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Solane rekindles the warmth, essence of Christmas with food
Raymond Santos recounts times when he can’t provide food for his children, “Pagkagising ko sa umaga, nang hihingi sila ng almusal. Wala akong maibigay. Kaming mag-asawa, kaya naming magtiis ng gutom. Pero ‘yung mga bata, napakasakit.”

Solane rekindles the warmth, essence of Christmas with food

Michaela Tangan (Philstar.com) - December 10, 2020 - 4:34pm

MANILA, Philippines – The year 2020 is beyond belief. 

Reeling from the effects of the Taal volcano’s eruption in January, a pandemic puts us at a standstill. Just as we are about to attempt to rise from the crisis, two destructive typhoons hammered our country back-to-back. 

The string of tragic events led many Filipinos to focus on surviving one day at a time. It has come to a point where they have set aside the little joys of life, including the arrival and celebration of the Christmas season. 

A few of the many Filipinos who bear the weight of the current pandemic are Raymond Santos, Mario Balmes and Frederick Faller, three fathers whose stories of struggle and hard work touched many hearts on social media.  

Raymond Santos recounts times when he can’t provide food for his children, “Pagkagising ko sa umaga, nang hihingi sila ng almusal. Wala akong maibigay. Kaming mag-asawa, kaya naming magtiis ng gutom. Pero ‘yung mga bata, napakasakit.”

Raymond, 35 years old, solely relies on selling his paintings along the streets of Bonny Serrano Avenue in San Juan and Quezon City.

“Napakahirap noong nagkaroon ng pandemiya dahil wala masyadong makuhang customers. Kaya’t gutom ang dinanas ng aming pamilya,” Santos shared.   

He recounts times when he can’t provide food for his children, “Pagkagising ko sa umaga, nang hihingi sila ng almusal. Wala akong maibigay. Kaming mag-asawa, kaya naming magtiis ng gutom. Pero ‘yung mga bata, napakasakit.” 

In Manila, jeepney driver Mario lost his livelihood after the pandemic prompted the ceasing of public utility vehicles’ operations. Without any income, they were evicted from their rented home and forced to live inside a jeepney.

“Noong wala pang lockdown, ang pamamasada ang pinakamabilis at alternatibong pagkakakitaan naming halos walang pinagaralan na tao. Nakakapahinayang lang din kasi ‘yung oportunidad na kung may pinagaralan ka sana, may iba kang na puntahan at hindi sa ganitong pagkakataon lang umabot,” the 40-year-old driver shared as he holds back his tears. 

Like Mario, Frederick lost his job as the travel restrictions prompted aviation companies to implement cost-cutting measures. The former airport taxi driver employee turned to peddle corn and sacks, but this wasn’t enough to sustain his family’s daily needs, including rent.

Frederick lost his job as the travel restrictions prompted aviation companies to implement cost-cutting measures.

“Ang pinakamasaklap na bangungot na nangyari po sa akin, natutulog po ‘yung mga anak ko. Pagkadating ko po, nasa labas na po sila. Sabi nila sa akin, ‘Papa, wala na yung bubong natin.’ Hindi naming alam kung saan kami pupunta noon,” he recalls the time his landlady removed the roof of their home. 

To bring back the warmth of the Christmas season, the country’s leading LPG gas supplier, Solane, wanted to give back and salute these three hard-working fathers in one of the humble yet awe-inspiring way they know: food. 

“Kahit kay hirap ng buhay, dapat mayroon tayong inihahanda sa family natin,” Chef Sau said as he prepares his mother’s best Noche Buena dishes for Mario, Fredrick, and Raymond’s families.

Through chef, restaurateur, and Solane ambassador Sau del Rosario, the LPG company prepared a delicious and festive feast for their families.  

“Kahit kay hirap ng buhay, dapat mayroon tayong inihahanda sa family natin,” Chef Sau said as he prepares his mother’s best Noche Buena dishes for Mario, Fredrick, and Raymond’s families.  

“I want to convey my affection for them. They deserve the best meal,” he added.

While Chef Sau prepared a feast with Solane, others were decorating the house with ornaments and a Christmas tree to deliver a complete holiday experience. 

Once all is set, the eyes of all three fathers were filled with tears of joy. Their families sat down together for the early Noche Buena, enjoying the warmly special home-cooked meals with a bright and wide smile.  

Along with the feast, Solane gifted them with boxes of food and a Solane LPG where they can create delicious meals and more happy memories, something that will inspire them to move forward and brave the challenging times. 

Time and again, food proves that it isn’t merely something that delights the senses. A warm meal prepared on the table brings the family together and gives us the strength to conquer whatever comes next. 

To learn more about Solane, visit www.solane.com.ph.

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