More ways to shop for good this Christmas

 More ways to shop for good this Christmas
Bukid Ni Bogs, an organic farm and soap-making business

The Christmas season ushers in the spirit of gift-giving to bring joy to everyone’s homes. And as we begin thinking of what presents we may want to give our families and friends, we can also share and spread happiness to different communities across the country.

From bamboo-made essentials expertly handcrafted by Aetas in Zambales to schoolbags sewn with love by women in Batangas, perfect gifts with a sustainable purpose await you and your loved ones in several developments of Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI).

As part of its Alagang AyalaLand program, ALI allocates rent-free spaces in Ayala Malls for social enterprises to help them grow their business and create more livelihood opportunities. These enterprises offer an array of eco-friendly, useful, and creative products that can be practical gifts for everyday living.

Bukid ni Bogs, an organic farm and soap-making business, is among these social enterprises, with stalls in Glorietta and TriNoma.

Founded by Bogs Castro, this business produces organic soaps made with ingredients sourced by organic farmers in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur. The soaps are prepared with their signature banana leaf packaging, along with tags that have spinach seeds to let buyers plant edible greens.

Their Travel Sampler, a bag containing five hotel bars of variants, including Activated Charcoal, Turmeric, Cucumber, Calamansi, and Papaya, can be an ideal gift for loved ones who prefer using eco-conscious and multipurpose products.

Gifting these organic soaps by Bukid ni Bogs, therefore, is both functional and eco-friendly. And most importantly, you help an enterprise that focuses on uplifting the status of women farmers and educating people on the significance of an organic way of living.

More handy and sustainable gift items are bamboo straws, a product skillfully made by the Aeta community from Zambales and for sale at Anything Eco in TriNoma.

Anything Eco started selling metal straws in 2017, hoping to eradicate wasteful single-use plastic sippers. To take this advocacy further, the enterprise developed bamboo straws as well. Gaining much support from people over the idea of creating eco-friendly pieces for daily living, the business expanded its bamboo products with the help of the Aeta community.

Anything Eco has now grown into an enterprise where one can shop for a range of environment-friendly products like sunglasses, journals, tumblers, and cutleries to give as presents for different loved ones. The business also has a service where you can customize some products, making your gifts more personal.

“With this program, we are able to pursue our dream of changing the lives of the indigenous Aeta people for the better,” said Jay Ramos, Anything Eco’s founder.

“Partnering with Alagang AyalaLand gave us the opportunity to reach more people and spread our advocacy that aims to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices towards sustainable systems in an ethical, economical, and efficient way, and to ensure that wastes become valuable for other uses.”

Other functional presents to give are schoolbags and lunch bags made by the women working at Ten Foundations.

Set up by Belfast native Ian Campbell in 2012, Ten Foundations aims to empower Filipinos with skills, education, training, and employment needed to live in a healthy and self-sustaining environment. The business helps women in Balayan, Batangas on learning how to use industrial sewing machines for making quality schoolbags. These backpacks come in three styles named Pagasa, Kalinga, and Aruga.

The bags of Ten Foundations are sold not only in the Philippines but also in schools around Northern Ireland. All proceeds go back to those women working at the Batangas livelihood center.

Though the lockdown had prevented Ten Foundations from marketing bags in schools, their space at Ayala Malls Manila Bay and other Ayala Malls will help them continue promoting their bags and helping several women to provide for their families.

Some social enterprises supported by Alagang AyalaLand also sell food products that can complete your Christmas celebration.

The Pure Bites, a business of Marianne Dagohoy, has a store in Ayala Center Cebu. The enterprise sells healthier food choices like salad meals, nutrient-filled smoothies, and tofu dishes. It can also complete pantry containers with different ingredients such as Himalayan salt, chia seeds, almond nuts, goji berries, and more.

The Pure Bites hopes to increase awareness about the importance of having a balanced and healthy diet for Filipinos.

“The Alagang AyalaLand program has paved the way for my small business to prosper,” said Ms. Dagohoy. “This is our family’s bread and butter. Our workers are employed again after losing their jobs because of the pandemic. Our whole team is beyond thankful for this opportunity.”

ALI’s Alagang AyalaLand program is now supporting more than 300 social enterprises across 32 Ayala Malls nationwide. For every purchase of the products of these social enterprises, you are not only supporting local goods but also sustaining Filipino talent, culture, and communities all over the country.

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