We Filipinos are a positive bunch, and seemingly, this energy is amplified a hundredfold during Christmas amid the absence of our loved ones abroad. I was with OFWs and their families on their attempt to break a Guinness World Record last December 18. Read more…
An unexplainable magnitude of energy abound the Rizal Memorial Stadium as I joined OFW families for the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Family Day. That day was doubly special, however, as it was on the same occasion that these OFW families, together with OWWA and Globe Telecom, were set to make history and exceed the Guinness World Record for the biggest simultaneous exchange of gifts—a feat officially carried out by the United Kingdom’s ITV Network on December 5, 2011 with 1,562 “Secret Santa” participants.
The Pinoy version was grander. Aside from the huge gathering at Manila’s Rizal Memorial Stadium, there were also pocket kris kringles held in 11 other venues in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao at the same time. Outside the country, there were kris kringles in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. All venues were connected by OWWA’s partner, Globe Telecom.
And with the hosts’ count and signal, OFW families simultaneously exchanged gifts and opened them. The participants then flung their presents up in the air with glee as marshals counted them towards the official record tally. Everyone in the stadium were just so ecstatic!
After tallies across all venues were in and evaluated, the official adjudicator from Guinness, Jack Brockbank, stood up and took the stage to announce the outcome of the attempt—the Philippines now officially holds the record for the biggest simultaneous exchange of gifts in the world with 4,557 participants, as certified by Guinness World Records.
As the results were announced, the crowd rose from their seats once more and cheered, with perhaps a lot of them momentarily forgetting their longing for their loved ones abroad. I guess that’s how happy, energetic, and positive we Filipinos really are during Christmas.
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