Bantay Bata 163

Christmas in July

Carissa Joyce Reyno
July 8, 2019

The act of gift – giving knows no season. Sharing love and happiness towards people can be done any time of the year. This was proven by the Queen of Fiesta Mo Sa USA in Florida 2018, Vivian Furigay-Dudgeon as she made kids in Children’s Village feel the spirit of Christmas in the month of July.

“Well, to me Christmas is every day. Everybody enjoys it. Bringing Christmas to them would be something that they would love to,” Vivian articulated as she explained the reason behind this festive celebration.

Vivian is a proud Filipina who was born and raised in Lamitan City, Basilan and is currently residing in California, USA. Living outside her motherland does not hinder her on helping her fellow Filipinos. She willingly helped the kids in Children’s Village by giving them personalized bags and schools supplies that they can use for this academic year.

As the reigning queen of a pageant for a cause that believes in the power of good, reaching out to children became her main advocacy, “Because these kids, as what you said, they are abused and neglected so showing them the love and showing that you care for them, ‘yan ang maganda. That’s what a queen should do.”

For the past years, Children’s Village has served as the halfway home to provide holistic healing for the abused children. It is also a place that advocates children’s rights. Activities like this is a good platform for their rehabilitation and recovery.

For the kids to truly feel the spirit of Christmas, RJ Dudgeon, Vivian’s son, dressed up as Santa Claus and distributed the gifts for them. The genuine smiles on their faces were clearly shown as they received their early Christmas treats.  They also showed active participation on various games that they played and even prepared dance performances for their guests.

Evelyn Valencia, Officer-In-Charge of the Children’s Village, expressed her gratitude to Vivian and to her family who also came to visit them, “In behalf of the Children’s Village, maraming maraming salamat po sa mga binigay ninyo sa amin sa araw na ‘to. Again po, welcome po kayo as a family, maraming salamat po.”