One COVID death on Boracay Island in the Philippines has now been recorded as people try to survive with little to no income, and as a “red-tagging” controversy hit community pantries designed to help people eat.
COVID death on Boracay
The official Local Government Unit (LGU) posted on its Facebook page that one person died of COVID from Barangay (neighborhood) Manaocmanoc.
But that’s all – no more information was shared. It was barely an announcement. (The ‘total death’ went from one to two.)
Twelve hours prior to the official release of news about the COVID death on Boracay, Panay News posted an article in English announcing the death of a 47-year-old man, an electric trike driver.
The official word about the COVID death on Boracay came twelve hours later – around 9:00 p.m. on April 26, local time. News reports say the test results were released four days before the official announcement – on April 22.
I waited to share the Panay News article on social media until the officials released their announcement. (The LGU posts numbers most days, but not all days.) I’m sure they had their reasons – although I don’t know why there was an official reporting delay.
Meanwhile, Boracay is empty.
Community pantry controversy
The community pantry controversy happened in the National Capital Region, which includes Manila.
A small business owner put fresh food on a cart with instructions for people to take only what they need, and for donors to leave what they can.
The idea went viral, and soon pantries sprung up all over this island nation, including several on Boracay. (Mainland Malay is supposed to have one soon, but I have not seen any official information on it yet.)
A federal lawmaker slammed the community sharing idea as a front for the community party, which is trying to recruit people in certain areas of the Philippines, according to reports. I also saw protest signs from Malay to Kalibo on the highway.
The Manila News has a good overview of the red-tagging controversy, and the actions against the lawmaker, along with apologies issued from police for the whole… episode.
Let’s put it this way: on a recent day, I went to Boracay. I had no close contact with anyone. I sat on a deserted beach, read a book, prayed, meditated, went into the ocean.
For three hours — I was the only person there – aside from the lifeguards. I’m not joking. Not one single person passed me, other than a child trying to sell mangoes.
But just off White Beach – 200 feet out – fishermen threw nets from small boats looking for food. One expects to see this by now on the mainland. But not White Beach.
This is striking because Boracay is supposed to be a major tourist destination. But it’s deserted again. More businesses are closed. More people are struggling.
Some are giving up hope, and the community pantries are an effort to keep hope alive.
Final Ati project
We still try to help our friends and neighbors however we can, including the Ati indigenous tribe. Our last Ati project – water source improvement – will be happening in May.
Theo spent much time and calculations and price shopping for a water pump. The pump will bring water to the top of the mountain from a remote jungle spring. People will not have to walk down the mountain for water, and carry it back up in jugs.
Most recently, we made a contribution for the new bridge that goes from Cogon village at the bottom, to the Ati village up on the mountain.
Meanwhile, the chickens are still laying eggs in the rebuilt henhouse, and people are still ecstatic over electricity brought up the mountain. Indeed, more nipa huts have been constructed around the power source.
My first novel
I haven’t worked on the blog much lately, because I am trying to write my first novel. It’s an easy-breezy read with some outrageous scenes. After all — it is fiction!
It’s not meant to be literature – just a story in my head that kind of formed as I sat down to write. I worked on it almost every day for six weeks. This last week however, I took a break.
Theo has been working on a few hobbies, and also living his motto: “more beer!”
Looks like I’ll have time to write another book. Or two. I don’t think we’ll be traveling like we used to for quite some time.
Until the world understands that the catastrophe unfolding in India is connected to us all, that the people starving on Boracay and mainland Malay are connected to us all, that we on Earth are all connected, the struggle will continue between the haves and the have nots. Between the super-crazy-rich people and the poor people.
And while we humans struggle with our humanity, COVID-21 will only get worse.
Thanks for reading, “COVID death on Boracay, community pantry controversy.”
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