THE “bayanihan spirit” demonstrated by a lady mass communication graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP) continues to fire the imagination of people across the country.
No less than Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque commended Ana Patricia Non of Quezon City for keeping alive the ancient Filipinos’ custom, which is symbolic of our way of group work.
Non’s initiative of setting up a community pantry on Maginhawa St., Diliman, QC has been sending “shock waves” throughout the country, notably in areas under enhanced quarantine.
In her pantry, needy passersby and poor residents may get free food, like rice, vegetables, coffee and canned goods, but people may also leave food donations and other essential groceries.
“Di nito masasagot ang root cause ng kagutuman pero okay na din na pantawid gutom sa mga nangangailangan. Mahirap mag-trabaho, mag-aral at lumaban habang kumakalam ang tyan,” said Non on her Facebook post on April 14, 2021.
In Iligan City, Non’s UP schoolmate Lucia Silva and her younger sister Luzianie set up their own community pantry in Barangay Suray, which is four kilometers away from their village.
The items were from friends and other donors who learned of their initiative online. Community leaders also help the Silva sisters, ensuring that residents follow health protocols.
In another village, a store owner, Manuel Jabay, also established on April 18 a community pantry outside his store.
Roque, a lawyer by profession, said the “emergence of community pantries is laudable. It exemplifies the Filipinos’ ‘bayanihan spirit’ during this challenging time of COVID-19.”
He stressed that “we cannot defeat the COVID-19 pandemic alone,” adding “we need the support and cooperation of everyone.”
Certainly, Filipinos, including the ordinary citizens, are the only ones who will determine whether this impoverished nation of more than 100 million people rises or falls during trying times.