Chocolates and flip-flops: Jail inmates’ Christmas wishlists tug at people’s heartstrings

Look, when you do the crime, you do the time. But that doesn’t mean those serving out sentences aren’t human and don’t have any Christmas spirit in them, either.

People’s hearts melted a little online after a city jail officer posted photos of the surprisingly simple and wholesome requests detainees had for their Christmas wishlists.

Called a PDL (persons deprived of liberty) WISH TREE, inmates of the General Trias City Jail hung notes of what they wanted for Christmas on a tiny tabletop Christmas tree for public viewing. If anyone feels like playing Santa, they can choose to fulfill any requests they wish.

“Pls feel free to grant any of the simple wishes of our PDLs for the upcoming yuletide season,” Bryan Villaester posted online. “You can screenshot the wish you want to grant,” adding that the public may send in their gifts for the inmates via courier service or by dropping them off at the jail.

Most of the inmates’ wishlists were surprisingly relatable. Many asked for sweets and basic necessities such as footwear and hygiene kits.

“My name is Ersan. My wish for this coming Christmas is to eat my favorite chocolate, M&Ms, and fried chicken, and to have my own personal hygiene kit. Merry Christmas,” one note read.

“My wish this Christmas is to have new Islander slippers as I haven’t had slippers for a long time. Thank you,” another said, referring to the classic local flip-flop brand.

“My name is Rolly. I only wish for a can of biscuits this Christmas,” an inmate wrote.

“I only want one bucket of Jollibee, three pairs of shorts, and a personal hygiene kit,” another wrote.

One inmate wished for a bottle of glue and some construction paper as he was fond of making coin banks.

Meanwhile, there was one post that highlighted the difficulties inmates face while living behind bars.

“My wish for this Christmas is a colostomy bag for my medical condition,” an inmate wrote.

Sentiments were clearly running high online as people were touched by inmates’ simple joys.

“This made me tear up. People shouldn’t have to wish for these things,” one commenter wrote.

The General Trias City Jail is run by the Bureau of Management and Jail Protection, whose facilities house detainees undergoing investigation, awaiting final judgment and those who are serving sentences below three years.