For Cheenie Marie Canapi, an administrative aide at the Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital, every workday is a struggle to keep safe.
As one of the vast number of medical frontliners who are at serious risk of contracting a deadly virus, Cheenie constantly seeks to protect herself and her family from COVID-19 infection. For Cheenie, the toughest part of the job has been the need to put a distance between her and her child.
“Kailangan ko pong umiwas. Hindi po masyadong makapag-mingle muna or makisama sa aking pamilya kasi hindi ko po alam kung ako ay carrier ng virus,” Cheenie said. “Mahirap po naman na pati yung bata ay mahawa.”
Thus, UFC deems this year as a propitious time for honoring brave and selfless frontliners like Cheenie with the company’s 50 Acts of Kindness campaign, an event that highlights UFC’s celebration of five decades as a cornerstone of the Filipino culinary experience.
To help carry out the objectives of the campaign, UFC engaged the office of Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte to identify 35 frontliners who work at—and live near—the Novaliches District Hospital, Quezon City General Hospital, Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital and other healthcare institutions of Quezon City. UFC’s beneficiaries were a mix of medical frontliners, janitorial staff, laundry staff, maintenance workers, and more.
“Our courageous healthcare workers have been at the Covid-19 frontlines day in and day out since the pandemic hit our country early this year,” said Belmonte. “We couldn’t have successfully contained COVID-19 active cases if it were not for our doctors, nurses, hospital aides, and others who have relentlessly and tirelessly served at our hospitals. We are indebted to them and heartily express our gratitude for their sacrifices and resolute spirits.”
Among the beneficiaries was Dante Tipones, a displaced worker who lost his livelihood this year. Before the pandemic hit, Dante was a company driver supporting his wife and three children. Since then, he has struggled to make ends meet for his family.
When asked about his most challenging experience this past year, he sadly recalls, “Noong nanghihingi ang anak ko ng pagkain at wala akong mabigay.”
Cheenie, Dante and the other campaign beneficiaries went to the Bulwagang Amoranto at Quezon City Hall on Dec. 15 to claim their Pamaskong Handa package, which included a 50-kilogram sack of rice, various Nutri-Asia and UFC products as well as noche buena goodies like hamon, spaghetti and more. Belmonte graced the special event to greet and personally thank them. Also in attendance were UFC brand managers Jay Vergara and Raisa Santiago.
“Talagang napaka-laking tulong po sa pamilya namin ang Pamaskong Handa package ng UFC,” said Cheenie of the bounty of goodies. “Hindi na namin iisipin pa kung ano aming kakainin.”
“Grabe po, di po kami makapaniwala sa handog ng UFC sa amin. Sobra pong nakakatuwa,” Dante said. “Mayor Joy, maraming salamat rin po. At sa UFC, marami-maraming salamat po.”
Belmonte commended UFC’s 50 Acts of Kindness campaign, calling it a great opportunity to give back to a community that has done so much for Quezon City.
“Thanks to Nutriasia and UFC for being one with us as we reward our frontliners and their families for their enormous sacrifices for Quezon City’s residents,” said Belmonte. “We hope that despite our difficulties this year, we will continue to seek The Light who is the very reason we celebrate this occasion, and become the light as well for our fellow men.”