Estremera: Generosity in the season of giving

Estremera: Generosity in the season of giving

ON April 16, 2024, just five months from now, the Healing Hearts Bears project at the Davao City Jail women dormitory will be marking its second year and will start Year 3.

The project has been sustained by friends and strangers who have reached out to buy for themselves or donate blessed teddy bears to children with cancer at the House of Hope Foundation at the Southern Mindanao Medical Center.

The project has been sustaining itself, providing the persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) with a little income that enables them to provide for their families even while in jail, as well as ensure a steady supply of materials for these. (PDLs are given free materials as this is a non-profit undertaking.

The real purpose is to sustain the regular holding of Meditation on Twin Hearts and to provide free Pranic Healing every week to remove the negative energies in the jail and the women, and hopefully provide a better future for those whom the project is able to reach. It’s a different approach to reformative justice).

Until now, I still can’t grasp the depth of people’s generosity, and that usually is by my friends alone. How much more if I’m able to extend my network further?

Except that... I’m not the most organized person, and so I am limiting myself to those I can easily reach. I knooooow, yes, I know, I can reach more people and benefit more. But I have other work, and this is but a random service I started and now no longer have the heart to stop...

and yes, I can’t keep track of what I’m doing.

Anyway... During Christmas in jail, the PDLs are given the opportunity to write down a wishlist.

Last year, my first Christmas with the Healing Hearts, I accepted two. Now this year, these cheeky women asked to pretty please accept all their wishlists and to pretty please give these to people I know.

So I left the jail last Monday with 25 wishlists. That scared me a bit because it could mean that I have to provide and shop for all if I can’t round up enough friends to help.

I was wrong. Not even a day after I posted that I have wishlists available for those who want to be a genie or Santa for the season, all wishlists have been snapped up by friends.

But I had to put a stop and just limit it to 25 because this entails keeping a list, following up those who pledged, and yes, doing the shopping for very dear friends whose requests I can’t turn down.

We may think that there’s too much negativity in this world. We only need to read the comments on any public post on social media to see how negative thoughts are thrown recklessly around.

But, stop, be still... And you will find that soft generous heart inside. In short, stop browsing and see the real, beautiful world out there!

That said, there are 400-plus more women in the jail waiting for generous hearts to smile at them this season.

I repeat, I am no longer accepting requests. You can do it on your own. Promise.

The process is simple. Go to the City Jail during office hours (weekdays 8am to 5pm), ask how to get a wishlist and the assigned personnel will gladly assist you. Go!

Email:, fb: /saestremera, IG: @saestremera, Tiktok: @stellaestremera


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