This pandemic is boring. You can’t go out, the government says. You want to see your friends, watch a movie, and do all of the things you can only do in the summer. Even when the lockdowns were loosened, what was the point? Most of your favorite shops are closed and in between checkpoints and distancing policies everywhere, going out just doesn’t feel the same.
However, the harsh reality of COVID-19 in the Philippines is one of unemployment, hardship, and no alternatives. On June 9, 2020, the Philippines’ unemployment rate hit 17.7%, which means that 7.3 million Filipinos are unemployed during these times.
Filipinos who work in the tourism industry are a testament to the impacts of COVID-19 on the workforce. Many resorts and hotels plan to reopen, but COVID-19 is unpredictable. They could be re-employed one day and unemployed again the next. For our ates and kuyas who have mostly driven cars and boats for tourists all their lives, COVID-19 leaves them with no security.
Bayanihan, at least on our end, is recognizing our privilege and thinking of ways to use it to help others. We can use the things we have today, like our WiFi and phones, to promote multiple charities and fundraisers with just one click. If we have some money to spare, we can participate in these initiatives as donors.
It doesn’t have to be large sums of money. As a matter of fact, a little goes a long way. 50 people can think that donating PHP 100 can’t do much, but if those people donated at least PHP 100, they’d already raise PHP 5,000 in one go. There are many real fundraisers that believe in this. Initiatives like Palawan Bayanijuan allow you to help the tourism frontliners of Palawan for as low as PHP 50, and despite only starting last May 2020, they’re close to reaching their target goal of PHP 250,000.
In between Netflix, sleeping, and more Netflix, take some time to think about how you can practice bayanihan and uplift our Filipino workers. Empowered women don’t empower just women, they empower everyone else.
To donate to Palawan Bayanijuan, click on here. You may also follow their Facebook and Instagram at @palawanbayanijuan. For more inquiries on sponsorships and partnerships, you may email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.