Bulacan has ‘palengke-style’ community pantries

Published April 26, 2021, 1:58 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Community pantries that look like markets are springing up in Bulacan after drawing inspiration from the Maginhawa community pantry.

(Jhane dela Cruz / Bgy. Bantog / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

In Barangay Iba in Hagonoy, a community pantry was set up in front of Iba Day Care Center and was tagged by social media users as “the biggest and the grandest community pantry” in Bulacan.

Photos posted by chairwoman Jhane dela Cruz, who inspired the pantry, showed eggplants, cabbage, bitter gourd, kangkong (water spinach), string beans, tomatoes, and other vegetables piled on top of at least six long tables.

Hundreds of eggs placed on trays and several sacks of rice, some of them repacked, were also being given for free.

What caught the interest of social media users who saw Dela Cruz’ series of photos were the fish placed on 10 styrofoam ice boxes.

“Ibanians Community Pantry. Mula sa Masa, Tungo sa Masa (from the masses to the masses),” a tarpaulin posted on the pantry’s vicinity read.

Dela Cruz, in her Facebook post that has since gathered at least 12,000 likes and 22,800 shares, expressed her gratitude to everyone for the “overflowing (siksik, liglig, at umaapaw) blessing” the barangay has received.

“Unlimited supply and sky’s the limit for everyone,” she added.

Meanwhile, in Barangay Bantog in San Mantog, barangay chairman Bong Maon and his family initiated a pantry that also looks like a market.

Aside from vegetables, the pantry offers free tilapia, bagoong (fish sauce), bihon, and noodles.

Photos posted on Barangay Bantog’s Facebook page showed residents happily carrying plastics with goods from the pantry.

“Wow, super blessed naman ng mga tao sa barangay na ‘to (Wow! Residents of this barangay are super blessed),” said Rose Ann Baccay, one of the 105 social media users who commented on the post.

“Napakabongga naman Kap. Parang talipapa na, dami na pwedeng makuha. God Bless po Kap (That is extraordinary! The pantry seems like a market where you can get practically everything. God Bless You, Captain),” one Jovz Tuazon added.

Community pantries have sprung up across the country after Ana Patricia Non, a Quezon City resident, started the community movement of setting up a community pantry on Maginhawa Street.

Amid red-tagging allegations, more community pantries are still sprouting organized by various groups of people such as members of the Church, youth groups, state forces, and local barangay officials.