Play2Enrich | Bringing the spirit of “bayanihan” and “malasakit” to the Riverside Community in Quezon City
In the Philippines, the spirit and cultural value of bayanihan is sustained by ordinary people coming together to help those in need without expecting anything in return.
Translated, the word “bayan” means ‘country’, while the word “bayani” means ‘hero.’ In this sense, the practice of bayanihan brings out the inner hero in ordinary Filipinos for their nation and communities.
Bayanihan demonstrates what Filipinos and Avocado DAO scholars can do in a time of need and crisis.
In a move to offer relief to their neighbors and community, Avocadian scholars from Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City organized a food pack distribution activity to benefit residents from a nearby Riverside community last September 4, Saturday.
Families from the Odelco Riverside community are among the first residents affected by heavy rainfall and flooding in the area.
“We want everyone to stay safe and healthy. As an Avocado DAO scholar, I’m not just proud, I’m relieved to be able to be a part of this activity and extend help to our neighbors. This way, we can ensure that residents from the Riverside community have enough resources to endure the coming days, especially now that we’re still under lockdown and we’re in the midst of the rainy season in the Philippines,” said Jenna May Lim, an Avocado DAO scholar and volunteer for the distribution activity.
Heartened with another Filipino value called “malasakit” (compassion, rooted in the words “mala-” to mean ‘like’ or ‘similar’ and “-sakit” to mean ‘pain’ or ‘illness’), scholar volunteers agreed to move resources around to be able to help more people.
An apt word to use during these trying times, the idea of malasakit carries out the optimistic characteristics of an illness — positively communicable and viral, with the pain from seeing others suffer compelling people to act and do something to make things better.
Ultimately, a total of 108 food packs along with about 40 bundles of 2 cans of meatloaf were distributed in the Riverside community.
“Our original plan is to distribute 100 food packs, but we saw how more families need food items. Since the Quezon City government mandated residents to wear face masks when going out, we’ve decided to stretch the budget we were given to purchase more goods instead of including face masks in the food packs,” Jenna May added.
For residents of the Riverside community, The Avocado DAO food package is the answer to their dilemma simply dubbed as “meals” for more than a day.
With tired eyes, calloused hands, and trembling voice muffled by his face mask, Emil De Mesa, a resident from Odelco Riverside, shared his experience during the pandemic and expressed his gratitude for the food items his family received.
“Malaking tulong po yung ibinigay nyo sa amin. Mahirap po ang buhay ngayong pandemic. Sa palengke po kami nagtatrabaho, pero hindi po kami makapag-tinda ng maayos. Kaya nangangalakal na lang po ako ngayon para may pagkakitaan,” said Emil.
(What you’ve given us helps a lot. Life has been difficult in this pandemic. We work in the public market, but we can’t sell properly. Now I’m collecting and trading garbage to make a living.)
Aileen Arabat, another food pack recipient, shared that she took special care of her claim stub, determined by the simple possibility of bringing something back to her family.
“Para makatawid-gutom po,” (to get through hunger), Aileen said, was her motivation.
Under Avocado DAO’s Play2Enrich Communities program, scholar volunteers extend much-needed help to their local communities by organizing local food distribution activities.
The guild is also empowering its scholars to help their families, friends, and neighbors navigate barriers to unemployment and underemployment during this health crisis by offering opportunities to diversify their incomes and earning opportunities through the Avocado DAO web3 gaming Scholarship program.
This way, the Avocado DAO promotes the spirit of bayanihan and malasakit amongst its scholars as they help their immediate communities.
Note: To ensure the health and safety of everybody involved in this food pack distribution activity, we ensured that all Avocado DAO scholar volunteers who participated are vaccinated against Covid-19.