“Stay at home!” is the order of the day to combat COVID-19, but not for the 3.1 million homeless people in Metro Manila.

With the blessing of the community, two of the Oblates from the Shrine of the Our Lady of Grace in Caloocan decided to brave it out as night crawlers:

  • to deliver 9.3 million pesos worth of gift checks from Caritas Manila, in partnership with Bishop David of the Diocese,
  • to distribute basic food rations (of which 320 sacks of rice have already been distributed and still the demand grows incessantly everyday), and
  • to facilitate a handing over of thousands of face masks and some PPEs (Personal protective equipment) from random generous benefactors in the community, to be given for the front-liners in the hospitals and the back-liners in the streets.

With the uncertainty to what the morrow may bring, hundreds of seeds and seedlings were also distributed to households, promoting a backyard garden for a more sustainable food source as the lockdown stretches for a longer time.

As they frequent their exposure outside, Fathers Pon (Eduardo VASQUEZ) and Rey Emmanuel AMANCIO have settled into makeshift quarters in the Parish Office. This is to avoid contamination of the others, and still staying united with the rest of the community through online Oraison and the Eucharist. Equipped with this spiritual sustenance, together with the Oblate Cross, Holy Water and the blessed salt, these Oblates DARE.

Read more: In a Philippine lockdown, priests bring church to the community