To all my visitors, may you have a Blessed Christmas. May the warmth and love of family and friends that make the holiday season so memorable. May peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through. Merry Christmas everyone.

Peace and Joy to all.

From the Dado Family

To those who have lost a child, here is a poem for you:

Christmas message
Luijoe’s last Christmas with us, 1999

Twas the month before Christmas
and I dreaded the days,
That I knew I was facing the holiday craze.
The stores were all filled with holiday lights,
In hopes of drawing customers
by day and by night.
As others were making their holiday plans,
My heart was breaking – I couldn’t understand.
I had lost my dear child a few years before,
And I knew what my holiday had in store.
When out of nowhere, there arose such a sound,
I sprang to my feet and was looking around,
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash
The sight that I saw took my breath away,
And my tears turned to smiles in the light of the day.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a cluster of butterflies fluttering near.
With beauty and grace they performed a dance,
I knew in a moment this wasn’t by chance.
The hope that they gave me was a sign from above,
That my child was still near me and that I was loved.
The message they brought was my holiday gift,
And I cried when I saw them in spite of myself.
As I knelt closer to get a better view,
One allowed me to pet it – as if it knew –
That I needed the touch of its fragile wings,
To help me get through the holiday scene.
In the days that followed I carried the thought,
Of the message the butterflies left in my heart –
That no matter what happens or what days lie ahead,
Our children are with us – they’re not really dead.
Yes, the message of the butterflies still rings in my ears,
A message of hope – a message so dear.
And I imagined they sang as they flew out of sight,
“To all bereaved parents – We love you tonight!”

By Faye McCord

christmas message

Luijoe and my family, 1998

This was first published at the Sunday Business & IT , December 9, 2018

Are you done with your Christmas shopping? Many of my friends dread the rush to the high street to buy their last-minute Christmas presents. I don’t mind shopping at the mall. The Christmas carols and the holiday decors bring out that warm fuzzy feeling that glows inside me during the entire season. What’s challenging is the traffic and parking. Online shopping sites make holiday shopping convenient. I find it even more meaningful when I buy from budding Filipino entrepreneurs or social enterprises. I curated 12 online shopping sites with the help of my friends.

  1. Abubot (Abubot. ph)

If you are looking to buy gift items for your geeky friend, then head off to Check out the board games, role-playing games, and accessories.  I appreciate’s mission to help small business owners and retailers have an online storefront to sell their products.

  1. Barapido (

This start-up online platform showcases a variety of goods from local delicacies, home items, to clothing with intricate designs. Check out Balangay’s Best high quality, naturally processed and wild-caught sustainable seafood products from Artisan Filipino Fishers.

  1. BeautyMNL (

My daughter introduced me to BeautyMNL‘s curated assortment of beauty and wellness products. My favorite is Venus and Mars (V&M) Naturals, who first started out in Multiply.  Try out their fragrances, carrier oils, extracts, soaps, skin care, hair care products, spa and wellness products, and even aroma-therapeutic oils. BeautyMNL is also available at the Apple App store and Google Playstore.

  1. Domesticity (

Domesticity, a social enterprise, is proud of their products because Filipinos make them, using materials indigenous to the Philippines.  For a limited time, check out Tilia, hand-loomed by a community of women in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.

  1. ECHO Store (

ECHO is the acronym for Environment & Community Hope Organization Store. I love ECHO‘s social enterprise. Aside from the convenience of online shopping, they have many retail stores that carry green, fair trade products created by marginalized community groups from the provinces of the Philippines. Buy the Malagos Premium Unsweetened Chocolate for your hot chocolate drink when celebrating Noche Buena.

  1. Kalsada (

Kalsada champions Philippine specialty coffee. Their top priority is to support Filipino coffee producers and their dedicated efforts to bring quality coffee to market. My daughter’s gift this year was a 250g subscription of roasted Benguet Arabica coffee beans for six months.

  1. Karton (

Looking for gift baskets? Karton carries a varied selection for different personalities filled with unique local products such as the Christmas Warmth Basket, Stress Away Basket, Pamper Basket, Coffee Bundle.

  1. Marketa (

Marketa Philippines is the country’s first lifestyle-managed marketplace platform. They champion local micro, small and medium enterprises to strengthen their online brand. Check out the goodies at Kim’s Pastry Haven, Village Breadhouse, and Sugar Babies Desserts Unlimited.

  1. Rags 2 Riches (

Rags 2 Riches (R2R), a social enterprise, partners with local artisans across the Philippines to create eco-ethical fashion and home accessories out of upcycled, overstock cloth and indigenous fabrics. Community artisans weave their signature R2R products. Since most of them are mothers, they have created a unique system that allows them to work from their homes. You can also buy at their joyful marketplace ( for advocates of beautiful, meaningful and impactful things.

  1. ToyTinkr (

The kids will love Toytinkr. They offer tools that challenge intelligence and creativity through educational toys. Kids will enjoy the puzzle toys, play kitchens, easels, Yogi Game Kit, stamp sets, and more.

  1. Winsome box (

Winsome Box is the first gift curating studio in Manila that offers specialized gifting services for personal, social, and corporate gifting. They partner with Filipino brands, local makers and artisans, and offer a unique channel for them to showcase their craft. Their holiday gift boxes offer the gift of tranquility, the gift of joy, the gift of peace, and the gift of wonder. 

  1. Xabukid (

Xabukid is an initiative of women social entrepreneurs with a passion for helping local communities. Check out their catalog of handwoven cloth made of abaca fibers made by Bagobo-Tagabawa women weavers of Bitaug, Bansalan, Davao del Sur.

Use caution when shopping online. Good shopping starts with good security. I usually choose cash on delivery or bank deposit for online shopping. Contact the shop owner for managed expectations of the product and the estimated delivery of your purchase.

Can you recommend other online shopping sites that promote social enterprises?  Please let me know at [email protected] so I can feature them.