Real ‘bayanihan’ spirit: How ordinary Filipinos are helping communities this quarantine period

April 6, 2020 - 12:50 PM
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Smart Communications post
Frontliners receiving goods from bakers in Meycauayan. (Photo from Smart Communities via Facebook)

Several Filipinos are harnessing the power of the internet by helping their own communities amid the novel coronavirus pandemic through their skills and capabilities as individuals.

As the imposed enhanced community quarantine over Luzon prohibits gatherings and non-essential travels, people are turning to technology to support their fellows and practice the spirit of  “bayanihan” through their own ways.

“The internet has also changed the way Filipinos help each other out in times of need,” PLDT’s wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc., noted.

It added that it has also “transformed the way Filipinos learn, express and entertain themselves, communicate with their families, transact with government and boost their businesses.”

For physical therapist Alexander Almonte, the internet is helpful in making him continue to serve people with certain medical conditions through online consultations.

Since he cannot do house visits this quarantine period, Almonte opened his line on Facebook where he is sending home exercise programs to those in need for free.

“I interview them over Facebook, to see what the patients need. Then I search and vet online sources, which I then share to them,” Almonte said.

Good day! I am a Licensed Physical Therapist 🦴♿If you have a relative or a friend who is in need of PHYSICAL THERAPY…

Posted by Alexander Almonte on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

 

A Taguig-based BPO training manager, meanwhile, used his storytelling skills to entertain home-bound children and bond with their parents. He also used the opportunity to help raise funds for healthcare workers in the frontlines of the pandemic.

Rich Rodriguez said that he wanted to “relieve those days” when there were still no online games and Netflix to amuse people.

“I thought about how we’re already so used to online streaming and viral videos, so why not use these channels to encourage parents to go back to the habit of reading to their kids?” he said.

Rodriguez has hosted live videos on his Facebook page “Storytimes with Kuya Rich” where he used facial expressions, gestures and body movements to amuse children during the quarantine period.

Posted by Storytimes with Kuya Rich on Saturday, March 28, 2020

 

There are also photographers and artists who expressed willingness to sell their works to support frontliners by giving them care packages filled with vitamins, snacks, drinks, tissue, hand sanitizer and personal hygiene items accompanied with notes of appreciation.

The initiative was formed by photographer Mikki Luistro and his friends who were inspired by an Instagram post that aimed to raise funds for Caritas Manila, a social service arm of the Catholic Church.

It is called #AlternativeHelp where Filipinos can buy sets of photographs, illustrations and postcards to help raise funds for the care packages.

One of the artists selling her prints is pulmonologist Nina Beltran-Yap, who contributed some of her paintings to help her fellow frontliners in the field.

Hello! We're currently selling photos and artworks to raise funds for Help for Health Movement, a group that helps our…

Posted by Mikki Luistro on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

 

A bakeshop owner, meanwhile, looked for volunteers through Facebook who can help her bake bread for medical frontliners, checkpoint personnel and residents in need.

Bakeshop owner Rocel Roque-Maningat of Baker’s Hub Meycauayan was able to gather four volunteers who can distribute their baked goods to the frontliners in their community in Bulacan.

Baker's Hub Meycauayan in Bulacan had to temporarily close its shop because of the enhanced community quarantine. In…

Posted by Smart Communities on Friday, March 27, 2020

 

“Right now, we have four volunteers: Chef Rei Andaya, Dr. Joanna Alag, Flor Exaltacion, and Tina Mendoza – owners and homebakers, baking bread using the ingredients we provided, and these are distributed mostly to people manning the checkpoints, hospitals, and barangay personnel,” Roque-Maningat shared.