponsor the children. Mendoza agreed.

On Tuesday, an SM vehicle fetched the siblings’ 30-year-old mother, Percy, and Precious and Joven, who were taken to the mall.

They would meet up with Precia Mae, Joan and Marvin, who were being toured at Butterfly Garden in Villasis town.

Their 29-year-old father, Joven, was busy working at that time and could not join them.

Tears flowed when the Valdez family was handed a check of P10,000 from SM Rosales and an undisclosed amount of cash contributed by the mall staff.

The family was later toured around different stores, where they were given bags of goodies like school supplies, clothes and others, and treated to snacks at a Jollibee store.

“This is the first time that we received gifts. And there are so many. We are so happy. We will use the money for the school needs of the children,” Percy said. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: News , Paskong pinoy , Regions

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Sports

  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • Marketplace