A number of companies recently introduce features where godparents can send “aguinaldo” or monetary gifts to their godchildren this holiday season amid the still raging novel coronavirus pandemic.
It is a tradition for Filipino family members, especially godparents, to give their relatives gifts or cash during the holidays.
However, given the standing prohibition on social gatherings due to the health crisis, some Filipinos resorted to continue this tradition via digital wallet apps and bank transfers as part of the “new normal.”
Gcash, a popular financial service under telecom provider Globe Telecom, updated its application this December and launched a feature called “Send Pamasko” that clients can use to transfer cash “aguinaldo” to their relatives.
This is also part of the company’s “MerryGCash” holiday promo launched this month.
“Papalapit na ang Pasko! It’s time to send your aguinaldo in a custom Send Pamasko theme with GCash! No GCash yet? Download the GCash App, register, and get verified today. Available for all networks! #MerryGCash #ChristMasKaya,” the Facebook announcement read.
In another post, it reminded users that they can avail of this Christmas-themed option via its mobile wallet app.
“Bawal daw mag-bahay bahay mga Inaanak, kaya GCash-GCash nalang daw! Welcome po lahat ng mga Send Pamasko ninyo, no minimum amount required po,” the company said.
Facebook user Celyn Bautista shared her experience in using the digital cash-gift feature. She also shared screenshots of it on her post.
Aside from GCash, a number of companies also offered similar online gift-giving services and features on their applications.
Banking institutions such as the Bank of the Philippine Islands announced that its clients can use the QR Code option in sending cash gifts to their godchildren.
Cashless payment provider PayMaya also posted a similar tool called “Add to Favorites.” Users can save the bank of their choice to make regular fund transfers.
This week, the National Book Store launched the digital version of its Christmas gift cards with amounts up to P1,000.
Here's an affordable and practical last-minute gift idea for anyone you love: NBS e-Gift Cards!
— National Book Store (@nbsalert) December 23, 2020
As gift-giving goes digital, some children have also reportedly initiated virtual caroling. The traditional house-to-house caroling is also discouraged to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Rather than physically convening for parties and reunions, health authorities encouraged the public to hold virtual gatherings through video calls.
The Department of Interior and Local Government likewise issued a reminder that places under the general community quarantine and the modified version, big family reunions and any type of social gatherings are still strictly prohibited.