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Community Pantries: Reawakening the Bayanihan Spirit

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1 year ago

The past one year and counting has been a roller coaster for all of us. Here in the Philippines, we experienced being lockdown for months, implementing Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), going to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), and Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Before the 2020 ended, I thought that the end of fighting with this pandemic is near. The data showed that there were many recoveries from the virus and the active cases here really went down. But, it did not last long as the virus continues to mutate and made it easier to infect people.

This year, from being a MGCQ area, we went back to MECQ until now May. Actually, it went under ECQ, then considered some areas including ours to be MECQ. What were the consequences of that? Obviously, many people lost their jobs - it can be temporarily or permanent. The lost of their jobs caused some family hunger because they do not have a job to make some money and buy foods.

However, people that posses a good heart still exist. Because many of Filipinos lost their job, and do not know where they will get the money to buy foods, some people started a Community Pantry to help and serve other people nearby. This particular Community Pantry originated in Maginhawa in Quezon. Then, some people in other areas got inspired and started their own Community Pantry in their area.

This kind of act is not new, especially here in the Philippines. Before, there is a thing called Bayanihan - wherein the people in a particular area gather and help a family to move their house to another place. They literally lift the house and place it in another.

If we think of it, Community Pantry is reawakening the bayanihan spirit, why? It is because the goal of Community Pantry is to help other people, especially those in need without expecting something in return just like in Bayanihan back then.

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