Two faces of opportunity amid crisis
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - March 26, 2020 - 12:00am

The crisis that we are facing now presents two faces that we have the freedom to choose from. Just any other situation or phenomenon, it reveals our very own personalities and inclinations, depending on how we are being brought up by our families, molded by the society, and ingrained with values.

First face, the opportunity to take advantage of the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of others. And with the crisis we are in, some have taken this opportunity to hoard and sell much-needed items double or triple the original price. And because we are badly in need of alcohol, masks, making these necessities scarce, we dive to the skyrocketed price, just like a bitter pill that we are forced to take even if we don’t like it.

The crisis has also become a chance for others to discriminate. Some frontliners have been discriminated, as others regard them as carriers of the virus. Instead of commending them for risking their lives, they are regarded as health hazards.    

Together with the authority is the trust of the people. And such trust is broken when authority is abused. A local elected official who was reported to have used his office to sell passes. Such pass is for one member the family only to go out for very important purposes.    

The second face is making the crisis as an opportune time to have a significant contribution, even in small little ways, just to ease up the miseries of others. Our doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners have sacrificed a lot just to be of service to others, even if risking their own lives. Their direct contact with the victims making them easy preys of the virus.

On an institutional level, companies, associations, non-government organizations, academic institutions have forged their forces and resources to contribute to the immediate need for manpower, personal protective gears, alcohol, basic needs for the frontliners and our less privileged brothers and sisters. The University of the Philippines, for instance, is in the forefront for its outreach program. As a service university, it mobilizes its faculty members, students, and alumni in pushing for more initiatives that would ease out the impact of the crisis. Specifically, the University of the Philippines Cebu, together with other fabricated laboratories in the Visayas, the Fablab has been mobilized to prototype, develop and produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to our brave Filipino medical frontliners working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to this was in Manila, the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health (UP-NIS) has developed test kits used for field testing, coupled with gene sequencing, at the Philippine Genome Center, a significant breakthrough as we have scarcity, relying from other countries. 

It is selfless if we consider ourselves fortunate, we have more than what others have. And so there is nothing more beautiful than going out of our way to make life beautiful for others.   

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, and now more than ever we are faced with such great opportunity to be brothers and sisters to others. After all, selfless giving is the art of living.

ligayarabago@yahoo.com

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