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Given the ruthless restrictions imposed by health protocols during the pandemic, we are heartened by reports that the bayanihan spirit, a sturdy layer of Filipino culture, is much alive in Quezon City.

We refer to the Maginhawa Community Pantry where donations are brought for those who need help.

The donations arrive from people from all sectors of the social rung, with some, according to reports chipping in some amount so they could buy groceries for people in need.

People who need the supplies come and take just the amount that they could consume for the next meal.

The two-layer bamboo shelf at a corner of the busy street now contains rice, vegetables, canned goods, milk and even vitamins—and gets restocked fast.

Bayanihan—called tagnawa in the north and pagtinabangay in the Visayas—is a fundamental aspect of Filipino culture, with people working together as a community to achieve a common goal.

This aspect of bayanihan during the coronavirus pandemic has different threads in different regions in the country. It is a spirit that defines the Filipino even if the Filipino speaks different tongues and professes a variety of religious beliefs.

The young woman who put up the pantry said: “Of course I’m happy to help, but it’s also a lesson for us. If it were just me, I wouldn’t be able to sustain the pantry. It can only be sustained if the community comes together.”

We are certain that many similar gestures across the country are making a dent even if they are not getting any media attention. May these simple deeds continue to make a difference—one family, one meal at a time—and escape the claws of opportunists with the instinct to turn the anonymous exercise into a popularity drive. Heaven forbid we see faces or names of politicians who want to build up their image at any cost.

Topics: Quezon City , Maginhawa Community Pantry , Bayanihan spirit , Filipino culture
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