MANILA, Philippines – With no UAAP games to tune in to, University of the Philippines (UP)’s alumni group of sports enthusiasts, Nowhere To Go But UP, turned its efforts to helping the Filipino workers in the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.
Just like how they pour out support for the UP sports teams, the alumni group also went all-out by delivering food to hospital workers and military on duty.
“Our goal is to serve hot, delicious meals to the frontliners,” said Nowhere To Go But UP community relations officer Rina Tan.
Tan kicked off the initiative on Friday, March 13 under the Facebook page Salamat PH Healthcare Heroes.
Nowhere, which got in touch with food preparation services and restaurants, started delivering to 5 hospitals with meals cooked and packaged by Franco’s Friends, and funded by donations from other alumni.
By Tuesday, March 17, the group was delivering to 8 hospitals as they were able to secure donations from restaurants like Myron’s, Gourmet Gypsy and Barrio Fiesta to deliver a total of 800 meals per day.
The Healing Servants Foundation also partnered with the group and committed 100 meals a day to police and military men at checkpoints.
Other companies have also extended their help to backend operations – donating eggs, rice and other ingredients for the use of the restaurants.
Non-profit organization The Veggie Drop-Off, which organizes markets to allow Benguet farmers to sell directly to consumers, said the farmers themselves donated vegetables to Nowhere To Go But UP’s partner restaurants.
Aside from meals, the group expanded to collecting and donating supplies such as N95 masks, alcohol gallons and goggles to government hospitals.
‘To help when no one wants to help’
Through a UP alumnus who works as a doctor in a government hospital, the group was able to prioritize and immediatley know the needs of the healthcare workers.
“We have a doctor in a government hospital that directs us to the hospitals that no one wants to deliver to,” said Tan.
Tan recalled that the situation was alarming when only skyflakes and 3-in-1 coffee sachets were available to the government healthcare workers as delivery services also no longer wanted to deliver to hospitals.
UP alumnus Mon Eugenio, owner of Franco’s Friends, said he wanted to start this initiative based on his tragic experience when he lost his son Franco.
Eugenio’s three-year-old son was among the 12 dead when a motorized banca sank in Batangas in 2009. At that time, other boats also did not want to help their sinking ferry due to the strong waves and wind.
“With the coronavirus situation, his motto was to help when no one wants to help,” said Tan.
The Philippines’ confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 193 on Wednesday morning, March 18 with a total of 7 recoveries and 14 deaths.
Globally, it has infected more than 170,000 people and claimed over 7,000 lives. – Rappler.com