Issue of March 29, 2020
     
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Weathering slings and arrows

The expression “Slings and arrows” are bad things that happen to one of which no fault can be attributed to him. It comes from the line in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in the act where Hamlet is considering whether or not to kill himself: “To be, or not to be – that is the question.” Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them.’ My English literature teacher, mother of Shirley Ortega, must be proud that we remember the lesson of yesteryears in class.

Yes, bad things are happening to us and it’s not even our fault. One good thing though, in these times of trouble, is that people have come out of their shelves and turned to helping their fellowmen. Take our building security guard John and all other “ja-gwuards” as they are called, continue beyond the call of duty instead of attending to their own respective families; the vendors and retailers who see to it that fresh veggies are abundant; the jeepney drivers, who, because of social distancing earn less in their limited trips but continue to ferry passengers; our fellow members of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club, who continue to bring accurate news and information; the BB-Picag, 911-On Call, and other communication groups; city and barangay officials who have gone out of their way to do their civic duty; and the frontliners – doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radio-techs, med-techs, dieticians, janitors, and other allied services going out of their way despite the risks.

Look at Doc Sherry (Fortune) and Doc Willy (Abacus) who are kinakapatid (god brother or sister) who have a love-hate relationship about snowballs and other petty things only siblings can understand. Both rose above them, Sherry together with Saint Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart Medical Director Paul Quitiquit, the ever mahirap mahagilap Raymond Oribio, Deneb Abastilla, and other doctors started a drive to fund the food, materials for masks, and other needs of SLU hospital and spread out to the other hospitals hopefully.

Doc Willy, on the other hand, aside from his duties with the Baguio-Benguet Medical Society spearheaded the RCDS medical and food caravan team to feed the frontliners, and did the marketing himself at Hangar Market. More important, he, together with local government unit representatives negotiated for the temporary reopening of the Sto. Niño Hospital with the owners and in a week’s time, it will be ready to accept patients either as a containment facility or a diagnostic center for Covid-19 concerns.

Big or small capitalists have hearts too.br>
In Pico, La Trinidad, lessors Keith Damogo and Daisy Laus waived one month of rental fees for their tenants, as with SM mall. Musar has done its corporate social responsibility by seeing to it that financial assistance are given its people.

What do Mia Lao of Tiong San Harrison and Gateluck Corporation, and Fernando Tiong of Mega Pines Realty Corporation have in common? All own a huge tract of private land along Legarda Road, who by science, albeit unlawful intrusion to their property found themselves criminally indicted, and worst convicted in the public eye, bashed, and harassed, but of course, that is another story. (Full disclosure: Our firm through Atty. Bien handles their legal woes.)

Upon request, Mia allowed use of the Lindi Hotel along Legarda Road as a containment center for Covid-19 persons under investigation with mild symptoms in the city. Reports say Starwood Hotel had likewise offered its facilities for the city’s use to house medical frontliners from BGHMC. Fernando, on the other hand, helped out Doc Sherry in her fund drive and together with his Baguio Filipino-Chinese group which he headed once as president turned over at the PFVR gymnasium relief goods amounting to P1.5 million to the city government.

There are countless and never ending stories of small gestures coming from the heart. I take the liberty of quoting Director Paul’s quote in FB “Rise up people of Baguio City and the Cordillera! Let us show our solidarity and unite as one big family in protecting our city and its people! Stop the bashing, bickering, complaining, and criticizing. “Work as one and heal as one”...Sigh!

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