By Roel N. Catoto
GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island – Some offer free accommodation to stranded tourists, others give out food, while a man accused of being a hoarder turns out to be a good Samaritan giving out his supposed “hoard” to the poor.
These were just some of the many unselfish deeds that have been manifested as this world-famous tourist destination goes through its most trying moments in the midst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
Right after the community quarantine took effect Tuesday night here, signs of extreme kindness started to crop up.
In the community’s Facebook page, someone offered free accommodation to quests stranded on the island.
There are so many foreigners here who were taken aback by the speed by which all the quarantines, lockdowns and restrictions have flown about ever since the COVID-19 crisis started.
“For humanitarian consideration, we can’t shoo them away just like that, they give better lives to us and I think it’s time to give back. What we can do is to extend a little help and secure them,” a resort owner who refused to be identified.
“We offer full refund to guests who booked with us or free re-booking at their desire dates subject to room availability as we extenuate our policy in this trying times,’ he stressed.
Another restaurant along Tourism Road have been giving free food to some tourists as well.
“We give our extra food to locals who are now severely economically affected,” a restaurateur said.
Foremost among those affected are the local surfers, who have been disallowed to earning their living as surfing instructors as ordered by the General Luna government.
Another man, who asked not to be named, has just been packing up canned goods, and bags of rice and
Dr. Terrence Kua, a former municipal doctor in Burgos town but who had turned his attention to surfing,
“I’ll do the best I can,” the surfing doctor said.
A youth leader in Dapa has been packing sanitizer soap for everyone, said Vice-mayor Marlon Coro of Dapa town.
“She use her own money, not a government funds. I’m so surprised and touched by good deeds of Sangguniang Kabataan Joreza Maurice Jamero,” Coro said.
Several sari-sari stores have offered credit, or “utang”, to their neighbors.
“It’s part of our culture, so now we see our neighbors have nothing so we offer our good,” said sari-sari store owner Den Forcadilla Calapre of Poblacion 1.
With times of uncertainty looming, another kind-hearted individual bought several boxes of canned goods.
“I was unfairly vilified and accused of a hoarder. Right in the eyes of some people at the shop where I got these goods. Some raised their eye brows at me but I’m unfazed. I simply smile make some jokes to make some people laugh,” said the man from this town who just wanted himself to be identified as John.
Accused a hoarder, John, a former worker at the World Health Organization (WHO), has been distributing goods to friends, neighbors or those who may not even know.
“What’s important is that when we offer help, we should be aware that we should not transmit COVID-19. I assumed that I have it so we have to plan it well and do it carefully, he said.
“I sanitize it put at the doorstep to a receiver, no talk just leave,” John laughs as this writer described him like a Santa Claus in “lock down season.”