‘No car? No problem’: Tarlac volunteers distribute relief goods riding horses
A group of relief volunteers in Victoria, Tarlac has been riding horses as a mode of transportation while distributing goods to residents in need, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Breih Pascua, a 25-year-old relief volunteer and blogger, together with his friends, borrowed four Thoroughbred horses namely Ares, Athena, Victoria and Bella from a Vito Gutierrez of the Victoria Equestrian Center in Tarlac on April 19, Sunday, to help them with their relief operations.
“Dahil po ECQ at hindi kami pwede mag ride, napag-usapan namin na, bakit ‘di namin gamitin [ang] mga horses na mag hatid, lalo na sa mga lugar na malapit sa farm at sementeryo. So ayun po, ginamit namin yung mga horses para at least iwas pollution and at the same time para nakakapanibago sa mga mata ng mga kababayan namin kasi walang mga sasakyan na dumadaan,” Pascua told INQUIRER.net in an interview.
(Because of the [enhanced community quarantine] and we are not allowed to ride [a vehicle], we decided to use the horses instead to help us in transporting [the goods], especially in areas near the farm and cemetery. We used the horses to at least avoid pollution and at the same time to entertain the residents, since there were no vehicles passing by.)
In a Facebook post on Monday, April 20, Pascua wrote, “This time, balik tayo sa makalumang paraan. (This time, let’s go back to the old ways.) No car? No problem!”
𝐖𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝟒 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐲❤️𝚃𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎! 𝙱𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚔 𝚝𝚊𝚢𝚘 𝚜𝚊 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚊𝚕𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚊𝚗, 𝚢𝚎𝚎𝚑𝚊𝚑! 𝐍𝐨 𝐂𝐚𝐫? 𝐍𝐨…
Pascua and his friends have been doing a fundraising event through social media where donations can be pledged, like sacks of rice, noodles, canned food and cash donations. For their fourth wave of donations, the group has raised over P20,000.
“Naisip namin kasi na gulay ang ipamigay kasi po nagkakaubusan na ng mga stocks [sa supermarkets] pero ang main goal talaga namin is para maging healthy po [ang mga tao],” Pascua explained.
(We thought of giving them vegetables since supermarkets’ stocks of goods are running out and our main goal is to keep people healthy.)
According to Pascua, it was his friend Era Nunag, 20 years old, who started the advocacy to promote the distribution of healthy food to communities. They started organizing the relief operations when Taal Volcano erupted last Jan. 12, 2020.
They are still planning to organize another fundraising event in the coming weeks, aiming to reach out and send food packs to garbage collectors, pedicab drivers and laundry women.
Pascua thanked their friends who donated to their fundraiser and who helped them make the initiative possible. As he appealed in his post, “We encourage everyone to help kahit sa papanong paraan lang (in any way possible).” JB
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