We stand with the local volunteers of Maginhawa Community Pantry and all the makeshift pantries around the Philippines. Your trust in the mass and the desire to help them in these trying times are worth recognizing, and we hope that your actions inspire more people to help those who are in need.
The woman who launched the first makeshift community pantry shut down the said initiative after receiving suspicious questioning from the authorities. The said founder posted screenshots of Facebook posts from several organizations which accused without evidence that the pantries are being used by communist groups for their propaganda.
Why Patricia was red-tagged, and what her purpose was in putting up the community pantry is still being debated among the netizens. STAIL.PH is here in hope of giving light to this case.
MAGINHAWA COMMUNITY PANTRY
Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, Kumuha batay sa pangangailangan 🥬🧅🍠🥦
Nag-install po ako ng…
How it all started
When Ana Patricia Non walked along the streets of Maginhawa to look for a spot that is both accessible and able to hold lines of people. In front of Romantic Baboy and Ministop, she asked the owners if she could use the space for a community pantry. It was indeed granted, and she rushed home to collect her already-packed goods and set up a bamboo cart along Maginhawa Street. It was then filled with rice, vegetables, vitamins, face masks, and other essentials.
After the preparation, Patricia marked the beginning of the Maginhawa Community Pantry by posting it for the people to be aware of. Reaching several cities and regions through the power of social media, this initiative rapidly made it to its target areas: Krus na Ligas, UP Village, San Vicente, Teacher’s Village, Sikatuna, and Bliss.
Aside from reaching the people regarding the good news, Patricia’s initiative inspired other civilians to put up their own pantries, and currently, there are 28 and growing pantries throughout the Philippines continuing the good deed of the said volunteer.
The Initiator’s Side
Patricia told CNN that she was aware that not everyone has the privilege to survive this crisis. “Hindi mawala sa isip ko yung mga taong hindi kayang gawin ‘yong ‘stay safe, stay home’ kasi nakasalalay po yung pagkain nila araw-araw in their livelihood.”
In another interview with Rappler, she said, “Pagod na akong magreklamo. . . Pagod na ako sa inaction.” To her, the situation of the people in her community is so bad that those who aren’t even in charge of helping them needed to bring survival into their own hands.
However, it was not long before the local authorities and trolls started to stir rumors about the initiative. After realizing that Patricia was a UP alumnus and a progressive youth, people started to be suspicious about her motives. After seeing that the idea’s memento “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, Kumuha batay sa pangangailangan” is almost similar to the socialist ideology of equity and equality (“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” ), they immediately released a statement claiming that people should stop politicizing the initiator’s good deeds.
The Power of Collective Effort
Hindi magandang balita. Bukas po pause po muna ang #MaginhawaCommunityPantry para sa safety…
Clear as the skies, the spreading of volunteerism among the islands as a result of collective action. No trillions of overseas credits, no special powers, and no weekly taunting needed. The people felt pressured enough to do something because their fellow countrymen were dying of hunger.
Undeniably, the tagline resembled a famous socialist ideology but just because it is a little similar to what the left stated, it does not mean that it must be conceived badly. It helped a lot of people and inspired many others to do the same. No fear reached the beneficiaries at all. Why must it be questioned?
Ironically, it seems that those who called for the pantries to remain apolitical are the ones politicizing this matter. Although everything is political (yes, even fashion is), it still matters which side you take. In this case, the volunteers took the side of the poor.