“For it is in giving that we receive.” ―St. Francis of Assisi

In this trying time due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Philippine government called for a whole-of-government approach against this pandemic towards protecting health workers and frontliners, delivery and provision of essential necessities such as foods to the most vulnerable, among other major objectives under the new RA 11469, or the Bayanihan  to Heal as One Act.

In the spirit of bayanihan, the Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro together with the Sunrise Multi-purpose Cooperative, Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro, the Free and Accepted Masons, and other civic group, donated goods to the Stella Maris – Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) Center, the PMO’s partner in the provision of practical and pastoral care to the PMO employees, wives and children of seafarers and porters at the Port of Cagayan de Oro.

The Sisters of the Daughters of Charity congregation who manage the AoS Center, gratefully received the sacks of young chow rice and assorted canned goods and noodles. The donation is also aimed at helping them sustain their apostolic mission and continue to feed the children and wives of seafarers, and the porters especially during this health crisis.

On 07 April 2020, additional sacks of rice and boxes of assorted groceries composed of canned goods and a variety of instant noodles were turned over to Stella Maris-Apostleship of the Sea Center Daughters of Charity Sisters who will be repacking the same and will take charge in the second tranche of distribution to their beneficiaries in CDO Port.

This act of compassion was unexpectedly reciprocated as other agencies and civic groups also showed “bayanihan” and compassion for the men and women working almost 24/7 at the ports. On top of the face masks, handmade face shields, portable handwashing stations, among others, which were already provided by the PMO to protect its employees and port uses, agencies and organizations such as the Commission on Audit, and the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro, voluntarily donated additional face masks and face shields for the frontline personnel of the PMO including the utility workers, security personnel, and drivers.

Evidently, Filipinos’ love and compassion for one another rose above the health crisis the world is facing right now. Together, we will heal as one.