Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jollibee's Original Jolly Toy Scout Aga Muhlach Graces Maaga ang Pasko Launch in South Luzon

Underprivileged Filipino kids have seen happier and brighter Christmases for the past 19 years thanks to Jollibee's Maaga ang Pasko annual toy and book drive. For those who still don't know, this campaign had its roots from celebrity Aga Muhlach's simple desire to share his blessings by bringing happiness to a few children during the Yuletide season through gifts of toys. "I was doing Oki Doki Dok at the time and I was really attached to kids."

During the Maaga ang Pasko launch in Jollibee Canlubang, Aga shared how he held a show in the old Delta Theater in Quezon City two decades ago and asked people to bring toys as entrance fees instead of selling tickets. Thus, he was thrilled to find the perfect partner in Jollibee which helped make the advocacy even better. 

Aga attributes the growth of the campaign to the popular Filipino brand. "I knew if I wanted [the advocacy] to go nationwide … kung ako lang, ilan lang ang mararating ko at kaya kong puntahan … so sabi ko, Jollibee is the right venue for this, and hindi ako nagkamali. Umabot na s'ya ng 20 years at lumaki ng ganito kalaki because of Jollibee talaga."

Aga and Harvey
He added that the best and happiest part of the partnership is not actually about/for him or Jollibee "I will never take credit for this and I'm sure Jollibee is the same. We're just trying to reach out and help. And what's important also is ang taongbayan mismo ang nagdo-donate ng mga libro, laruan, at damit. Yun ang magandang nangyari dito."

"2014 marks the 20th year of our Maaga ang Pasko campaign," announced Harvey Ong, Jollibee Vice President for Marketing. "Sa patuloy na pagsuporta ng ating mga Jolly Toy Scouts sa lahat ng sulok ng Pilipinas at maging sa ibang bansa, sigurado kaming magiging tunay na pinakamaaga, pinakamahaba, at pinakamalaki ang Pasko ng mas maraming batang Pilipino ngayong taon." 

Lumen Anima Chorale
The Jollibee Canlubang store was filled with Christmas carols by the Lumen Anima Chorale, which also rendered a re-arranged version of the Maaga ang Pasko theme song. Aga jumpstarted the toy and book drive by dropping his personal donations in the Maaga ang Pasko collection box. Afterwards, Jolly Toy Scouts members went around the store to collect toys and books from guests and customers who attended the event.

Given his connection with a worthwhile campaign for children, I asked Aga about the values his own kids, Atasha and Andres, are growing up with. "You'll be surprised, really, kasi akala ng mga tao, my kids are spoiled pero hindi sila lumaki sa mga mamahaling laruan, damit, o gamit. They're very secure with their personalities and with love from me and Charlene. I've always taught them to always live simple and to always reach out."

He further revealed, "Now that they're turning 13, I can say wala akong naging karanasan sa kanila na naging matapobre o mayabang sila, o nagmamaktol sila dahil wala silang magandang laruan o damit. Hanggang ngayon, ang mga anak ko, paggising sa umaga at walang klase, maghapon nasa bahay lang sila, naka-pajama na seven years old na!" 

The proud dad described his children as young individuals who live simple lifestyles. "As a matter of fact, maraming nagtataka, hanggang ngayon wala silang mga telepono o sariling iPad. Sabi ko, 'You'll only have that if you finish school and work for it. Now, you can borrow.'  It's nice because hindi sila attached sa makamundong buhay."

Aga Muhlach with Jollibee and the Jolly Toy Scouts
A few days earlier, Maaga ang Pasko was formally launched at Jollibee Greenmeadows in Quezon City where The Voice Kids winners and new Jollibee Kids Club endorsers, Lyca Gairanod, Darlene Vibares, and Juan Karlos Labajo, wowed the crowd with their singing prowess. 

The campaign was also launched in North Luzon featuring teen idol and Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Yum endorser Nadine Lustre who sang her heart out with the talented members of the choir. 

can't resist a photo op :)
To further mark the campaign's milestone 20th year, a record of 20 caravans will distribute the collected toys and books across the country this December. So help make this year's Christmas season the jolliest ever for children across the Philippines by bringing your pre-loved toys and books to Maaga ang Pasko boxes located in all Jollibee stores nationwide.

For Filipinos here and abroad, you can also give online donations via www.jollibee.com.ph by clicking the Maaga ang Pasko microsite. 

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