SKY calls on subscribers to share ideas on how to spark hope and joy this season

SKY hopes that through its holiday initiatives, its subscribers will be inspired to pay it forward and truly #bethespark of hope and joy to others this season and beyond.

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, but now more than ever, we need to feel the spirit of Christmas in our hearts. Now is the season to kindle the warmth of caring, friendship, kindness and concern to those around us.

This Christmas, SKY invites its subscribers to share ideas on how they can #BeTheSpark of hope and joy to others, and bring inspiration, light and love this holiday season.

From December 9, 2020 to January 3, 2021, subscribers can simply visit mysky.com.ph/bethespark to send their answers. Lucky subscribers have the chance to win exciting prizes fit for the season such as motorcycles, tablets, smart phones, hygiene and health essentials, grocery packages, as well as surprise treats from HBO and SKY.

“We simply want to have our subscribers feel a sense of optimism and joy this holiday season despite everything that has happened this year. We encourage them to share and inspire others through their ideas showing their expression of love and thankfulness for what we have today” said Claudia Suarez, Head of Consumer Products Group.

SKY will also bring inspiring content as it gives subscribers opens more channels to subscribers at no additional cost from December 18, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

“Through television, families can still bond and create a festive mood despite these uncertain times,” added James Dumlao, SKY Head of Programming.

SKYcable subscribers can catch Chef Jamie Oliver share his delectable recipes for the holidays as “Jamie’s Quick and Easy Christmas” premieres on Metro Channel this December 19, 8pm. Viewers can also seek the guidance of Chef Giada De Laurentiis in preparing for a fun Christmas party as the fifth season of “Giada’s Holiday Handbook” premieres on Food Network.

A holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without films that touch the heart and inspire wanderlust. Families can begin their movie marathon session on December 24th, 5pm as they tune in to All Day Christmas movies on Lifetime, with “This Christmas Hotel” being the main film highlight. They can also opt to imbibe the holiday spirit earlier as CinemaWorld takes viewers to a virtual travel adventure experience through their themed films starting December 20, 9pm. Young adults will surely enjoy the channel’s first feature film, “Dear Lemon Lima.”

Fans can also follow their favorite talent show, “The Masked Singer” season 4, on Blue Ant Entertainment as it highlights the countdown to the most-awaited finale. Meanwhile, a special glimpse of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree can be seen in the “The Today Show” on TAP TV every 8pm.

Kids get to learn and enjoy interactive game segments in MIAO MI’s “Find with Miao Mi”. Along with their parents, they can geek out on Discovery Channel’s “Rocket Around the Christmas Tree,” wherein they can spectate the most outrageous rocket-powered Christmas tree competition starting this December 23, 9pm.

There are many more channels to choose from and there is bound to be a show that will warm and captivate the hearts of everyone in the family this Christmas.

SKY hopes that through these initiatives, its subscribers will be inspired to pay it forward and truly #bethespark of hope and joy to others this season and beyond.

To know more about SKY’s Christmas campaign, www.mysky.com.ph/bethespark

The Jelly List: Four ways to keep the holiday spirit despite the pandemic

Whenever the calendar turns towards the -BER months, around the same time when we Pinoys start to feel (or imagine!) that the breezes are getting cooler, and we start hearing Christmas carols on continuous loop in the malls, we also get all caught up in the anticipation for fun and festivities of the holiday season.

Those are all just part of the holiday spirit.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the world, the loss of loved ones due to the sickness, the closure of many businesses and unemployment of many workers, can it still be Christmas?

My answer: yes, of course!

We Pinoys love Christmas so much that we won’t let COVID-19 cancel the holiday that brings hope and joy to everyone.

This holiday season, because of the restrictions to mobility or limitations on budget brought about by the pandemic, we won’t be traveling to places in our bucket list, gathering in boisterous families with our clan, nor squeezing into crowded malls for our Christmas shopping. But we can still have a merry – and even more meaningful – Christmas in this time of COVID-19.

Here are some ways to go about this:

1) Spend wisely

Given all the financial uncertainty that many of us are facing, now is not the time to splurge. Your Christmas bonus or aguinaldo may be needed for some unexpected expenses later on.

That said, you can still get a bit of holiday retail therapy done if you employ a bit more effort or creativity.

Prioritize buying the essentials – such as food, clothes and health products – but look for great deals. For instance, Shopee’s 11.11-12.12 Big Christmas Sale includes Php1 deals on selected fashion, self-care and stationery items which users can enjoy during the period leading up to December 12.

Shopee 11.11-12.12 Christmas Sale

You can also find ways to buy what you need without having to shell out cash. Your loyalty points may already have accumulated to a sizable amount that you can use them to purchase items. Case in point: I once bought over Php1,000 worth items from Miniso using my BDO Rewards points.

2) Be together, while staying apart.

One of the most difficult adjustments that this New Normal has brought about is the need for physical distancing. Especially among us Pinoys who are naturally outgoing and affectionate to our loved ones, being physically separated can be quite stressful.

While technology can’t take the place of a loved one’s actual physical presence, some small acts of thoughtfulness can chase away the feelings of isolation.

Our seniors, being high-risk individuals, bear most the brunt of these physical restrictions. Confined to their homes for months now, they can’t go out to stretch their legs or chat with their amigos and amigas. Be sure to check in on them regularly and cheer them up by sending pictures or video clips of the mundane yet happy moments that occur everyday, My mom, for instance, really appreciates when my kids video-chats with her via FB messenger.

Since the barkada can’t physically get together for a round of drinks, how about holding an e-numan sesh over Zoom? Send a ready-to-grill pack of barbecue or isaw from Mang Ding’s to your friends before the sesh to go with your favorite drinks while having your virtual bar hangout.

Mang Ding’s Marikina

You can also make and share a Spotify playlist of your favorite songs from childhood with your friends so you can all reminisce about the hits from the past as well as share a laugh over your collective taste in music.

The key is to share a happy and memorable experience even while staying physically apart.

3) Give gifts that keep on giving.

For many of us, budget is pretty tight, even during the holiday season. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t show our love for our family and friends through gifts. In fact, a well-chosen gift that takes the needs of the recipient into consideration, especially during this time, will be greatly appreciated.

For instance, rather than giving the usual gift baskets or knick-knacks, gift your friends with groceries, care packs or hygiene kits instead. These are supplies that they will no doubt need in the coming days so by giving them as gifts, you are eliminating something from their to-buy list, thus saving them money and effort.

You can also choose to send gifts that support small businesses such as online food sellers that offer family trays of Filipino dishes or new bakers that offer boxes of monster-sized cookies. These thoughtful food gifts save the recipient from the hassle of preparing a meal or indulges their cravings.

Alpha’s Kitchen Home Delivery

Extra Butter

How about gifting a loved one with a present made by your own hands? If you’ve taken up crocheting or knitting as a quarantine pastime, now would be a good time test your skills with some bespoke projects for your friends. If you’re among the plantitas or plantitas who sprouted during the lockdown, give your friends a cutting or a pot of your plants that they can have their own plant-babies to nurture in the coming year.

4) Share the love.

While life under COVID-19 may be hard on us, we know that other people may have been harder hit by the pandemic. Even if you don’t have a lot to give, you can still find ways to share your blessings to those in need.

For instance, if you’ve recently emptied out and reorganized your closets for the New Normal, you may have a lot of old clothes that can be donated to charities.

You can also use your loyalty points to give to charity. For example, you can redeem your GrabRewards points to donate to WWF, Red Cross, Unicef and more.

The pandemic may continue to wreak havoc in our lives well into the holiday season and even beyond. But it is up to us to keep that flicker of Christmas cheer burning despite all the challenges and difficulties of 2020, not just for our own enjoyment, but more importantly, to spark hope for others.

Happy holidays, dear readers! Stay safe!

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

Morissette Joins a1’s Ben Adams on new Christmas Anthem

Nothing heralds iconic holiday tune more than having two established stars collaborate on one festive anthem.

Ben Adams, the lead singer of chart-topping boyband a1 and now a prominent producer based in the UK, teams up with Filipina singer Morissette on “This Is Christmas,” a potentially timeless bop that will surely have a warm place in our hearts this Yuletide season.

This is Christmas

Released under Sony Music, the song was originally written for a Dutch artist, but the BRIT awardee and multi-platinum star changed his mind and took the material as part of his own. “I loved it so much I couldn’t give it away,” states the British singer-songwriter and producer. “So I decided to take it back. Once I recorded the whole thing I was like, it sounds magical but I’m sure I can squeeze some more magic out of it – so I began searching for the best person to collaborate on it with me.”

After checking some links and recommendations from friends, Adams found the perfect duet partner in Morissette, one of the biggest and best-selling Filipina pop stars of her generation.

Roslyn Pineda, Sony Music’s GM Philippines & VP Business Development Asia, even referred the Akin Ka Na Lang singer to Adams as a potential duet candidate. Having worked with Ben Adams during his boyband phase and personally recommended Morissette to co-host Asian singing competition Bolt Of Talent with two-time Grammy winner Michael Bolton, she was confident that the two would hit it off together as singing partners for the new Christmas track. “a1 was the first boyband I ever worked with, so I know firsthand how popular they are in Southeast Asia. When I saw Ben’s post asking his fans who to collaborate with, I messaged him about Morissette. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one!”

“As for Morissette, it’s always a pleasure to work with her. I thought of her for Bolt of Talent because she exemplifies the best of the Philippines,” Pineda shares. “Well for starters, she has an amazing voice,” says Ben Adams. “I was blown away by her performances. So we started talking, and I sent her the song online. We facetimed to work out who wanted to sing what.”

Being no stranger to epic collaborations, the Asia’s Phoenix has brought the holiday spirit to effervescent heights with her soaring vocals and charismatic interpretation, giving Adams’ self-penned earworm the effortless joy it needs. “When Ben Adams of a1 first reached out to us about possibly working on a Christmas track together, we were just thrilled and thought It would really be an honor to be working with him,” shares Morissette about the team-up. “All the more when he first shared the song to us, it got me more excited because of the danceable vibe and fun feel the song had.”

This is Christmas

“This Is Christmas,” is an upbeat tune about “enjoying the holiday season with your loved ones, looking forward to coming home and making the most of the Christmas season.”

Ben Adams and Morissette’s Christmas duet is now available on all music streaming and download platforms worldwide.

Information and images provided by Sony Music in a recent press release.

Christmas Every Day at Casa Santa Museum

In keeping with the holiday season, I took the family to Casa Santa Museum. It is a structure situated inside Jardin de Miramar in Antipolo City. It houses over 3,000 Santa Clause items, ranging from life-size statues to miniature trinkets (even the washroom has Santa items!), all part of a privately owned collection.


  
  After perusing the Santa collection, we strolled around the gardens and found spaces to enjoy the cool breezes and greenery.

  
  
If ever you’re in the Metro, drop by Casa Santa for some holiday cheer. It is open everyday from 8.30am to 5pm. Tickets are Php180 per person (whether adult or child).