Being away from home during the Christmas season is never easy. I have spent the last four Christmas’ away from Canada (albeit they have been spent in Fiji, Korea, Mexico and the Philippines, life could be worse) and there are certainly many instances of longing for family and the comforts of home, no matter how exotic a location you may find yourself. This past Christmas in the Philippines was very special as we were invited to participate in an annual event where the local Mangyan villagers come down to the beach area and spend the day playing organized games, eating a Christmas dinner, and generally just laughing and having a good time. At the end of the day the children were given toys and balloons, the adults new clothing and other goods they may require. We were invited by the owners of the hotel we were staying at to actively participate and I can honestly say it was one of the most heartwarming and memorable experiences I have had to date. These are a few of the images documenting the day, and although some of the photographs do not openly exude happiness, I feel it is important to document the state of life for these people, and the stark contrasts they provide to our lavish Western lifestyles.