These are strange and difficult times. The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines is rising at an alarming rate. There's a pseudo-lockdown, an attempt to impose curfew, absurd hoarding and panic buying, and just a general depressing stench in the air.
In crises like this, we have no one but ourselves to lean on (metaphorically, of course, and within the terms of social distancing.) Despite the stress brought about by COVID-19, its consequences, and the measures implemented to contain it, the silver lining is that it's bringing out some of the best in people.
There may be profiteers, hoarders, and opportunists, but forget about them and turn your attention toward these good folks doing their best to help out instead:
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
To help the exhausted doctors, nurses, and staff, selected CBTL branches are offering hospital employees one small cup of brewed coffee a day on the house. All they need to do is flash their company ID. The freebie is available throughout the entire month of March.
On March 13, all branches of SM Markets offered free turon and water to doctors and nurses.
This premiere steak shop has already distributed 250 bowls of oats caldo (a healthier version of arroz caldo) for medical staff to the Philippine Lung Center, Philippine Heart Center, Rizal Medical Center, The Medical City, and Makati Medical Center. Plans are underway to provide food for the Philippine General Hospital, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Asian Hospital, and more. The restaurant will continue doing this daily until funds run out. If you are willing to donate funds for this cause, find the details here.
The Pino Group of Restaurants
PJ Lanot, co-owner of Pino Restaurant, Pipino Veg, and Pi Breakfast & Pies, has announced that the restaurant group will be giving out free and unlimited brewed coffee to those in the medical field and academe from "March 14 until this situation plateaus." Nearby medical establishments and academic institutions are East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Lung Center of the Philippines, V. Luna Medical Center, and the University of the Philippines Diliman.
The Plaza Catering
As posted by Chef Karla Reyes of The Plaza Catering: "The Plaza Catering will be helping feed 400 medical frontliners. Meals are distributed throughout the day by the nursing service office. Meals are given to [doctors], fellows, residents, nurses, med techs who need to run the tests, rad techs who do the X-rays and aides who no longer have time to go out to buy food or even go on breaks. (It is also better for them to stay in for sanitation purposes). MMC has expanded COVID-19 ops to centers and floors outside ER so the ops is getting bigger and involves more staff."
The Plaza is also gathering donations for more medical supplies as well as produce and ingredients it could use for the meals.
RiceTop Fil-Asian Comfort Food
RiceTop is accepting sponsors to fund a project that would offer meals to medical frontliners. To donate, a minimum of P500 is required and would amount to two meals. Cut-off for deposits is at 3 p.m. while dinner meals will be shipped by 6 p.m.
Because of the outbreak, Rue Bourbon has announced that it will be closing its branches in the foreseeable future, but it made sure to do one good deed before shutting down temporarily. Rue Bourbon sent food to the ER staff of St. Luke's Medical City BGC to make sure they stay invigorated for the challenges ahead.
To boost the morale of ER front liners at Makati Medical Center, Pomodoro sent boxes of pizza their way.
Kanto Freestyle Breakfast
One of the first restaurants to send good vibes to the tireless people in the medical field, this gourmet breakfast chain continues to send food packs to hospitals near its numerous branches.
Mcshine Coffee gave 250-gram packs of any coffee variety to health workers from March 15 to 18.
The Standard Group
The group behind Yabu, Ippudo, Elephant Grounds also generously supplied meals ("with love--and of course soap- and water-washed hands" to the "heroes of the health industry." It prepared packages of consisting of Elephant Grounds coffee, Yabu katsu, and Ipuddo's famous baos.
This pares restaurant also sent over delicious bowls of beef-topped rice to tired employees of the East Avenue Medical Center.
This burger chain delivered its signature giant burgers to Makati Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, and Medical City to revive the spirits of the medical staff.
This story will be updated.