March 23, 2023

Dear Manang,
I should be a senior this school year. I am an average student and haven’t been attentive in school to be known to teachers for certain talents of skills. This helped my friends get good grades when schools locked down in March. I was hoping to graduate on time in 2021 and get my certificate for hotel and restaurant service so that my uncle can find me a slot in a resort in Davao. My timetable has been moved back by this quarantine and my goal of helping my father with three siblings through high school. I am praying for the end of this Covid-19.
Alidan of Ledesma Street, Baguio City

Dear Alidan,
Welcome to the praying club. You are not alone in beseeching God to end this crisis. He must be deaf by now with all the cries for help from citizens of the globe. My son, granting that you graduate on time by some stroke of luck and find yourself able to get vocational training, tourism has been suspended in most places here and abroad. Most resorts and hotels are out of business. Your goal is still unreachable. Just find some other means to help your father since all of you are out of school. There are menial jobs available. No need to despair in these times.
Get busy,

Dear Manang,
I have four kids and sustain them with my banana cue and turon stall. Early this year, I borrowed P10,000 to stock up on soft drinks and novelty items for tourists in anticipation of the Panagbenga. I am stuck with key chains and coin purses with the suspension of Panagbenga and later Holy Week. I still have half the loan to pay and the cooperative I joined is asking for the balance and interest with the prolonged suspension of tourism. I will survive but it is difficult.
Boogie of Camp Allen, Baguio City

Dear Boogie,
I guess the Filipinos have yet to learn how to recalculate loans to a reasonable level given these unusual times. Well, banana cue and turon are all-time favorites that endure the worst of seasons. I know you are surviving and thriving in this pandemic but stare at the goods that have yet to turn to cash. These are hard times indeed but be grateful that you have a business that will tide you over to better times. God is watching you and knows your troubles. Lift your worries up to Him.
Keep faith,