FIRST PERSON | The Rotary Way: Selfless service amid pandemic

0
113

One thing I have learned as a result of the Enhanced Community Quarantine is to appreciate the little things in life, that life is short, and being positive is the new normal we are facing.

Four months ago, I was about to fly back from Manila to Bacolod when the Department of Health started to hold regular briefings.  A travel ban was then imposed for individuals coming from Hubei, China amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Families at Purok Paho 2, Brgy. Estefania happily receives their essential goods.
Families at Purok Paho 2, Brgy. Estefania happily receives their essential goods.

As we are to board the plane, very few people, mostly of senior age, were wearing face masks.  At that time, most of us were not really that conscious about wearing a mask, that protective gear that would in mere weeks becomes mandatory, obligatory, a part of the new normal.

With much of the country under enhanced community quarantine, where many people are glued to their cellphones and to social media, with the bulk of the day spent in homes with families, pets and work from home (WFH).

Light moments with Romero cousins during a family get together in Makati City last January 2020, unaware that one day the COVID-19 pandemic led to community quarantine.
Light moments with Romero cousins during a family get together in Makati City last January 2020, unaware that one day the COVID-19 pandemic led to community quarantine.

The slow pace of life has given me the chance to appreciate the little things in life.

I tried cooking via You Tube demo, tried urban gardening using used PET bottles, grooming the Shih tzus, going to laundry shop, to the grocery, to the water refilling stations as being designated w/ the Home Quarantine Pass (HQP) etc, etc, etc…

Essential items ready for distribution to families at Purok Creek, Brgy. Estefania
Essential items ready for distribution to families at Purok Creek, Brgy. Estefania

Amusingly, I started using video call via Whats App and Viber which from my experience is limited to our corporate video conferencing using Microsoft Team and Skype that have been part of my work from home duties (at least two to three times daily for the past 45 days).

As the current President of Rotary Club of Bacolod, a humanitarian service organization, during the enhanced community quarantine we initiated together With the Liga ng Mga Barangay and Bacolod City Councilor Elmer Sy a special operations on water distribution to identified poor communities in the City of Bacolod, seeing those throng of people lining up for their water rations made my heart bleed.

Residents of Brgy. Banago lining up their water containers
Residents of Brgy. Banago lining up their water containers

However, I also felt joy and happiness seeing fellow Rotarians and individuals with generous hearts helping those in dire need of essential items, including those in the frontline.

Some things that are previously under-appreciated become the day’s highlight.

Rotary Club of Bacolod special ops on water distribution at Brgy. Alijis with Club Director Carlo Reyes. Brgy. Kagawad de la Vega and Purok officials.
Rotary Club of Bacolod special ops on water distribution at Brgy. Alijis with Club Director Carlo Reyes. Brgy. Kagawad de la Vega and Purok officials.

We also shared our blessings to two poor communities in barangay Estefania, near my place of residence by providing essential goods to help feed and sustain their families for four consecutive weeks until the status restriction was eased to General Community Quarantine

These people who are mostly minimum wage earners or rely on part-time jobs like laundry, tricycle driving, carpentry, and domestic help are the most affected families during the enhanced community quarantine.

Leave a Reply