Cebu City, Philippines–On a typical day, streets would be bustling, malls would be packed, and restaurants filled with hungry customers eager to fill their guts.
But these past days are different.
As more and more people continue to practice social distancing and staying indoors in the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the tables at restaurants such as Lunch Pack Door in Colon Street here are completely deserted.
As a result, restaurants like Lunch Pack Door have closed their doors as part of their participation to lessen the chances of the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
“I have about 10 staff sa restaurant na akung gi in-house and wala nay tabaho tunggod aning COVID,” said Wilbert Brian Chiong,owner of Lunch Pack Door.
(I have 10 staff in the restaurant who are in-house and have no work because of this COVID.)
Since most establishments cease to operate, his employees clamor saying “Wala nami mapadala sa among pamilya!” (We don’t have anything to send to our families.)
Pressed to come up with ways to provide for his employees Chiong decided to resume operations through online food delivery. However, what makes this unique is that for every meal bought by customers, another will go to a front-liner.
For over two weeks now, Lunch Pack Door has not only provided meals for its clients but also to our front liners in the City.
“We started with small amount of deliveries, kai usually sa mga friends-friends lang mi nag deliver, (because usually, we deliver to just friends.)” said Chiong.
Now, Lunch Pack Door has been delivering a minimum of 200 packed meals a day.
“Every purchased meal, kai ang other one kai ma adto sa frontliner. Naka hatag nami sa Vicente Sotto, Perpetual, and on duty na police,” said Chiong.
(For every purchased meal, another goes to frontliners. We have already given to Vicente Sotto, Perpetual, and to police on duty.)
All for them
While most establishments struggle to keep them afloat, businesses are forced to come up with ways to cope with the current situation.
According to Chiong, while part of it anchors to keep their business in operation, the main goal is to be able to provide monetary assistance for their employees and to help our front liners.
“Actually, gamay ramig ma kuha ani. Among lang gyud ning ginabuhat because this is all for them, para among employees naay mapadala sa ilang pamilya ug maka tabang sa mga frontliners nato karon na nag trabaho ug dili kauli sa tagsa-tagsa nila na pamilya,” said Chiong.
(Actually, we only earn a little from this. We are doing this because this is all for them, for our employees so they will have something they can send to their families and so we can help frontliners who are working and can’t go home to their respective families.)
“Usahay maka ingon ka na kapoy, kai wala mi nag expect na ingon ani ka daghan na volume among ma receive, but hunahunaon lang nato gyud na mag kapoy ang mga front liners nato karon,” he added.
(Sometimes it’s very tiring because we didn’t expect to receive this much volume but we just think about the efforts of our frontliners too.)
Through this kind of service, an organization has also donated to them monetary assistance which will be used to cook meals for the frontliners.
“An organization from the US also donated to us, and we happily accept donations,” Chiong said.
According to him, the only problem they encounter presently is the strict implementation of security measures along checkpoints in the city.
“Kami wala man mi problema sa balaod, but naka receive man gud mi ug complaints sa among delivery na naay uban na police na mag power tripping gud, if dugay dugayon ninyo ang delivery ug among pagpangompra, ma dugay sad mig luto ug pag hatod sa mga frontliners,” he said.
(We don’t have a problem with the law, but we have received complaints from our delivery personnel that there are some policemen who are power tripping. If they delay the delivery and our purchasing, then our delivery to the frontliners will also be delayed.)
Chiong also would like to appeal to government officials to provide assistance or provide priority to those who are delivering food to our frontliners.
“If they will be lenient to food delivery services like us, we can really help a lot,” said Chiong.
With only two weeks, Chiong has also provided jobs especially to those who are under the No-Work-No-Pay scheme.
Because of the increasing amount of orders, the business has given opportunities to those who could not work.
Ultimately, according to Chiong, this is the time to help one another and stop thinking about personal gains, because not only businesses are struggling, but everyone in general.
“As long as we are under enhanced community quarantine, and establishments are still closed, we will continue to deliver daily,” he said.
If you wish to order original and tasty pinoy dishes, order through their Facebook Page at Lunch Pack Door to Door Food Delivery.
Chiong suggests booking at least 3-4 hours in advance. For those who wish to donate you can also message their Facebook Page or contact 0917-638-2761.
“Mabusog naka! Makatabang paka!” /bmjo