Bela Padilla did it.
She raised in three days through a crowd-funding website a whopping P3.3 million in donations for a feeding project for sidewalk vendors of Metro Manila who couldn’t earn a living since the National Capital Region was put into “community quarantine.”
On Wednesday (18 March), she announced on her Twitter, “We are going to start delivering the first three batches tomorrow.” It sounded like her first target area for her food packs will be Pasay, because in the same tweet, she asked if any netizen could provide her a “kindhearted contact in Pasay.”
The next day, she tweeted that she had found such a contact. She roundly thanked Matteo Guidecelli among the people she would rely on for the delivery trucks.
Bela must be the super organizer the world hasn’t met. Or whoever claims to be one has met his/her match in Bela. The actress is not very good about enumerating details these days as she hasn’t found time to let people know if there’s a well-experienced, well-connected non-governmental organization (NGO) doing the work for her or she quickly managed to put together a team of her own.
Bela began her advocacy Pagkain Para sa Pilipino practically naively. On Sunday, she tweeted to ask netizens to give her suggestions on what she can do for the sake of the sidewalk vendors who have lost their opportunity to earn. Someone suggested she could perhaps raise funds to buy food supplies. Whoever that netizen is, he/she probably never had an inkling Bela would take the suggestion quite seriously.
What Bela is doing now Angel Locsin used to do. The future Mrs. Neil Arce used to do it for typhoon and earthquake victims spending her own money. Having shelled out several millions already for her relief efforts, she must have ran out of surplus funds for the people marginalized by the community quarantine. And she has done enough, really.
Lately, what Angel has been doing is beseeching the government to do its best to at least feed workers whom it has stopped from working by banning jeepneys and buses and pedicabs from plying their routes.
Somewhere in our galaxy of showbiz stars must be other Angels and Belas who could be bold and daring philanthropists.
And, oh, let’s hope Bela’s crowd-raises P3.3 M can feed the forced-to-be-jobless of Metro Manila throughout the yet undetermined duration of the extended community quarantine.