Times have been trying and tough, to say the least. Today, we mark nearly 7 weeks of enhanced community quarantine. For some, basic necessities have been scarce; for others, the anxiety of the possibility of infection has been looming for what seems like a long time, and for all, it has been a great inconvenience.
Despite these setbacks, I am able to write this message, and you, able to read it. At a time when our usual happiness and joys are limited, let us find opportunities to appreciate things we often neglect: time, life, and the company of those we love. I hope all of you are at home, keeping safe, and using this opportunity to reflect, build meaningful connections, and be grateful for the lives we still get to live.
Caution, Compassion, and Tolerance
The fear of uncertainty often leaves people to forget a fundamental principle that binds us all: we are a community, and that we must always care for each other, specially for those that are neglected. At this time, I implore you to exercise caution in your acts and be responsible in the use of social media. As we share our thoughts and opinions, let us not forget that our words have the power to comfort and console, as much as it does to spread hate, false news, and fear. At this most difficult time, let us choose the former, as we speak up and speak out to our community.
In our acts, let us remember our responsibility for those greater need than ourselves, including those whom we feel need to be enlightened, educated, and informed.
Rising Up to the Challenge
The neglect to attend to the basic needs and concerns of ethnic minorities and indigenous communities is nothing new. In our six years, we've seen how these people have been deprived of means for development, education, healthcare and economic opportunities. We've received reports from our community partners that rural health centres, district hospitals and healthcare facilities are ill-equipped to deal with CoVid-19, and that masks, both disposable and reusable, are not made available to the general public.
More than working with these groups as business partners and beneficiaries, AKABA has always taken the extra mile to make sure that our communities know that they are important, and that they are valued. Our team has decided to rise up to the challenge and equip them with the necessary protective gear to treat, and stem the spread of this deadly virus in their respective communities.
Let's Work Together
Online discussions and arguments have resulted questions such as "Ano ba ang ambag mo?" or "What have you done for your country?" Since starting this company, the biggest lesson I've learned is that people will always want to help and do good, but most don't even know how, or where to start.
My team, our friends and partners have started an initiative called AmbagPH. Our goal is to provide emergency aid response and assistance to various indigenous communities all over the Philippines. At this time, our priority is to raise the resources needed to produce masks and PPE suits for the provinces of Lanao del Sur (Marawi City), Basilan, Sulu, and the Municipality of Lake Sebu.
We've come up with multiple platforms for those who want to help out: share, volunteer, and donate. I thank the AmbagPH Task Force for rising up to the challenge, and inspiring others to do their part for the least, lost, and often forgotten.
Learn more about this amazing initiative at the AmbagPH website.
Ambag Mo, Ambag Ko, Ambag Natin
We founded this initiative on the simple premise: if we all contribute in our own way, we can do amazing, good work. A simple like and share on social media, or time to sanitise and repack donations, or your sharing of your talent to communicate and educate is more than enough to make a difference.
I invite all of you to join our AmbagPH online community on Facebook, and join our effort today. I look forward to working with all of you in this initiative.
In the following days, I pray the Lord will protect you, our country, and the world.