The Filipinos are a diverse group of people, but there are some traditions that are almost universally followed all over the country. There’s love for singing, love for fiestas, love for Christmas, but most importantly, love for each other. Our bayanihan spirit is one thing that has persisted and grown through the years, always showing up during times of need.
With the current coronavirus disease outbreak continuing to affect the Philippines in all fronts, with thousands of positive cases and millions economically affected across the country, our bayanihan spirit is needed more than ever. And the ordinary Filipino surely delivers. Here are some ways of how everybody is helping out and becoming modern-day heroes this quarantine season.
Millions of pesos donated in cash and in kind
No amount is too small as long as it comes from a place of compassion. Even the neediest of us give out what they can when they see someone who is in need of more. Several donation drives all across the archipelago have collected millions worth of cash and relief goods. These are used to fund our countrymen’s needs this community quarantine, from food aid to medical supplies.
#INeedARide ride-sharing initiatives
With the Luzon quarantine suspending all public transportation and imposing stricter travel restrictions, it’s become much harder for frontliners and people in need to get to the places they need to be. But Filipinos have harnessed the power of the internet to start ride-sharing initiatives by crowdsourcing for willing drivers on Facebook and Twitter. This has now started mobilizing our health workers much quicker, turning into a consistent transport system that at least lessens one worry from our health workers’ busy day.
Food drive for our frontliners
The community quarantine may have shut down multiple small-scale businesses, but that hasn’t stopped some members of the food industry from staying in service and helping out to feed our brave frontliners. Bakers like Rocel Roque-Maningat of Baker’s Hub Meycauayan continue to bake their bread for their community’s frontliners, checkpoint personnel, and residents in need.
Fashion designers making PPEs for health workers
The shortage of face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for our tireless health workers is answered by local fashion designers stepping up to the occasion. Designer Mich Dulce and her team have designed a PPE suit to be used by medical professionals of their local hospitals and can be recreated by other mananahis for bulk production. Through efforts like this, our health workers can be safe and fashionable at the same time.
Sagip Saka operations to help out vegetable delivery by farmers
The quarantine has taken a great toll on the livelihoods of our farmers, who are having a much harder time in transporting their produce of rice and vegetables to the metro. Thankfully, some volunteer groups like Udenna Foundation have started initiatives like Sagip Saka to aid our farmers in delivering their fresh produce and to keep a steady food supply to the cities. Volunteer truck drivers and loaders are a big part of making this fruitful initiative happen.
Doctors holding online medical consultations
Not everyone has the opportunity to go to a hospital to have themselves checked for symptoms, especially now when most hospitals are congested with COVID-19 patients. That is why several practitioners have turned to the internet to offer free consultation services, whether for COVID-19 or other medical conditions. It’s a win-win situation for both doctor and patient: the doctors get to free up emergency rooms and accommodate more critical patients, while the patients can get medical advice in the comforts of their own home.
Storytellers and artists providing in-home entertainment
Staying at home for long periods of time is enough for any sane person to go crazy. Our artists, whether big or small, recognize this and have started free online entertainment for everyone watching from their homes. As our local celebrities hold their Bayanihan Musikahan concerts and fundraisers, our small artists do the same. Volunteer storyteller Rich Rodriguez hosts live storytelling sessions for kids, so they remain learning even while quarantined.
Every Filipino staying at home and staying safe
Even if we couldn’t donate or go out of our way to help, every one of us still have a crucial role to play in helping our communities recover from COVID-19. By continuing to stay at home and practicing protective measures, we’ve already done our part in keeping this virus at bay. This small thing that’s being asked of us goes a long way in stopping the spread of the disease. You help our health workers, frontliners, sick patients, and everyone affected by the virus, by simply staying at home.
How are you helping the country and being a modern-day bayani this quarantine season? Let us know in the comments below!