Baguio store owner initiates urban farming using recycled bottles amid ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 17, 2020   •   771

A minimart store owner in Barangay Asin Road, Baguio City has been helping his neighbors cope with the lockdown through urban farming.

Due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) residents are finding it difficult to live normal lives. Schools are suspended, several establishments are closed and everyone is worried about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Bradley Robuza’s store is among the establishments in Baguio hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. He said only few customers are buying from their mini store since the ECQ.

The public market is also too far from their area so they have no choice but to settle with buying pricey raw foods in the nearest market.

But despite the struggles, Bradely and his sister Rizelle Hernandez found a way to share kindness with the whole neighborhood amid the crisis.

They began urban farming in front of their store using used plastic bottles. For two weeks they planted tomatoes, cauliflower, pineapple and more. They were able to collect over 200 seedlings which they give away for free to customers and other residents.

Image may contain: one or more people and plant
Courtesy Bradley Robuza

“Since wala naman na pong gaanong bumibili po ngayon sa amin kaya may mga oras po kami mag-farm. Lugi negosyo pero okay lang po mai-share po namin ang biyaya ng Dios, (Since we only have a few customers we have time to farm. Our business is not doing good but it is okay because we can still share God’s blessing)

Rizelle said they are giving away the seedlings so they can also start planting raw foods in their homes. Urban farming can also be helpful in case the ECQ will be further extended.

“Libre naman po namin pinatubo kaya libre din po namin ipamimigay, (We farmed it for free so we will give it away for free),” she said.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor
Courtesy Bradley Robuza

Rizelle also said using plastic bottles also help in keeping the environment clean.

“Kaysa naman itapon namin iyong mga plastic bottles naisipan namin na diyan na lang namin itatanim para makabawas ng basura, (Instead of throwing out the plastic bottles, we thought we could use them for farming to lessen the litter),” she said.

More than 10 individuals have already benefited from their urban farm. Nelia Matuyog, a resident, is grateful for the free seedlings and said this is the right time to plant.

“May binigay din ang barangay kaya lang hindi kami nakaabot kaya thank you at meron [dito], (The barangay is also giving away [seedlings] but we were not able to get some so thank you for this),” she said. AAC

Duterte extends ECQ in Cebu City; GCQ in Metro Manila until July 15

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to extend the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cebu City until July 15, 2020.

The President noted the “stubbornness” of its residents despite strict government protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19. He cited the situation in Talisay City where people tend to ignore social distancing protocols, with some even engaging in drinking sprees and gambling.

Ayaw ninyo maniwala, bakit marami? One of the reasons — even without consulting the Body— because you did not follow rules,” President Duterte said.

“You have the highest. Cebu is now the new hotspot for COVID-19. Bakit? Marami sa inyo ay hindi sumusunod,” he added.

The President expressed concern over the situations in Cebu City which he hopes will improve through the supervision of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the following areas will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 15:

  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Benguet
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Leyte
  • Ormoc
  • Southern Leyte
  • Talisay City, Minglanilla and Consolacion Municipalities in Cebu Province

The President commended the response of residents in the said areas to the government-imposed protocols which helped slow down the rate of COVID-19 infection.

You know Manila, maraming tao but because sumunod nila — with few violations thereabout— we here in Manila have a good chance of at least avoiding it,” he said.

To save the economy, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguz recommended to the President the further relaxing of quarantine measures in Metro Manila and the CALABARZON region. 

The rest of the country, meanwhile, will remain under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) specifically those identified as moderate and low risk areas where localized community quarantine and minimum health standards may strictly be observed. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Cebu City returns to ECQ, Metro Manila remains under GCQ

Marje Pelayo   •   June 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday (June 15) placed Cebu City under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting Tuesday (June 16).

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the increasing number of new cases and widespread community transmission in the majority of barangays in the city has prompted the decision. 

Likewise, case doubling time of less than seven days in the city has been consistent and its critical care system has been overwhelmed with an increased number of patients surpassing the city’s critical care capacity.

Metro Manila, meanwhile, remains under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Here are the quarantine classifications in specific areas in the country taking effect June 16 until June 30:

Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)

  • Cebu City

Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)

  • Talisay City

General Community Quarantine (GCQ)

  • Metro Manila
  • Luzon
    • Cagayan
    • Isabela
    • Nueva Vizcaya
    • Quirino
    • Santiago City
    • Aurora
    • Bataan
    • Bulacan
    • Tarlac
    • Olongapo City
    • Cavite
    • Laguna
    • Batangas
    • Rizal
    • Quezon
    • Occidental Mindoro
  • Visayas
    • Bohol
    • Cebu
    • Negros Oriental
    • Siquijor
    • Mandaue City
    • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mindanao
    • Davao City
    • Zamboanga City

Meanwhile, the rest of the country remains under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until June 30, Roque concluded.

Wife receives anniversary surprise from late husband

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020

Ten months after the death of her husband, a wife still received a heart-warming surprise from him for their 25th wedding anniversary.

Aly Mendoza received an email from her late father regarding instructions for an anniversary surprise. The email also contained a letter for her mother.

“Apparently before my dad passed away 10 months ago, he planned everything, he even contacted and paid for a florist to deliver flowers to my mom for the coming years on every special occasion, my mom’s birthday (August 19,) Valentine’s Day, and their anniversary (June 10),” she wrote in her post.

“Even if they’re not physically together, even though he’s no longer here, he was still able to surprise and make my mom happy. Not even death could stop my dad from loving my mom and showing her how much she meant to him,” she added.

Aly said her dad picked the flowers for the bouquet: white and pink.

“White roses are special to my parents because when my dad was courting her, my mom had two suitors. She told herself that whoever gives her white roses was ‘the one and obviously it was my dad who gave her white roses,” Aly said.

Aly felt the joy her mom felt when she saw the surprise. She shared how her parent’s love endures—and not even death could make them part. AAC

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