This week, I want to kick things off by paying tribute to someone who surely has become a pandemic hero to so many people in the past days.
With her kind heart and a bamboo cart filled with daily essentials, Ana Patricia “Patreng” Non started the Maginhawa Community Pantry in Quezon City and sparked a nationwide movement of compassion and generosity.
Ridiculously, she has been attacked and maligned for her efforts (one can only imagine what kind of souls are possessed by those who have the gall to pounce on someone trying to help others), but she endures, and the Maginhawa Community Pantry endures. More than 300 other pantries have sprouted all over the country.
Donations continue to pour in even from abroad. Clearly, the power of kindness cannot be stopped by the insecure, the incompetent and those with ill intent.
Thank you, Patreng, for what you’ve started. Thank you for inspiring so many others.
No one was prepared for a pandemic and in our case, a very long lockdown. Thankfully, there are so many angels who made life seem “normal” or eased the stress and anxiety that hits from time to time.
I am thankful for: 1. delivery guys, whom I am grouchy with when they can’t find our house; 2. the cable guy, who did house calls during the height of the first lockdown; 3. my neighbor Cherry, who always asks if I need something from the grocery or her long list of suppliers; 4. my manang, Malou Salvador, who has been with us for almost 20 years and never left during the lockdown to take care of us; and 5. a very dear friend, Judith Roda, who bakes and shares her heavenly cakes, pastries and pies. Imagine having a not-so-good day and you get a text saying eclairs are on the way, or Easter was truly happy because we got bunny-shaped caviar pies. —Rikka Infantado Fernandez
I am so happy to know Camilo, so happy I have probably passed on his contact details to over 10 or even 15 of my friends and family members.
Camilo is a personal shopper at SM Makati. On Easter Sunday, I called him early in the morning before his shift to ask him to get me plastic eggs for a kiddie egg hunt. I mentioned I needed to do the groceries and wanted to serve halo-halo.
He said, “Ako na, ma’am, I’m free pa naman.” He even used his personal debit card to pay for the halo-halo ingredients. He didn’t know what garbanzos were so he even Vibered me with video so I could choose what I wanted from the shelves.
I paid him right after my driver picked up the plastic eggs and groceries, but I am amazed that his level of service goes beyond his scope and hours of work, just because he is happy to serve! I don’t know how to thank him, so this tribute will hopefully be my thank-you to such a great guy! —Tinette Ozamiz Puyat
Since the onset of the pandemic, one major concern for me was getting good, healthy food. I thought I’d heavily rely on online groceries and food deliveries because I’d rather stay safe at home.
Thankfully, I made a life-changing discovery in our condo community: My neighbors sell the best homemade meals! We have a marketplace where you can find your usual quarantine food trends. And, you can also get amazing mala-probinsya viands. For merienda, there’s bilo-bilo, turon, okoy.
For special nights, we have a neighbor who sells wine and manchego truffle cheese. We also have a neighbor who delivers fresh fruits and vegetables from Baguio, and seafood twice a week. The best thing about all these is that anything I order is delivered straight to my doorstep. No need to meet anyone in the lobby to get my takeout orders—that means less hassle and less chances of getting COVID.
My neighbors have been making my life easier, healthier and safer since enhanced community quarantine Season 1. Prepandemic, I’d see them in the lobby and we’d give each other awkward nods. But now, we’d ride the same elevator and smile at each other because we both know what I had for lunch. —Joy Andrade
Through it all, my sister Ayenne came through. From personal issues to internet teas, my sister was always willing to listen. She was also always ready to give me cuddles and hugs that made up for the lack of social interaction I’ve had for more than a year now.
We have our off days and fights, but honestly, the bond we’ve formed over the last year more than makes up for them.
The pandemic might have taken something from all of us that is impossible to take back, and that’s time. However, the moments I’ve spent with my sister are something that I wouldn’t trade for anything.—Jazz Carilla INQ