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A holiday surprise for sailors away from home

The Canadian Press
December 24, 2012 — Over the holidays, a charity in B.C. delivers surprise presents to sailors docked away from home. Alexander Geraldizo, away from his family in the Philippines, says the gifts remind the sailors that someone is thinking of them.

The sailors say the gifts help make their holidays special
The sailors say the gifts help make their holidays special

All Alexander Geraldizo wants for Christmas this year is to be at home, celebrating a magical day with the one-month-old baby daughter he has never met.

Instead the sailor from San Fernando, Cebu in the Philippines will be at sea with aboard the cargo ship Nord Tradition, likely in the Pacific somewhere near Vancouver.

Yet he's thinking his reality won't be nearly as cold, after getting an unexpected burst of cheer from a British Columbia charity that gives Yuletide gifts to weary souls who are far from home.

"I had been asking the office to send me home this Christmas, but there is nothing I can do ... but continue my duties," said Geraldizo, the vessel's chief engineer, who's been at sea for the past five months.

Receiving an unexpected gift while docked in Vancouver over the weekend gave the father of three children "relief," he said.

"People (are) thinking I am special, all of us are special."

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