In our battle for peace, we often forget to give credit and gratitude to the brave men who are front liners in protecting our brothers and sisters. Upon reaching the battle ground, their lives are already in danger. As they say, they have their one foot in the grave already. And that is the sad reality brought by these wars.
Our soldiers, marines, and policemen deployed in Marawi are far from their families. While they are in their full battle gear, they too will still need all the support we can all give. So aside from the relief goods that we sent last week to our displaced Maranao brothers and sister, Go Negosyo under the Kapatid for Marawi initiative also started a campaign to gather donations for our troops of around 5000 people. Our Kapatids who have been supportive pledged their contributions to the packages we specifically called “Care Packages.”
Why “Care Packages”? Because we may not be there physically but at least, we are providing them some care and comfort through these products which are often unavailable or least of their concerns but essential to them. These packages include food packs, canned goods, snacks and ready to eat food, bottled water, milk, juice, biscuits, and other food donations.
Aside from these, cellphone loads were also given by PLDT SMART Group and Metro Pacific Corporation led by Manny Pangilinan and Eric Alberto donated two million worth of SMART load for our troops. Additionally, Jaime Zobel de Ayala and Globe will also provide 2.5 million assistance.
Go Negosyo Big Brothers such as Chris Po (Century Pacific Food Corporation), Robina Gokongwei-Pe (Universal Robina), Rey Go of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber, Kevin Tan (Megaworld), Mike Tan (Asia Brewery), Tessie Sy-Coson (SM Group), Baby Villamayor (Villa Margarita) and RFM Corporation donated food and beverage products.
Tennyson Chen of Bounty Fresh will be supplying the camps with kilos of chicken for 10 days and to partner that, Henry Lim Bon Liong donated sacks of Doña Maria rice. Now, the troops will have adequate food for the coming days.
Felix Ang of Auto Nation Group also pledged assistance to this initiative.
But aside from the usual requirement for food, our soldiers also needed personal care products such as shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, and soaps. Myla Villanueva donated soaps for our troops. Underwear, socks and towels were also lovingly provided by Patty Chilip, Tessie Coson, Indian Chamber led by Rex Daryanani and PCCI Ozamiz Chamber led by Elvie Tan.
We hope to give them vitamins and medicines as well and this has been supplied by The Generics Pharmacy.
Wilfred Gui committed water gallon stands as well while Siu Ping Par will be sending gas stoves and LPG canisters for the camps in Marawi.
But what is special about these care packages are the hand written notes we asked from our Go Negosyo network. These letters will contain words of prayers, encouragement, and hope. As they are personally written, we hope that these will at most strengthen the morale of our troops.
Gianna Montinola of Far Eastern University will ask their students to give messages. Myla Villanueva also tapped a museum for kids to provide letters. Zarah Juan started a campaign for support messages. The whole Kapatid movement is working on making their own contributions to this initiative.
We will never know the hardships they are facing in Marawi but through these simple gestures of care, we are at least giving them the support they need. In the ground zero, they are only with the enemies. They are not with their families. So hopefully, these care packages will give them the essentials.
Many have fallen and we are saddened by this. We are still unsure when will this fight end. But to our brave men, please know that you are all in our prayers.
For interested donors to the #GoNegosyoKapatidForMarawi, you may get in touch with the Go Negosyo team: For all letters or messages of support, you may coordinate it with Jarielle Reyes (09189656333), for all items for donation, please coordinate it with Gelle Jimena (0917 312 7984 or 0999 887 9276), for cash donations, please call Sophia Ramos (09285523285) and for more information, please contact Ginggay Hontiveros (09175249957 or 09088980428).