Ayuda during Quarantine

On April 30 I met with Nida and Ne at Boun Giorno in Tagaytay. I was there at 10:10 am, followed by Nida at 10:20, Ne as usual was almost two hours late. She arrived at almost noontime.

The security guard didn’t want to let Ne in because he said bawal daw ang 65 and above. He didn’t want to believe her when she claimed she was 60. He allowed her when she made pakiusap and explained to him she’s attending a meeting.

We talked about anything and everything for the first one hour and the last 15 minutes would be for the official business.

Nida’s husband fell down the stairs of their residence in Cavite when he was 48 years old. He went to bed after. When Nida looked for him, he was asleep on their bed. Since they were supposed to go to church, she woke him up and had a hard time waking him up. After three tries, he sat up but still unable to move fast. Nida saw his eyes rolled so she and her children rushed him to a hospital. Three hospitals refused to admit him because they lacked the medical equipment and facilities to treat him.
He was finally admitted by the 4th hospital. It was a long journey to recovery. He passed away the following year while having a seizure. The fall caused him to have seizures. Nida became a widow at the age of 49. When I first met her 7 years ago, she was tall, slim, and beautiful. . I wondered why she didn’t remarry. She said marami syang mga suitors pero baka naman daw sya pa ang magpapakain kaya huwag na lang. One persistent suitor, a neighbor of theirs, tried everything to convince her to cohabitate with him but she kept on turning his offer down. As a last ditch pitch, he said “Nida, kailangan mo ng magkakamot ng likod mo pagtanda mo.” She retorted by saying “Ikakaskas ko na lang sa dingding kesa magpakasal ako sa’yo.”

She got 1,400 ayuda according to her. She asked the barangay where she would sign as proof that she received 1,400 but the officer said signatures were not required. She scrolled down the names on the list and she saw a dead neighbor’s name on the list. I think it’s only natural to have deceased people’s name on the list becasue the government’s master list is not updated. However, what’s surprising is when there’s a signature on the name that the dead person received the ayuda.

Ne on the other hand went to the barangay to claim her 6,000 daw but when she saw the throngs of people waiting in line, she backed down and decided not to claim the 6,000 ayuda kasi daw nakakahiya. Meron pa syang tsuper and naka Ford Explorer, hindi bagal ang pipila sa ayuda.

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