MANILA – Filipinos are encouraged to send “good vibes” this upcoming Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) to thank front-liners in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles urged the public to go to their doorsteps or windows at 4 p.m. on April 9 (Thursday) and the entire duration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to applaud and honor front-liners in their own unique ways.
“Inaanyayahan po namin ang ating kababayan simula bukas, Day of Valor, na tuwing alas kwatro ng hapon, pumunta po tayo sa mga pintuan at bintana at palakpakan natin ang mga bayani na nagtatrabaho sa ating mga front-lines (We enjoin our citizens that starting tomorrow, every 4 p.m., let’s go to our doors and windows and applaud our heroes working at the frontlines),” he said in a virtual presser on Wednesday.
He said they can also take pictures and videos of themselves singing and post them on Facebook and other social media platforms.
“Puwede rin tayo mag-share ng videos natin via Facebook, Instagram, o Tiktok tuwing alas kwatro ng hapon; puwede tayo kumanta o sumayaw para sa ating front-liners para ipakita natin ang pagmamahal natin sa kanila, at mapadalhan natin ng “good vibes” sa napaka-challenging na panahong ito (We can also share videos via Facebook, Instagram or Tiktok every 4 p.m.; we can dance or sing for our front-liners to show our love for them and to send good vibes during these challenging times),” he added.
Following the extension of the ECQ until April 30, Nograles said it was only appropriate to honor front-liners with “a gesture of gratitude.”
“Napakalaki po ng hinihingi ng taumbayan sa ating mga front-liners; paulit-ulit natin sinasabi — at hindi tayo magsasawang sabihin — na sila ay tunay na bayani (The citizens are asking so much from our front-liners; and we keep saying — and we will never grow tired saying — that they are the real heroes),” he said.
Nograles also thanked artists and designers for taking part in efforts to respond to the health crisis by sharing their talents — holding fundraising campaigns by staging online concerts and creating makeshift personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.
“Nakita natin kung gaano ka mapagbigay ang Pinoy (We have seen how generous Filipinos are),” he said.
Front-liners, exempted from the ECQ, include health workers, uniformed personnel, government workers, media workers, and those involved in the delivery of basic necessities such as food, medicine, and other medical supplies.
Day of Valor, celebrated every 9th of April, marks the annual commemoration of the Fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942, and the bravery shown by the Filipino and American soldiers against invading Japanese forces during World War II.
The date also commemorates the Bataan Death March, where exhausted Filipino and American prisoners of war (POW) were forced by their Japanese captors to walk some 112 kilometers from Mariveles, Bataan to Capas, Tarlac under the scorching sun with no food and water for days.
Meanwhile, Nograles said several government agencies and offices will continue to work during the Holy Week to provide assistance to all households affected by the ECQ.
Among these, he said the National Food Authority (NFA) will remain open daily to provide rice which will be distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units to their constituents.
NFA warehouses will also continue to serve farmers and cooperatives selling their summer harvest and undertake full-blast milling operations of palay stocks to maintain our rice buffer stocks, he added.
“Kung kailangan magtrabaho, magtatrabaho kami (If we need to work, we will continue to work),” he said.
This year’s Holy Week observance falls from April 5 (Palm Sunday) to April 12 (Easter Sunday).
In the Philippines, most commercial establishments either operate on shorter hours or remain closed until Easter Sunday. (PNA)