Tarlac Diocese turns to ‘Tiktok’ to raise funds for COVID-19 fighters
TARLAC CITY –– Priests of the Diocese of Tarlac have turned to “Tiktok” to help draw donations for 32 medical frontliners who have been staying at the San Sebastian Cathedral School, as well as various relief projects.
Five priests performed comical skits and dances. Fr. Melvin Baldoz, for example, executed an upbeat choreography to the Michael Jackson tune, “Smooth Criminal,” as he knocked on the door of a comfort room while pretending to have stomach trouble.
The Tiktok performances of Baldoz and fellow priests Ramon Molina, Raymund Cruz, Jason Santos, and Randy Salunga were posted on the Facebook account of Salunga, the director of Caritas Tarlac.
Caritas is the social arm of the Tarlac Diocese which undertook Lingap Baste, a program that addresses the needs of frontliners as they battle the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The school was converted into a dormitory that houses 28 police officers and four nurses. They are served breakfast and dinner and have access to a 24-hour snack table. Caritas Tarlac also prepared a laundry area equipped with washing machines and free detergents.
Caritas Tarlac has also given relief goods to about 7,000 families, which include vegetables bought from local farmers.
But the budget for these projects is good only until May 31, said Salunga.
“Without funds, we would have difficulty maintaining the programs and may end up closing them down. So I proposed tapping Tiktok to draw attention and we got the blessings of the Lingap Baste committee,” he said.
“This is our strategy to raise donations. We don’t beg, we bring laughter,” Salunga said. “It is good to spread joy while at the same time appealing to the generosity of people.”
Donors have pledged cavans of rice and other commodities when they saw their uploaded videos, the Caritas director said.
Salunga said the videos have become so popular he may have to recruit more priests to perform for the church.
In Bamban town, Fr. Harold Taguines, administrator of Sto. Nino Parish, produced online comic books to help instill values in children who have been locked at home by the quarantine.
The ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) Komiks na Pambata consists of seven stories about the quarantine, which were drawn on recycled paper using crayons and markers.
Taguines said the first episode of the comic series was posted on April 29. It teaches children about gratitude in simple things that people receive in times of crisis. “I thought of tapping social media as a medium for teaching,” Taguines said. INQ
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