The Corona Virus Disease 2019 caused a major detour in our lives. As soon as the numbers started going up, a Community Quarantine was implemented in most parts of the country including Aklan. It was then upgraded to an Enhanced Community Quarantine in barely a week. Places where throngs of people usually are seen suddenly turned into what seem to be a ghost town. No more honking of vehicles on morning rush hours, no more bustling noises from patrons of carinderias at lunch time, no more laughter from students lined up at street food stalls after school.
In just a little over a month, our lives have changed big time. As we were compelled to stay home to help prevent the spread of the cunning virus, it did not seem easy to be detached from everything that defines our very being. But just when we thought of being disconnected, an institution rose up, took the lead, and proved that unity can be achieved despite the odds, in spite of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
The Northwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC) has been serving in the academe for the last 73 years. As a non-sectarian institution of higher learning, NVC has always been dedicated to the ideals of love, and upholds its commitment to the cause of truth, to impart the art of sciences, culture, and history, and all related studies guided by reasons for the purpose of contributing its value to the formation of a progressive and humane society, and a responsible citizenry.
With that dedication and commitment, NVC made sure it plays a vital role in making this Enhanced Community Quarantine, this New Normal, a lot more bearable.
THE BENEVOLENCE OF NVC
As soon as the Enhanced Community Quarantine was declared, NVC, with the leadership of its President, Allan Angelo Quimpo, open its doors to nearby barangays. In a Facebook post, Mr. Quimpo called it “Bulig sa mga Barangay.” He announced that NVC is willing to print quarantine pass, while paper supply lasts. The barangays who want to avail of the free printing only have to send Mr. Quimpo a message that include the following: 1. Format (if you have), if none, 1. Logo, 2. Name of Brgy. Captain, 3. Name of barangay; and 4. Quantity. This effort was made possible the Community Relations Office headed by Ms. LizaVillanueva Cezar. As soon as the printing is done, the barangay can pick up the quarantine pass from the school.
FACEMASKS, COOKIES, AND OTHER GOODIES
With the help of NVC’s Hospitality Management Department, freshly baked cookies were also given to the front liners of Kalibo PNP last April 11, and to DRSTMH last April 14.
On the first week of April, NVC donated a total of 100 pieces of face masks for the front liners of St. Gabriel Medical Center & Dr. Rafael S. Tumbukon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH). Mr. Quimpo, along with his family and other Aklanon volunteers, also spearheaded a donation drive to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for Aklanon front liners.
NVC understood that the help must be extended not only to the front liners but also to the community. To cover more grounds, NVC participated in Project Kalibo’s Adopt-A-TODA and pledged to contribute goods for the TODA of New Buswang. The distribution took place last April 13.
If the institution can be benevolent to the community, how much more to the NVC family? The generosity of the school was exercised to its employees. For several days, the diligent staff of NVC helped out in the preparation of food packs that will be distributed to NVC faculty and staff. As soon as the food packs were ready, Mr. Marlon I. Cipriano, a faculty of the HM Department, Ms. Liza V. Cezar, Head, Office of External Affairs, and Ms. Marian F. Liggayu, Physical Plant Supervisor, hit the road to distribute the goods personally. It took them several days starting April 17, to deliver the food packs to faculty and staff all the way to Makato, and as far as the outskirts of Banga.
Facebook flooded with posts of gratitude from the recipients of the food packs. We were also able to interview two NVC faculty and staff, namely Ms. Gretchen Castro Melanio, a Faculty of the Junior High School Department, and Ms. Angela Arnaiz, Secretary of the Elementary Department. Both of them did not hesitate to answer the following questions:
How did you feel when you received the food pack from NVC?
Gretchen Castro Melanio: Of course that moment, I felt happy and loved for NVC Community really extends their helping hands to reach us out in this time of crisis. I can’t imagine that there are thousands of people who are starving for food nationwide, and I am so privileged to receive this gift.
Angela Arnaiz: As an employee, I am very thankful to receive the food pack and the generosity of the institution in times of crisis.
What can you say about NVC’s gesture to its employees?
GCM: NVC really is amazing in its own way of helping people especially to its employees. This act of kindness is truly enough to raise hopes and positivity within us and to our lives. I really felt appreciated and valued as one of the employees amidst these hard times we’re experiencing. The connection that is established by this institution towards us highly appreciated.
AA: I am very grateful towards NVC because, despite the pandemic, it’s constituents together with our President continue to reach out to all its employees, caring just like a family member who cares for each other. Thank you very much
What is your message to your fellow employees amidst this pandemic?
GCM: To my fellow employees, let us always remember that God is bigger than this pandemic we’re dealing with right now. We should never forget to be grateful because everyday we wake up safe and with enough food on our table. Let’s keep on praying that He will continue to bless us and our family to be always safe until this pandemic is over. Together, we’ll survive this terrible moment.
AA: To my fellow employees, always keep yourself healthy and strong, be it physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I also encourage you to have 6 o’clock rosary together with your family members and pray for our front liners and safety of everybody. Invest all of your time doing productive things indoors and outdoors. Stay safe and strictly follow ECQ guidelines.
What is your message to NVC?
GCM: To our beloved institution and to its administrators, may it continue to be a great example and model of kindness and generosity. Continue to be an instrument of hearing those silent voices calling for help and for reaching out to people in the midst of these terrible times. May this school receives abundant blessings that it deserves from above. Thank you and more power.
AA: May the institution continue to serve and promulgate its vision and goals and continue to reach out to its constituents through scholarships programs.
Yes, all of these were accomplished by NVC while being in constant communications with its academic committee and faculty. Despite the New Normal, NVC is still working nonstop to make sure that our students still get the quality education they deserve.