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Christmas contest is back!

There’s no doubt that now is the best time of the year. Christmas is less than three weeks away and the spirit of giving is in the air. Over the last 20 years or so, we’ve been holding a Christmas contest for readers with prizes coming from benefactors and friends. This year, we’re doing it again in our continuing way to thank our readers for their support.

There’s really nothing better than giving, sharing and showing love to everyone. It’s good for the heart and better for the soul. In the course of the year, sometimes, we forget how important it is to give of oneself. The true meaning of Christmas lies in selflessness. They say it’s better to give than to receive because there’s a lot more gratification when you make someone feel good than when you feel good yourself. Making somebody happy is a blessing you give to yourself.

In the center of life is God and it’s the birth of our Lord Jesus that we celebrate at Christmas. Jesus came down from heaven to save mankind and died on the cross in a supreme act of self-sacrifice. He gave of Himself to show us the way to everlasting life. It’s the reason why there is Christmas.

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Last week, we sent out solicitation letters to our friends who have lots to give and share. Their donations will be the prizes for our Christmas contest. As they respond, we’ll acknowledge their generosity and list the prizes up for grabs. Depending on how much we collect, we’ll choose anywhere between 10 to 20 winners.  Last year’s first prize winner was Lexen Quiachon, 33, a call center agent from Calamba. In previous contests, our first prize winners included a retired sports photographer, a public market vendor, a tricycle driver, a schoolteacher and an elementary school student. The contest is open to anyone from all walks of life.

It’s easy to join. Just answer these three questions correctly. 1. Who was the last fighter Manny Pacquiao beat inside the distance? (It happened in Las Vegas in 2009). 2. What year did the Philippines first host the FIBA World Cup, then known as the World Championships? 3. Who are the PBA’s three four-time MVPs in history? Then, in no more than three sentences, write an essay expressing your thoughts on what ails Philippine sports and what should be done to improve it. The essay must be straight to the point, logical, sensible, positive and written in correct grammar. The essay should be impersonal and respectful, meaning no vile attacks on anyone.

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Don’t forget to mention your name, age, occupation (if student, what school, year and course), home address and contact details (cellphone number and/or email address) on each entry. An entry that misses out on any of the required information details will be disqualified. You may send entries to our email address or Instagram account @therealdeanquinito or Twitter account @TheDeanQuinito or Facebook @Joaquin Henson or directly to the Philippine Star office in Port Area. Deadline for submission of entries is 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15. We will announce the winners in this column on Tuesday, Dec. 19 and award the prizes at the Philippine Star office on Thursday, Dec. 21, 11 a.m.

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So far, we’ve received donations from The Herma Group CEO Hermie Esguerra (P15,000 cash), GAB chairman Baham Mitra (P5,000 cash), Con Cabrera of Green Bulb Public Relations (four Adidas bags), SBP executive director Sonny Barrios (10 Molten GR7 basketballs), San Miguel Corp. (20 packs of groceries), Larc and Asset head Tessa Jazmines (10 cloud fans, 10 pillows, 10 notebooks, 14 Sprite caps, 5 championship shirts), San Miguel Beer (10 shirts, 10 caps, two cases of beer), Barangay Ginebra (10 caps, 10 shirts, 12 bottles of Primera Light brandy), Chooks To Go (25 Gilas shirts, 25 Gilas basketballs, 30 gift certificates), PBA (3 Espresso bluetooth speakers, 3 Deli Chef personal blenders, 12 shirts, 5 PBA Annual 2014, 5 PBA Annual 2015), Alaska (10 shirts, 10 basketballs), PLDT (3 backpacks), Metro Pacific (1 bottle wine, 3 gift boxes, 3 carry-on bags), Meralco (2 portable cookers, 2 water boilers) and Ever Bilena CEO Dioceldo Sy (24 Calicident white toothpaste, 12 shirts, 24 Blackwater soap for men, 12 Advance Uncover eyeshadow sets, 12 Blackwater deodorant spray, 12 Blackwater deodorant spray for women, 24 Blackwater whitening soap for women).

We’re expecting more prizes from more friends. We’ll keep you posted as they come. Meanwhile, send in your entries now! You may send in as many entries as you wish. The more entries, the more chances to win.

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