In substitute to public utility vehicles, taxi and other means of transportation, free shuttles are offered in Manila. Due to enhance community quarantine in Luzon, it was very hard for the part of the medical health workers to go to work and return home. Even if free shuttles are offered, many of the frontliners still walk heading to work because of limited trips.
Ordinary Filipinos showed their love and care to the frontliners. They joined force to send and fetch health workers to their work places. Deo Onda volunteered himself to be their personal driver.
“Isa akong marine scientist. Kung walang pandemic, ‘yun ang trabaho ko. Pumasok ng eskuwelahan, magturo, mag-research. Pero ngayong pandemic, ako muna ay isang driver. Isang proud driver. Serving those who serve in the frontlines,” he said. “May kilala akong gumigising nang 2 oras, 3 oras bago ‘yung duty kasi maglalakad pa daw siya nang isang oras. Imbes na itulog mo na lang,” he added.
The driver felt the suffering of the health workers in their field. He used to talked to them during the travel. Some need to wake up and prepare ahead of time they knew, transportation is difficult. They already accepted the reality that they need to walk when they can’t catch the free shuttle ride.
Onda drives many health workers in a day. Sometimes, when there are sick people who need to go to the hospital for check up or regular medication, he also offer a trip.
According to him, he will continue to serve his fellow Filipinos when his body and strength still allow him. Truly, you don’t need to be rich to help. You don’t need to have superpowers to be a helping hand.
He is Deo Florence L. Onda, Ph.D. of Marine Science Institute.He is an assistant professor and Deputy Director for Research.