I am a teacher and I, too, can help!

This is what motivated a school Disaster Risk Reduction Management coordinator in the Schools Division Office of Alaminos City to join the frontlines in the fight against Covid-19.

When asked why he decided to be on the streets when he could have stayed home in safety, Charlie Rabago of Popantay Elementary School wrote:

Honestly, I was hesitant when someone asked me to volunteer at a checkpoint area and do the temperature scanning of every person coming inside our city. Many doubts came into my mind. Many “what ifs” and other negatives thoughts scared the death out of me.

Even my parents did not welcome the idea. But because of my burning passion to help, I decided to take the risk and had to even lie to them at first. I asked them to allow me to help in the repacking of relief goods instead of being in the checkpoint.

I lied and I knew it was not right, but I really wanted to help in a way that not too many choose to take.  After the two days of my duty, I decided to tell the truth to my parents because they deserved it and I prayed that they would eventually understand me.         

Every day in the checkpoints is a battle for us because of the hundreds of people we come in contact with and the possibility of contracting the unseen enemy looms even more each day.

I need to walk from our barangay to town proper because of the suspension of the mass transportation. I need to finish our duty from 8:00am to 8:00pm and this daily 12-hour of duty is not a joke. Amid the heat and pressure, we are trying our best just to keep our place safe from the threat.

 We are hurt by the harsh words of people who don’t understand how difficult our situation is, but we need to be extra patient in order to keep our cool.

Really, these extraordinary times call for bravery and courage, plus a burning passion to help even as we put our own lives on the line, just to make a difference for our country.

Time and again, our spirit of volunteerism will always be the heart of every Filipino as we fight and heal as one people. 

I am a brave front liner. I am a happy volunteer! And yes, I am a Proud Teacher!

By Elnora Tulio Raroque, SDO Alaminos City