The Manila volunteer driver and the passenger with his last 200 pesos trying to get home
MANILA - The pandemic has upended daily life with a strict lockdown and curfew but people still need to get to work, others just need to get home. Straits Times sub-editor Jomar Kho Indanan volunteers as a driver for healthcare workers and other folk who need a lift to and from work. This is his blog post from last Saturday (April 4).. Read more at straitstimes.com.
CopyThe pandemic has upended daily life with a strict lockdown and curfew but people still need to get to work, others just need to get home. Straits Times sub-editor Jomar Kho Indanan volunteers as a driver for healthcare workers and other folk who need a lift to and from work. This is his blog post from last Saturday (April 4).
MANILA - This morning, in between fetching and dropping off frontliners to and from their hospital duties, I saw him shuffling on Mindanao Avenue near Trinoma. I had a few minutes to spare before my next pick-up, so I slowed down and asked him where he was going.
"Novaliches."I told him to hop in and I would take him as close to his destination as I could in the pocket of time that I had.Turns out he does elevator maintenance work for Okada, but on a no-work, no-pay basis. The lockdown caught him at his lodgings on Coastal Road - out of work, dwindling money and no way to get home to his two kids in Novaliches ( his wife was stranded in Butuan in the south).
Last night he was on a video call with his kids aged 12 and 10. They were crying:"Uwi ka na, Tay." (Come home, dad.)So he decided to walk that night, with nothing but his frayed backpack and the last 200 pesos (S$5.60) in his pocket.He managed to get to Edsa a little past midnight, but his legs had given up and he slept outside Megamall. Half an hour later he was walking again, hitched a ride up to Quezon Ave in a hospital van and by 6am he was turning into the street where our paths crossed.
He said I could drop him off anywhere,"because I live much further away, in Bagumbong. It's way past Novaliches. You can drop me off at the next stoplight."I didn't have the cold heart to do that so I drove him all the way to his barangay, over his protestations:"So what now? You don't have a job anymore?Read more: The Straits Times »
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