Christmas gift-giving goes digital: Godchildren hoping for ‘aguinaldo’ through e-wallets, banking apps

December 3, 2020 - 7:30 PM
Cashless transaction
(Graphic from Pixabay/mohamed Hassan)

Digital “aguinaldo” is part of the clichéd “new normal” as young Filipinos wish for their godparents to continue with the tradition of giving gifts this Christmas through e-wallets and online bank accounts instead of physical means.

Columnist and editor-at-large Manuel Quezon III shared a graphic that he said was “being shared” in chat apps.

“The new normal!” he wrote on Twitter. The post, addressed to godfathers and godmothers, reads:

“Alinsunod po sa panukala ng DOH (Department of Health) na bawal mag-bahay-bahay ngayong kapaskuhan, nagagalak po namin ipaalam na tumatanggap po kami ng biyaya thru: GCash, PayMaya, PayPal, BPI, BDO and LBC. Maligayang pasko!”

Social media users have been posting similar thoughts recently, as the holiday season grows near.

A Twitter user shared a QR code of his GCash account and wrote the following with a smiling emoji:

“This is to inform my ninong, ninang, and those who wish to give me Christmas presents in the form of money, to avoid physical contact in this time of pandemic. You may transfer funds to my GCash account. Just scan the QR Code below. Merry Christmas po.”

A Facebook user shared a post of a “godmother” requesting for her godchildren to “ready” their own e-wallets this Christmas.

“Sosyal si ninang,” she said with a heart-eyed and laughing-with-tears emojis.

Another Facebook user shared a screengrab of a news report about the health department’s advice to the public this upcoming Christmas.

“GCash GCash na lang muna mga, ninong, ninang,” she exclaimed with laughing emojis.

It is a tradition for godparents to give their godchildren gifts on special occasions such as birthdays and during holidays. Usually, these are in the form of cash or material things.

Meanwhile, due to the threat of the coronavirus, transactions have become largely digital in different sectors to minimize contact among the public.

This has deepened the reliance on e-wallets and online banking apps wherein funds can be transferred digitally from one person to another without the need for physical contact.

While cash remains the most popular Christmas gift to godchildren, older ones can also enjoy deals from food delivery services like Foodpanda, which is offering at least a 20% discount on meals from featured restaurants on its app.

“Christmas in the Philippines is not complete without delicious and sumptuous meals. We, at foodpanda, want to ease the hassle and deliver your favorites straight to your door with 20% off and more through Merry Deals of the kumukutikuti-TAP Christmas weekly surprises,” Daniel Marogy, foodpanda Philippines’ managing director, said in a release.

Other information about similar deals can be found on the food delivery service’s social media pages.

Meanwhile, the Department of Interior and Local Government is discouraging the public to hold big family reunions this Holiday Season, a norm for Filipinos with their family-oriented nature.

“Katulad po ng plano na hindi po papayagan ang Christmas party, hindi rin papayagan ang Christmas caroling, wala pong mass gathering. Iyon pong family reunion ay isang considered na mass gathering,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said before.

“Katulad po ng sabi ni (Health) Secretary (Francisco) Duque III, immediate family na lang sana ang mag-celebrate ng Christmas together. At kailangan po ang minimum health standard ay ipatutupad,” he added.

The Department of Health is encouraging the public to hold online family gatherings through video calls instead of physically convening together to minimize contact.

“‘Wag na muna magkaroon ng pagtitipon-tipon… ‘wag na muna magkaroon ng pagpunta sa kamag-anakan this coming holiday dahil ‘yan ay napaka-risky at maaring magdulot ng pagtaas uli ng kaso sa ating bansa,” DOH Undersectary Maria Rosario Vergeire said before.