OLONGAPO CITY — It’s more than a month to go till Christmas but the Aeta children and elders of Cabalan, the differently abled and the people with disabilities from Pag-Asa Center received their early Christmas treats when SM Olongapo launched the event dubbed “Smurftastic Christmas” last Saturday.
Gracing the launch were City Mayor Rolen Paulino and wife Cynthia, members of the city council and SM Regional Operations Manager Rheybie Nipas.
Paulino said the people of Olongapo have something to be thankful for, despite the city’s recent devastation brought about by massive flooding in all but one of the 17 barangays in the city and the outbreak of a flood-borne disease called leptospirosis.
Paulino said 641 people were hospitalized and a number of people died due to the outbreak of the bacterial infection. “Now is a time to celebrate. We are very thankful to SM management for hosting this event and for being always the fi rst to response in time of disasters,” Paulino said.
SM Olongapo Assistant Mall Manager Bong Garcia said every year Christmas in SM is being anticipated. “It has been said the Christmas is for children but for us, it is a celebration of gift-giving, music, food and laughter,” he added.
The Smurftastic Christmas launch is part of SM Supermall’s effort in reaching out to the communities specially those who are in need, Garcia added. During the launch, guests and mall clients were serenaded by amazing talents such as the finalists of the Voice of the Philippines and the much applauded appearance of Papa Smurf and Smurfette.
Mayor Paulino, assisted by SM executives and Olongapo City councilors, distributed gift bags to the Aeta children and elders of Sitio Mampweng, Cabalan in this city.