August last year, Nido Plus Arabia – (Nestle Middle East) run a competition in FB about sharing the 1st birthday memories of your child, this was the 2nd competition with a prize of travel voucher that I have joined and have won so far.

IJ - G1The picture above (courtesy of Bethany Asuncion) was my ‘effortlessly’ entry submitted to tell the story of Gaby’s 1st birthday. It’s a Filipino custom to lavishly splurge on our child’s 1st birthday party, it’s like their debut 18th birthday or sweet 16th. We have no problem with that and we respect how other people celebrate occasions. However, Peter & I want to impart something bigger and noble to our kids, like a legacy, something that they can continue to do when they grow up, as this is also something that we’ve learned from our parents. Generosity is a strong trait that Peter & I received from our parents, we know that we have been tremendously blessed and in turn we have to be a blessing.

The Bible says in Matthew 6:2-4 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Only a handful of people knew how we celebrated Gaby’s birthday, in my hope to encourage you my friends, I will tell you just a glimpse of the story. On Gaby’s 1st birthday Peter & I decided to celebrate in a small gathering, Burger King kids party for our little princess. We invited our closest friends and family, and encouraged them to give us cash instead of gifts in the form of toys, clothes, accessories etc.

Here’s the invitation sent for the party with a comment saying: Gaby’s turning 1 year tomorrow – 22nd January 2011 (Celebration will be on the 28th of Jan, Friday) IF YOU ARE TAGGED IN THIS PICTURE, that’s because we want to invite you to celebrate with us on 28th January, Friday at Burger King, Riqqa Road We would like to inform everyone NOT to bring gifts for Gaby… She has been so blessed and we want to share her blessing to the less fortunate ones… We encourage everyone to take part in this, instead of buying Gaby a gift, help us raise fund to be given to charity… Please CONFIRM your attendance

The cash that we have raised plus the amount that we have budgeted to spend for a bigger party, was given to a charity in the Philippines, my Tita Lynda & Tito BG did all the work, invited less fortunate kids to feed, they gave them toys, did some games and celebrated on Gaby’s behalf. Below are some snaps my Tita & Tito put together during the party, they uploaded these pictures in FB and tagged us in – check it here.

These are the kids at the local church where Tito BG & Tita Lynda are serving. Look at the smile on their faces, something money can't buy
These are the kids at the local church where Tito BG & Tita Lynda are serving. Look at the smile on their faces, something money can’t buy

IJ - G3We did the same thing for our 2nd daughter, Michu’s 1st birthday party, the fund that we have raised was given to someone in need to go through operation and improve eye sight. It’s in our heart to continue this even when Daniboy celebrates his 1st birthday in November.

178340_10151922708250581_1726953462_oWe believe that people won’t remember the food, decoration, giveaways, games, even the dress that you have paraded on, but what will be imprinted in people’s heart is that simple act of kindness that you have displayed, and that’s how we want to be remembered, this is the legacy that we what to pass on to our kids.We might not be able to do that always but we take every opportunity that we can.

Now I don’t want to bore you all with this story and I certainly don’t want Peter & I to get the glory that belongs to GOD. The small act of generosity that we did have paid off, we were not expecting anything in return from the people that we have given to. But GOD really never cease to amaze us, the giving we made 2 ½ and 1 year back was used for an entry story in a competition that has rewarded us with a family package trip to Euro Disneyland in Paris, France OR voucher worth AED 25,000 from Emirates Holidays. The LORD has given it back 100 folds!

IJ - G12
Announcement of winners!
Here's the actual voucher :-)
Here’s the actual voucher 🙂

So going back to the title of this blog, “How we won AED 25,000 worth of Emirates Holidays voucher”, simple, we gave and it came back to us. The principle of giving/sowing and receiving is real, give and it will come back to you, pressed down shaken together and running over. Just when we thought we have out given GOD, he throws another blessing to prove that He is more generous than we do.

So off we go to India for a family holiday along with Peter’s parents and the kids, using the voucher that we’ve been given by Nestle Middle East. We have chosen to tour India and take Mom & Dad with us instead of just going to Disneyland in Paris. This Saturday starts our 12 days journey of “A Pinay taking 6 Indians to see the Taj”! Will certainly keep you guys updated of this trip!

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