Age is not a requirement in serving people

SK council of Tondol, crossing the dry rice fields of the barangay. Photo courtesy to Darwin Caretero

The coronavirus disease or COVID-19 has made all the government leaders across the globe sleepless as they combat this health nightmare. Truly, the pandemic is the test of the statesmen’s leadership. However, the victory in this deadliest battle of the decade does not depend on them alone. The heads of the affected nations are always reminding their fellows to follow protocols and take care each other like helping the front liners and the needy. 

It is nice to see kindness of people on TV and social media in the time of coronavirus. In the Philippines, the bayanihan spirit is not dead as businessmen, celebrities, vloggers, charities, and others are working hand in hand to produce personal protective equipment for the medical personnel, to give financial assistance for the affected workers, to give homes for frontliners who got evicted from their boarding houses by their landlords due to the fear of getting infected. Furthermore, it is pleasant to know that there are young people who are doing their share in this critical time just like the Sangguniang Kabataan officials of Barangay Tondol.

Photo courtesy to Darwin Caretero

Darwin, my former student, posted pictures about their relief goods packing activity last April 2, 2020 on Facebook. Due to busyness, I was not able to write and post this earlier.  His post piqued my interest about their initiative. Through Messenger, I was able to get more details from the SK council member.

Q: What prompted the council to do relief operation?

A: This [activity] is to address the pandemic crisis faced by fellow Filipinos particularly the youth. There are some of our barangay mates who cannot earn as their jobs are affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine imposed in Luzon. There are families who are struggling for their daily living. This is one of the responsibilities we took oath. Thus, we do share [these goods] heartily which came from the officers, and from the SK fund of our barangay.

Q: Who participated in the activity?

A: Our chairman, Ken Jethro Cariño, my fellow members, Rosemarie Caalim, Daniel John Cacho, Maurin Bacaycay, SK Treasurer, and Eileen Cacho, SK Secretary. We were assisted by Ma’am Rosemary Cariño, Engineer Elmo Cariño, and the siblings of our chairman.

Q: What is the feeling of joining the activity?

A: In this time of need, it is heartwarming to give time and effort in helping our barangay mates. Even we get tired and exposed under the sun, we will give the aid to the houses.

Photo courtesy to Darwin Caretero

Q: As a youth, what is your message to the young people regarding with the situation?

A: To all the young people of Tondol and of Anda, this pandemic is a serious thing. Thus, the government is implementing serious measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to alleviate its effect in our country. We should be responsible and obedient in the policies implemented by the authority. I also encourage you to be vigilant and intelligent in our surroundings about this situation. We have the right to be inquisitive and get involved for the betterment of the system, but with good intention. May God guide us in this battle. Stay safe and stay at home, Andanians!

The distribution of the relief goods started April 4 and ended April 6. The council went to all purok areas of the barangay. Wearing their masks and caps, the young officers did house to house distribution. The officers reached our home last Sunday, but we refused the goods. My parents told to give it to those who direly need. The scorching sun did not hamper the young blood to help others. Darwin even joked that they need a boat to go in Tanduyong, an inhabited island in our barangay as they are done reaching all the residents.
Photo courtesy to Darwin Caretero

Age is not a requirement in serving people. That is what Darwin and other officials proved. I am happy that these young leaders are maximizing their resources to give people hope despite the bad situation all are facing. Hoping their energy inspire others to participate in addressing the situations brought by the coronavirus disease. These young blood are our lifeblood. They are the bright torches of hope in this time of darkness. 

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