By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
Members of a family of five who were forced to make a home out of a jeepney during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) could not believe the outpouring of love and support from strangers after their story was aired on television.
Erlin Coquia first shared their plight with ABS CBN’s TV Patrol, saying that they originally came from Manila but ended up in Barangay Sienna in Quezon City when the jeepney operator of her husband offered to let them stay in one of his jeepneys.
The offer came after they were kicked out from the house they were renting. It was sold and the new tenants occupied it immediately.
“Dito na kami nag-stay habang may ECQ. Kung walang ECQ na ito siguro nakahanap kami ng bagong malilipatan agad at ‘di kami nakatira sa jeep na to, (We stayed here during ECQ. If there was no ECQ, we probably would have found a new place to stay and not in this jeep),” said Coquia.
Coquia, together with her husband and their children ages 11, 3 and 2, have lived in the jeepney for a month and a half. It is there where they eat, sleep, clean and cook.
While their living condition in the jeep has been difficult, Coquia is grateful that their luck has changed after appearing on TV. Aid from strangers and local government units have come pouring in left and right.
“Sa lahat ng nag-abot ng tulong sa amin at tumulong sa amin, maraming maraming salamat po, malaking tulong po ito sa amin, (To all those who helped us, thank you very much, it’s really a big help for us),” she said.
According to reports, the mayor of Antipolo City even called them up and offered temporary shelter during the ECQ. However, Coquia’s husband was concerned about how far the offered shelter is from their place of livelihood in Quezon City.
Should they receive an offer from the local governments of Manila or Quezon City, Coquia said, they would gladly accept it. “Para po sa mga bata, para makapagpahinga ng maayos, (This is for our kids, so they can rest well),” she said.