SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur— Instead of canned goods and instant noodles as relief packs for Covid-19 quarantined villagers, a barangay kagawad (village councilwoman) in Prosperidad town have been distributing healthy cooked vegetables she and her cousins delivered in every home since April 8.
Barangay Kagawad Joan Martensen Borja, in the village of New Maug was moved upon seeing many of her neighbors eating only ginamos (fermented anchovies) as their viands that drove her to cook the popular law-oy (vegetable stew) equally packed in cellophane bags and shared it to some 100 households on the first day of their relief mission.
The idea of giving away cooked vegetables flicked on her mind when she saw two young girls selling squash, string beans and eggplants passed her house and bought all the produce amounting to P500.
“I was a bit bored staying at home for days when the two girls came peddling vegetables harvested by their father who is a peasant of a small farm,” said the good-looking and jolly village councilwoman who was elected in 2018.
With the help of her male cousins and neighbors, Borja cooked ginataang gulay ( vegetable dish cooked with coconut milk) on the second day of their food relief efforts covering another 100 homes of Purok 2.
Her good deeds draw the attention of a nurse of a government hospital who saw her photos on her Facebook page and offered to donate a van load of vegetables from Esperanza town so she could continue her food sharing initiative.
On Saturday, the vegetables promised by the donor came and it was aplenty that it could last for three days. The nurse asked not to be identified and requested her to pixelate his face if ever she would post the photos in the social media.
If she had her way, Borja wanted to continue distributing the vegetable dishes until the Covid-19 crisis will be over but that will depend when she still can afford on her budget and more good Samaritans will help in her modest project.
Borja has been on online business getting brisk sales which subsided at the height of the Covid outbreak.