“It was March 16, 2020 , I was at home doing my daily routine. It was just like nothing until the news about the COVID-19 ignited fear and panic in our community. People came rushing to and fro, buying food stocks and essentials for possible lockdown. Rationality were seen missing but fear rather blanketed the community. Week after, establishment and schools were shut down. People working from the city and other places were seen instantaneously going home to their families. I was just there sitting outside our porch looking at the people. Days then passed by, I saw the necessity of face mask and alcohol in the community, passersby were complaining that mask were already scarce so as the alcohol. I was sewing a piece of garment at that very moment when I thought of making one for my 6-year-old grandson. My niece saw me and told me to make more and try to sell some of it since people need it. The suggestion rekindled the idea of selling it to the community.

I made a lot, I sold it at 25 pesos. I could not sell it at a higher price since it would be a burden to many. People were losing their jobs; some don’t even have a stable income. In fact, most of the people in the community doesn’t have enough savings to support their families until the end of the quarantine period. People, truth be told, are helpless, even I, is helpless. Money and resources is scarce and there is still no response coming from the government. We couldn’t go out from our homes especially Senior Citizens like me; all I have on my case, is my sewing machine from CAMELEON which became my medium in earning. Sewing face masks actually helped me a lot to earn little by little to provide for my daily needs. My family and I were just living in subsistence. With the current situation where everything is scarce and people in the community earns very little to nothing, I don’t know what will happen next. What will happen to the poor people, what will happen to us? I even encounter one mother, a mother of 12, who is a laundry woman, but in the current situation she could no longer work since social distancing is highly practiced. She even asked me what is happening, I told her about the pandemic, and she couldn’t even afford to believe me. I know it was a bit of denial in her part since she was already thinking on how she could feed her family.

The situation we are currently experiencing is difficult, indeed, we don’t know what awaits us 3 to 4 weeks from now. I am just lucky to live in the community where vegetables are abundant and people are helping each other, giving each other food and other necessities. Amidst the pandemic, the goodness and kindness of people towards their community is highly seen. People didn’t hesitate to give, even in their littlest effort. Nanit, also a CAMELEON beneficiary even donated face mask to the barangay. In this midst of needs, people never failed to help each other, and maybe the camaraderie of the people will be the key of each community to survive this adversity.

– Myrna, mother in one of the villages where we sponsor children and seamstress in the CAMELEON workshop set up 2 years ago.