By Van Catayong
HAPI Zambales Lead Convenor
“What we ordinary Filipinos lack in privilege we make up for courage. To give from out of our overabundance is liberality; but to give out of poverty is valor.”
– Joel Salud
HAPI-Zambales installed the province’s first Community Pantry last April 18 in front of Rabang’s Bakery along the National Highway in the municipality of San Narciso.
Indeed, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Community pantries – areas where food packs and other agricultural produce donated by ordinary people are made available for families affected by strict lockdowns – first sprouted in different areas across Metro Manila. (The region has been the epicenter of the country’s latest COVID-19 surge.) The simple trend (emblematic of the classic Filipino “bayanihan” spirit) started in a small neighborhood of Maginhawa St. in Quezon City, and in just a few days, sprouted community efforts across other cities.
For HAPI-Zambales’ part, we placed canned goods, instant noodles, and other basic food items as an initial donation to our Community Pantry. If you want to visit, the community pantry is open from 8 AM to 6 PM.
We believe that a community pantry should not be about any single individual, but community effort. Its success will depend on how people will show their “malasakit” to others.
As of this writing, we have received numerous pledges, both in cash and in-kind. For those who would like to give in-kind donations, you may drop them off in our pantry from 7 AM to 6 PM. For monetary donations, you can message us for inquiries and arrangements. (We will send you the receipt for transparency.) You may also contact HAPI via our website.