MANILA, Philippines – Last week, I joined my first ever advocacy campaign. The Dakila Collective invited me to be an advocate for Oxfam’s “Tik Tok” campaign on the looming climate crisis. Four days later on, Typhoon Ondoy hit our shores. It massacred almost everyone in its path. It was a ruthless viking. It was the wrath of Mother Nature scorned. The very next day, I decided to open my second restaurant.
I am an avid commuter. Perhaps being too idealistic, I’ve been holding off buying a car in hopes that Honda’s hydrogen car would come into mass production within the century. I am a fan of “An Inconvenient Truth”. It is a beautiful journalistic piece, exaggerating facts to get a faster response. Or is it exaggerated, really?
My purposes for starting Barangay Soup Kitchen are all in the name of service. Once as a kid, I gave away all my change money to a random beggar I felt a deep pity for. So instead of commuting, I ended up walking two hours to get home. Normally, I would shy away from any words describing me as a humanitarian. I abhor being praised for something I feel like I had no choice but to do. But now I wil admit, it is in my blood.
These are extraordinary times, right? It requires friends to be enemies. It requires bad people to be behave. It calls for everyone to work towards a common goal. For leaders to unite us all.
Because if we don’t, we all know what’s going to happen. The Ondoy rainfall lasted for a mere one-and-a-half days, putting 3-storey buildings underwater. Now what if it rained 30 days and nights, like the story of the ark?
Barangay Soup Kitchen is a restaurant that serves the victims of Ondoy. It hates anything with the word “sardines” or “kamote”. It embraces ingredients like “native saffron” and “ginger”. It makes sure that with every serving of hot Arroz Caldo, there is an abundance of juicy chicken meat you can sip right off the bone. The congee, thick and filling, comes with a pan de sal bread meant to be soaked. The hard-boiled egg covers all your protein needs.
If you are willing to donate, please give us glutinous rice.
If you trust us more than your politicians, you can make monetary donations to CRISPIN C MEDINA II BPI-Morato savings account number 3149 0943 84. Our soup kitchen does not accept perishable donations anymore. From a feeding program, we are also diversifying with a Bowl Drive. Drop off any bowls/cups/mugs/non-disposable containers. When doing soup kitchen, we will also be giving away the bowls the arroz caldo is served in. The Bowl Drive is about rebuilding the community and preventing non-disposable stuff from clogging our drainage again.
Always remember, soup is the best comfort food for this rainy season. Ondoy may have taken away everything we own, but it has restored everything that is human about us.
By Ping Medina