The war against Covid-19 is far from over. Experts say it will take one to two years for a vaccine to be developed against the contagious virus. Tests to find out if a person has the virus or has antibodies against it are available only to those considered vulnerable, but not yet for the general population.
Among the most vulnerable now are our doctors, nurses, and other hospital care workers who take care of the sick daily, even at a risk to their own lives. They work tirelessly, many unprotected from the dangerous virus, oftentimes failing to eat due to their many tasks. Most are also quarantined away from their homes to protect their own families from the contagion, after which they immediately report back to hospitals due to their dwindling numbers.
In the spirit of “bayanihan,” the private sector, even while quarantined, are busy raising funds to help provide the daily needs of hospital care workers: hot meals, housing facilities, personal protection equipment (PPEs), and transportation.
At the onset of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), The Manila Hotel decided it could open up its kitchen to prepare fresh meals for healthcare workers in the City of Manila. Then, to provide resting and sleeping quarters for healthcare workers, the Philtrust Bank, a sister company of the hotel, opened its 10-story UN Residences to health workers in nearby hospitals.
Former senator Joey Lina, the hotel’s president, explained, “The Executive Committee of the Manila Hotel, headed by Board Chairman Basilio C. Yap, immediately approved the donation of food and housing assistance to Manila healthcare workers, in coordination with Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno, as part of the Yap Group of Companies’ share in the country’s fight against the virus.
“The hotel’s kitchen staff, headed by Executive Chef Konrad Walter, prepare and pack healthy and filling meals for Manila healthcare workers, as well as to the Philippine Coast Guard stationed at the back of the hotel, and even private hospital workers and local government frontliners outside the city,” Lina added.
As the days went on, “We realized the undertaking was becoming too big,” Atty Lina shared. He then broached the idea of a joint project with the hotel’s loyal patrons and friends to donate packed meals for healthcare workers.
“The Rotary Club of Makati Central (RCMC), headed by President Bobby Alvarez, was the first to heed the call, and became the hotel’s biggest partner in this endeavor, ” he further said.
As more of the hotel’s patrons and friends started contacting the hotel to be partners, the Mabuhay Meals: Food Drive for Frontliners was formed.
Among the new partners of The Manila Hotel are: UP College of Law Batch 2007, Couples for Christ South A4B, Singles for Christ Las Pinas, RCMC Linton Incorporated, San Sebastian High School Batch 1980, Mr. Aries Gamboa, and lately, the Quezon City Lodge No. 122.
As of April 27, The Manila Hotel food drive has already provided 35,000 meals, with 25,000 coming from the partnership of The Manila Hotel and RCMC.
Mabuhay Meals have so far been delivered to the following institutions: the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital, Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Tondo, Lung Center of the Philippines, Sta. Ana Hospital, Gat. Andres Bonifacio Memorial Hospital, Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Medical Center Manila, Ospital ng Paranaque 1 & 2, Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (Tala), Philippine Children’s Medical Center, National Kidney & Transplant Institute, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Tondo Medical Center, Jose Abad Santos Medical Center, as well as the Philippine Coast Guard, Paranaque City Hall Workers, Navotas healthcare workers and City Hall frontliners, Manila Health Department, and the frontliners in the office of Congressman Bong Suntay.
Our collective appreciation for the heroism and sacrifices of our frontliners and healthcare workers, especially now that the ECQ has been extended in the National Capital Region and in some parts of the country, can really be best shown with concrete action. Though some of us may be suffering from our losses and from our own fears, this is not the time to lose hope.
We must continue to act and be committed to fight Covid-19. With God’s grace and mercy, we will triumph.
For groups and individuals looking to extend more help, The Manila Hotel still welcomes partners to the Mabuhay Meals initiative. For as little as P50 per meal with a minimum number of 100 meals, the invaluable support will go a long way in ensuring the health and energy of our frontliners.
The Manila Hotel practices stringent protective measures to ensure the safety of its staff and implements strict turnover procedures and due diligence reporting to its partners to ensure the meals go to intended recipients.
Call The Manila Hotel at 8527 0011 or SMS/Viber 0998 950 1912 for information on the Mabuhay Meals initiative.