ik and punkin bear

Starbucks rolls out the best designs for their collectible Bearista Bears during the holidays – Valentine’s, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. That’s when I usually choose one to add to my daughters’ collection of these adorable stuffed bears wearing costumes.

This October sees the release of the Owl Bear and the Pumpkin Bear. I saw them first at Starbucks Sucat a few days ago, and thought the Pumpkin one was cute. I figured I’d get one for Ik later on.

A couple of days later, I saw another one – just one – at the Glorietta “Make Room” branch. Again I put off buying it.

I told the kids about it and Ik was intrigued. “When can we get one, Mama?” “This Sunday,” I promised. So when I got back to Manila from Cavite (where I attended the Klub Don Juan de Manila Derby at San Lazaro Leisure Park) at 6pm, we went to Starbucks Rockwell Drive…

…where the shelves were bare of bears.

Disappointed, we crossed over to Powerplant Mall. The Starbucks there didn’t have any left either. After an hour spent browsing in Fully Booked and getting Alex a Belkin case for the iPod Classic I got for her birthday, I suggested we go home.

“But Mama!” Ik wailed. “We can’t go home without getting a pumpkin bear! You said it was cute!”

“Babe, they’re out of stock,” I said. “Okay, here’s what we can do – let’s go back to the Starbucks at Rockwell Drive and ask if they still have one left in the cupboards.”

When we got there, we asked barista Mhon if they had any bears out back. “How many do you need?” he asked. “Just one,” we said. Mhon and Ginger, another barista, called nearby branches. “There’s one at Yupangco,” Ginger told us. “We can have it sent over here, if you’re willing to wait.”

It was the first time that any merchant had offered to fetch an item from a store that’s not in the immediate area. We said we would wait, and ordered a slice of banana loaf and a Hot White Chocolate for Ik as we settled down.

In less than half an hour, Ginger slipped over to Ik’s chair and handed her the bear.

Ik bounced up and hugged the bear,  jumping up and down in her seat. Ginger’s eyes lit up and she smiled, glancing at me. I smiled back at her, as much to say, “You’ve just made one kid very happy!”

Punkin Bear now joins the other Starbucks Bearistas we’ve collected through the years.

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Many thanks to Ginger of Starbucks Rockwell Drive for service above and beyond. She went out of her way to make a child happy, and that’s major good karma.

It doesn’t take much to lift a child’s heart – sometimes it’s just a little bit of extra care – yet that could be enough to show that there’s always goodness in the world, somewhere, and that goodness will always influence the child for the better.

And when that child grows up, and it’s her turn to run the world, then perhaps memories such as these will push her to also take that extra step when it matters most.

So this story isn’t just about acquiring this elusive stuffed bear. It’s about much more than that.

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