BAGUIO CITY– An infant boy born to Moslem parents on December 24 at 11:11 p. m. was named the lucky Christmas baby on December 26, at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) here.
“I guess this is the direction that we are having now, it will be beyond religion,” said Silahis ng Pasko (SnP) 2019 organizing chairman Fritz Gerald Padilla, who took over the organizing of the annual, month-long, eight-event project in the city, which was started by his father in 1973.
Mohammad Haneef Batua, son of Norlaini Pagandaman and Mohammad Batua, was the lucky Christmas baby whom “Santa Claus” came to visit on Thursday for his gifts like Jesus receiving gifts from the wise men of Christian lore.
Padilla gave gifts consisting of baby clothes, diapers, and other baby needs as well as a PHP5,000 cash gift to the newborn baby to the delight of his parents wondering what the event was all about.
The annual search is part of the city government’s line-up of events in celebration of Christmas.
“This is an annual event by the Silahis ng Pasko where gifts are given to the lucky baby born on or before Christmas,” said nurse Jennifer Rojo, who was on duty and helped the SnP Legacy headed by Padilla in identifying the baby.
Rojo asked if the baby was supposed to be born on or after Christmas since there was another baby born at 1:24 a.m. of December 25.
But Padilla opted to have Batua, whose parents reside at Crystal Cave, as the lucky one not knowing the religion of his parents.
“I guess this is the direction that we are having now, it will be beyond religion,” said Padilla, who took over the organizing of the annual, month-long, eight-event project started by his father in 1973.
Rojo then directed the SnP Legacy team to bed 33 of the BGHMC obstetrician ward but the bed was vacant as she went in search of the mother and daughter.
Pangandaman was with her husband and carrying the baby after visiting the comfort room and later had the baby boy fed as Rojo explained the presence of a semi-Santa Claus clad Padilla and entourage.
“These are for the baby,” as he handed down the gifts, then from his pocket, he took a Chinese red envelope that contained the cash which he said will be for the lucky parents and to be used for the baby including paying the bills.
Padilla then went on to gift candies to parents including mothers who just delivered their babies but not near Christmas time.
“I guess next year we will have also gifts for babies born near or after Christmas. We just want to spread happiness not just for the baby born the nearest to Christmas,” said Padilla.
“Maybe we will have three babies next year,” he added.
Padilla will be back on New Year’s Day for the “Lucky New Year Baby”.
“We want to give it on January 1, 2020, so that it is the start of the year or 1.1.2020. It could be a lucky number,” he added./Pigeon Lobien (PNA)